The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition

Choreography Bengt Jörgen, C.M.
Music Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Set & Costume Design Sue LePage
Lighting Design Bonnie Beecher
Number of Dancers 16-18 company dancers, 9-11 local young dancers (9-13 roles)
Run Time 2 hours with 1 intermission

About the Performance

Holiday magic is made year after year by Ballet Jörgen’s traditional treasure The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition. Created by acclaimed choreographer and Artistic Director Bengt Jörgen to Tchaikovsky’s well-loved score, this delightful classic is a favourite that brings magic to the holidays.

Born from a collaboration with Kleinburg’s world renowned McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and with well over 100 costumes in richly coloured fabrics, The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition brings out the magic of Canada. 20th Century landscapes make up the stunning 30-foot backdrops, including Franklin Carmichael’s Church and Houses at Bisset (1931), Tom Thompson’s Snow in the Woods (1916), and L.L. Fitzgerald’s Trees and Wildflowers (1922). This is a beautiful Canadian work, and audiences are taken on Klara’s familiar, magical dream journey as she arrives in Canada and experiences winter landscapes filled with snowflakes, lumberjacks, Mounties, and creatures of the woods.

This celebration of the wonder of the season is based on the popular traditional story The Nutcracker and the King of Mice by E.T.A. Hoffman, enjoyed by audiences for years. The ballet’s second act is remembered for its celebration of varied dances, and our charming divertissements of raccoons, loons, dragonflies, and bears demonstrate Klara’s longing for the summer months as she travels excitedly through her dreams. The iconic, show-stopping pas-de-deux in the final act is lovingly danced by Lord and Lady Birch as they usher Klara safely home at the end of the adventure.

Ballet Jörgen’s Nutcracker is destined to become a national treasure that will warm the hearts of young and old alike. It is a holiday tradition that has showcased the magic of the season for years. Rediscover the joy of dance with the show that audiences flock back to again and again.



“From the seeds of the classic ballet, grows a fresh, homemade, full-length adaptation [of the Nutcracker] that fits Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s popular score like moccasins.”
– The Record, Kitchener-Waterloo

“It is a yearly tradition to take the grandchildren to a production of some kind. We are excited when the Nutcracker comes to town. I prepare the grandchildren before the performance with the music and stories related to the Nutcracker. It was a delightful surprise when your Company put a Canadian spin on the beloved tail. My granddaughter, 5, was so amazed when the Nutcracker came to life after he was placed in the stove. She believed it really happened! My grandson, 8, was amazed how it snowed on stage. I tell the children that the stage is where Magic happens. Your Company did a wonderful job bringing the magic. Thank you for a magical beginning to our holiday season.”
– M. Mossberg, Tyler & Emma, Charlottetown, PE

“I was in the audience at the Centrepointe Theatre in Ottawa Saturday afternoon for your performance of the Nutcracker. I am not generally a fan of ballet. I was no doubt one of many parents who brought their children (a daughter age 7 in my case) without expectation for themselves. I was stunned by the quality of the presentation. The Group of Seven backdrops, the costumes, the choreography….all brilliant. The dancing was well executed, and seemed to have an enthusiasm I didn’t expect. It will no doubt help maintain her enthusiasm for her dance lessons too. Well done. Bravo/brava. Thank you all so much.”
– J. Finlay, Ottawa, ON

“Nutcracker soars… the ballet was distinguished for its imaginative choreography”
– The Brunswick, Saint John