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Nevada Ballet Theatre Presents Its Annual Holiday Favorite, The Nutcracker

Las Vegas Treasured Tradition Returns at The Smith Center, including two school matinee performances for local Clark County youth

Photos by Virginia Trudeau

Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) once again presents its annual holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts December 9-24.

NBT’s The Nutcracker is a magical journey through a larger-than-life world filled with waltzing flowers, nimble fairies, and moonlit snow. Glittering holiday cheer abounds as Clara and her handsome Prince travel from the warmth of her family home to a land of toy soldiers, mischievous rodents, and exotic visitors from faraway lands.

Drawing from the original tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Artistic Director James Canfield uses the famous ETA Hoffman story as the inspiration for this production. With the theme of time as a continual thread throughout this Victorian-inspired version, a wondrous world of exaggerated perspective will transport audiences. Extraordinary and ornamental figures such as a flying rocking horse, waltzing flowers, and a fairy for all seasons come to life—along with some of the most beloved and traditional characters, including Clara, Drosselmeyer, Mother Ginger, and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

This Victorian-inspired production boasts one-of-a-kind scenery and props, such as a life-sized Victorian dollhouse, a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree, and 15 feet tall grandfather clocks. Artistic and technical elements, including moonlit snow, abound in this uniquely colorful production.

Featuring a cast of over 100 dancers, including almost 50 students from NBT’s affiliated Academy, 2022 marks the company’s 10th year of this beloved version, choreographed by James Canfield with music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The Doris Lee Live Music Fund and the Theodore and Doris Lee Family Foundation make live music featuring members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic possible.

In keeping with tradition, The Nutcracker includes many roles for student dancers, allowing them the opportunity to rehearse in the same studio and perform on The Smith Center stage with NBT’s professional company.

“This level of exposure and commitment prepares young dancers for what lies ahead in their performance careers and therefore is probably the most important aspect of their training,” said Canfield.

A tradition of NBT’s The Nutcracker has been the welcoming of an array of community groups and schools to perform in The Smith Center’s Grand Lobby. This year’s choral groups include Faith Lutheran, Alexander Dawson, Meadows, Nevada School of the Arts, and more.

Guests can commemorate their experience by purchasing a commemorative photo taken on the Nutcracker red carpet in the grand lobby, courtesy of Cashman Photography. Photos are available before the show, during intermission, and following the performances.

On Thursday, December 15, as part of its Community Education program, NBT will present Act I of The Nutcracker for 1,200 Clark County school children from its 16 Title 1 Partner schools, part of its Go-Move-Dance Program. The following day, on Friday, December 16, an additional 1,200 students from CCSD will also witness the magic of this holiday classic at this special matinee series. Attendance is free, and students receive a study guide prior to attending the performance.

Enhance the Nutcracker experience and join NBT for a delightful afternoon at The Nutcracker Tea Party on Sunday, December 18, in the Upper Lobby prior to the 2 p.m. matinee performance of The Nutcracker. This exciting event will feature tea-inspired food and drink, hot cocoa, festive holiday cheer, and more. To purchase tickets, click here.

The show schedule includes evening and matinee performances over three weekends, including Christmas Eve, as well as a full orchestra on select performances:

Opening Night: Friday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m.

Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m.

Friday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m.

Saturday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m.

Wednesday, December 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, December 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, December 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 24 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are offered at various prices and may be purchased by calling The Smith Center Box Office at (702) 749-2000 or by visiting Follow on Facebook @ NevadaBalletTheatre, Instagram @ NVBallet, and Twitter @ NVBallet.


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