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Photo courtesy: Texas Ballet Theater

It’s not the holiday season without The Nutcracker. The Texas Ballet Theater officially opened its production last week in Dallas at the Winspear Opera House — folks can get up close and personal with the sugar plum fairies from December 2 to 4 at the Opera House or from December 8 to 24 at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.

North Texas’ most acclaimed Nutcracker production is the masterpiece of Texas Ballet Theater’s Artistic Director Ben Stevenson, who said, “When Christmas comes around, to me, it is always a family celebration. There’s the tree, gifts, turkey, and what could be more appropriate than The Nutcracker? It’s an American tradition that we all treasure.”

The Nutcracker is the story of a girl named Clara who receives a mysterious Nutcracker from her godfather, which then becomes the central theme for the girl’s astonishing dream. She travels to The Kingdom of Sweets where she is treated to a celebration of delicacies from around the world. Along with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic score, flying carpets, snow and The Texas Ballet Theater’s dancers, the show is a delight.

Rene Murphy, Marketing Director for the Texas Ballet Theater, said there are no changes to the Nutcracker production this year.

Beginning its North Texas run in 2003, Murphy said the ballet is much loved in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

“Texas Ballet Theater’s Nutcracker is a family favorite because of its wonderful humor, beautiful sets and costumes, elegant classical dance and holiday tradition,” Murphy said.

With 25 Nutcracker performances this season, there are also some staggering behind-the-scenes numbers that include 400,000 watts of electricity for each performance, a $10,000 cost for the Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutus, 200 costumes in the production, 50 pounds of dry ice per performance, 45 stagehands, 17 loads of laundry after each performance, five crew members required to make the Angel, Swan and Carpet magically fly, four snow machines on the rooftop and at least three pairs of shoes per dancer each week of the performances.

The Texas Ballet Theater has more than 40 professional dancers performing five to six roles each in The Nutcracker. Dancers rehearse up to six hours per day in preparation for this annual production. The wardrobe department stays busy preparing and begins the costume refurbishing and repair on June 1 each year, spending up to 300 hours stitching one tutu.

With a 55-year local history, The Texas Ballet Theater is the only fully professional classical ballet company in North Texas and serves as resident company for Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth and AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas.

The Nutcracker opened Friday, November 25 at Winspear Opera House, and runs through December 24 at Bass Performance Hall. Tickets range in price from $20 to $180 and can be purchased at or by calling the TBT ticketing office at 877.828.9200 option 1.


Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker at the Winspear Opera House

2403 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201

  • Friday, December 2, 8PM
  • Saturday, December 3, 2PM and 8PM
  • Sunday, December 4, 2PM


Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker at Bass Performance Hall

525 Commerce St, Fort Worth, TX 76102

  • Friday, December 9, 8PM
  • Saturday, December 10, 2PM and 8PM
  • Sunday, December 11, 2PM and 7PM
  • Thursday, December 15, 7PM
  • Saturday, December 17, 2PM and 8PM
  • Sunday, December 18, 2PM and 7PM
  • Wednesday, December 21, 2PM and 7PM
  • Thursday, December 22, 2PM and 7PM
  • Friday, December 23, 2PM and 8PM
  • Saturday, December 24, 2PM