review: ballet bc presents alberta ballet’s the nutcracker

The quintessential holiday show is back in Vancouver — BC Ballet presents Alberta Ballet in The Nutcracker, in town for a very short engagement – only 5 shows over 3 days: December 28th, 29th, and 30th at 7:30 pm and December 29th and 30th at 2 pm at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

2. Alberta Ballet Company Artists in The Nutcracker. Photo by Paul McGrath

This production of The Nutcracker is set in turn of the 20th century Imperial Russia, an era of opulent grandeur, and has been choreographed by Edmund Stripe with sets and costumes designed by Emmy Award-winning designer Zack Brown. More than a million dollars in stunning sets and costumes are displayed in the show – it quite literally sparkles from start to finish. The gorgeous sets, costumes, and choreography offer a perfect complement to Tchaikovsky’s musical score, played live by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

While we loved the entire production from start to finish, our absolute favourite scene was the Waltz of the Snowflakes. It was just beautiful. Sparkly snow princesses twirled and danced en pointe while glittery snowflakes fell from the sky. We may have hummed the music all the way home, and threw a few extra twirls into our bedtime routine with the kiddos. You can’t help but dream of being a ballet dancer after watching this show.

9. Alberta Ballet Reilley McKinlay in Nutcracker_cred Paul McGrath

The Nutcracker makes for a fun outing for the whole family. There are a few bits that might be a bit scary for the littlest ones in your bunch; the mice costumes are very realistic! But we saw lots of young kids in the audience, thoroughly enthralled by the production. A matinee would be the perfect opportunity to introduce your kiddos to the wonderful world of ballet and The Nutcracker!

The Nutcracker runs for five performances and tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster online at or 1-855-985-2787 (855-985-ARTS) and range in price from $35 to $95 (plus service charges). Family 4-packs are available from $140-$300.

By: Michelle Hughes

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