The ballet draws on all the imagination and fantasy of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story of supernatural adventures on Christmas eve, when young Clara comes downstairs to look for one of her presents, but instead finds herself at the start of a night of magical adventures.

In The Royal Ballet’s version, Lev Ivanov’s choreography is reinterpreted by Peter Wright in Julia Trevelyan Oman’s nostalgic designs, while the orchestral score is one of Tchaikovsky’s most familiar and tuneful. It is in turn whimsical with the party guests, mysterious with Dr Drosselmeyer, innocently romantic with Clara and her soldier toy and beguiling in the special treats of the celebratory dance display in the Sugar Garden. Whether it is your first visit or a return trip to a ballet favourite, The Nutcracker is always a treat – and treats are just what Christmas time is for.

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