The Nutcracker Suite
View Digital Program
Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet has overcome the odds to make its 81st season debut possible, with The Nutcracker Suite. The inevitable cancellation of the Nutcracker mainstage performance was disappointing for many missing the beloved holiday tradition, but through the tireless work of the artists and the staff it will continue in a way never before seen from the ballet company, in a digital retelling of the holiday classic.
The art of ballet has continued for centuries, often serving as a serene reprieve in troubled times, and through it we find solace and strength and renewed determination. We invite you to join us for a moment to escape in the fluid movement, famous scores, and pure joy eluded by the artists who are returning to the stage, or rather your screen, for the first time in nine months.
The Nutcracker Suite will follow the tale of Clara, who sneaks downstairs to play with her Nutcracker when it comes to life and whisks her off on magical adventures, but you’ve never seen the story told quite like this before! The digital debut features a condensed version of the original production that opened in Winnipeg 20 years ago and it features audience favourite choreography as well as innovative physically distanced choreography, reimagined by RWB Ballet Masters and Company dancers. Many of your favourite characters will make an appearance, complete with their turn-of-the-century costumes, which now include masks, in an intimate theatre setting that will highlight the artistry of each dancer on stage. Let their movement paint the picture, normally portrayed by the sets, in this pared down performance, but don’t worry there is always plum pudding and a tree.
It’s your holiday classic, revamped to be enjoyed from the comfort of your home. Please join us after the performance for a Q&A with Artistic Director André Lewis, Associate Artistic Director Tara Birtwhistle, and company dancers.
Sales are available until 2 hours prior to the start of the performance.
What to Expect After you Purchase a Ticket
- Shortly after you purchase a ticket you will receive a confirmation email.
- Approximately 90 minutes before the show, check your inbox. We will send an email which includes a link, click on this link and it will bring you directly to the performance page. The Nutcracker Suite will be streamed directly on YouTube. No passwords, No Redirects, just one click and enjoy!
- Tune in 15 minutes early to enjoy some of our Nutcracker trivia.
Purchasing as a Gift?
- Your $30 digital ticket is valid for one household. If you are looking to share this experience with friends and family outside of your household, we encourage you to purchase additional digital tickets.
- You can do so by adjusting the quantity in your cart.
- Approximately 90 minutes before the show, check your inbox. We will send an email which includes a link, click on this link and it will bring you directly to the performance streamed on YouTube. No passwords, No Redirects, just one click and enjoy!
- Once you receive this link, we ask that you forward the message from the RWB to the households you’ve gifted.
- Available is a gift certificate that you can print or email to the household.
As digital performances are new to Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, we sincerely appreciate your patience and support. We look forward to having you join us this holiday season and the ability to share the magic of The Nutcracker Suite with your friends and family.
Nutcracker Holiday Activities
Enjoy your holidays with these downloadable Nutcracker activities.
Nutcracker Colouring Book
Sugar Plum Cookie Recipe
Nutcracker Paper Toy
Our story starts at Christmas time, 1913, in a large Canadian home. It’s a prosperous time in a city whose population has swollen with new arrivals. The First World War is still half a year away.
‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through Clara’s house, everything and everyone is stirring. The whole family, it seems, is getting ready for the big Christmas party—cooking and wrapping, dressing and fussing.
SCENE I - CLARA’S BEDROOM
We join Clara in her room, practicing her ballet steps in front of the mirror. She wants to be perfect when she dances for her glamourous Aunt Josephine, a singer who has traveled all the way from Montréal on the train.
SCENE II - THE CHRISTMAS PARTY
Inside the house, preparation for a holiday party are in full swing as the family, Aunt Josephine, Julien, Clara and her Godfather Drosselmeier are busy decorating a tree and dancing with glee. Finally, all that practice has paid off and Clara captivates the family with her graceful performance which includes her new Nutcracker toy.
SCENE III - CLARA’S DREAM
We see Clara’s dream of becoming the ballerina she has always wanted to be and she dances the night away with her charming Prince, the Nutcracker, who has magically come to life. Suddenly, the dream becomes a nightmare when four bat-like creatures swoop in, led by the dark magic of a wicked sorcerer.
SCENE IV - THE PARTY CONTINUES
When her dream ends, Clara joins her friend Julien, who came to the party with her Godfather Drosselmeier, who eagerly joins her for a pas de deux, making her dreams come true.
SCENE V - THE BEARS DANCE
Suddenly, two uninvited house guests Filbert and Hazel make a surprise appearance.
SCENE VI - THE BATTLE
As the clock chimes midnight, Clara finds herself surrounded by mice who scurry around her slippered feet. The Mouse King appears with his troop of mice and threatens Clara, but the handsome Nutcracker Prince comes to her rescue. In the ensuing battle, the Prince is joined by soldiers who help defend Clara from the Mouse King and his mice. In the midst of battle, the Mouse King is accidently knocked out by one of his own. Clara pleads with Godfather Drosselmeier to save her beloved Nutcracker toy from his static state and turn him into the Prince that rescued her.
SCENE VII - THE MAGICAL FOREST
Godfather Drosselmeier is understanding and compassionate to Clara’s pleading and shows his affection by whisking her into a magical dance that brings them to a winter wonderland where the snowflakes are all different but seem to move in perfect synchronicity.
SCENE VIII - THE KINGDOM
Now, we settle in to enjoy the iconic performances by the inhabitants of this magical land. At last it is Clara and the Nutcracker Prince’s turn to dance. Just as the performance comes to a close, Clara wakes up, a child once again, safe in her bed. Clara wonders if her dream was real as she dances happily with her Nutcracker.