Ballet Arizona’s ‘The Nutcracker’ brings magic to the holidays

Experience AZ | 12 Oct |

Get ready for visions of sugar plums, mouse kings and sparkling Swarovski crystals. Ballet Arizona announced its 36th year of The Nutcracker performances, choreographed by renowned Artistic Director Ib Andersen. The Nutcracker will run from December 10-24 for a total of 15 performances, with afternoon and evening shows at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix. All performances are accompanied with live music by The Phoenix Symphony.

In 2013, The New York Times’ senior dance critic Alastair Macaulay hailed Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker “one of the three finest productions” of the nearly 20 versions he attended around the country. Ballet Arizona, the Valley’s only professional ballet company, created the production in 2006 at a cost of $1.8 million.


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The beloved ballet tells the story of a little girl named Clara who is given a magical nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. She encounters the frightful Mouse King before embarking on a wondrous journey through the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. Young and old alike will experience the many special effects, including the Christmas tree that “grows” to 40 feet, 200 pounds of “snow” falling during the snow scene and the firing of cannons onstage.

Enhance your 2021 holiday experience by upgrading your evening at The Nutcracker:

Capture the Magic | VIP Premier Package $95

• Receive the VIP access pass when you purchase four premium tickets to The Nutcracker, including:

• Early entry to the Symphony Hall lobby to shop and get your Sugar Plum Fairy photo

• Hot chocolate for four from the lobby café

• Complimentary parking pass

• Pair of ballerina pointe shoes signed by one if the dancers

• Ballet Arizona tote bag

• $20 Ballet Arizona gift card

• 10% off at The Nutcracker boutique in the lobby  

Some interesting facts from this season’s The Nutcracker performances include:  

• More than 100,000 Austrian Swarovski crystals make the spectacular Snow Scene sparkle.

• The Nutcracker scenic elements including sets, lights, costumes and special effects require four tractor trailers and two 24-foot trucks.

• The Mouse King is more than 9 feet tall with his crown.

• Over 7,000 pounds of dry ice is used for the entire run of the production.

• During the run of The Nutcracker, Ballet Arizona’s female dancers will use more than 300 pairs of pointe shoes. Pointe shoes are custom made and cost more than $100 per pair. Most pairs of shoes last one performance.

• The sleigh that Clara and the Prince ride in is built on a mobility scooter and one technician lays inside on their stomach and drives it around the stage.

• The production uses 25 different backdrops.

Ticket prices for The Nutcracker start at $25, with discounts offered for seniors, students, military and groups. To ensure lowest ticket prices and purchase enhanced experiences, buy exclusively through Ballet Arizona. Tickets and packages can be purchased by calling 602.381.1096 or visiting balletaz.org

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