THE NUTCRACKER BALLET – Billings Symphony Skip to content


Purple border

Classic Series


Nov 30, 2024


Nov 30, 2024


Dec 1, 2024


Alberta Bair Theater

2801 3rd Ave N


San Diego Ballet, guest artist
Billings School of Classical Ballet, guest artist

Kick off your holidays with Billings’ favorite Thanksgiving weekend tradition! Join young Clara, Billings Symphony musicians, and a cast of more than 100 performers on a dreamlike adventure amid larger-than-life scenery, magical toy soldiers, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes, and a glistening Christmas tree.

  • The Nutcracker premiered in St. Petersburg in 1892 - "The Nutcracker" ballet premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on December 18, 1892. It was performed along with Tchaikovsky's one-act opera "Iolanta."

  • Two Different Choreographers Created "The Nutcracker". Choreographer Petipa became ill during the creation of "The Nutcracker" and withdrew. His assistant of seven years, Lev Ivanov, took his place and completed the choreography. Though Ivanov's style of dance differed from Petipa, it was hardly noticeable, as Petipa left strict guidelines for Ivanov to follow.

  • The First Full-Length Production Was in the U.S. The Christmas ballet was first performed outside of Russia in England in 1934, but the full-length production first appeared in the United States in 1944 at the San Francisco Opera Ballet under the direction of William Christensen.


Guest artist


Founded in 1990 by Robin Morgan, the San Diego Ballet features strong classical and contemporary ballets created by award-winning resident choreographer and Artistic Director, Javier Velasco. San Diego Ballet strives to truly represent San Diego with its diverse programming and by collaborating with esteemed organizations including the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, Colleges and Universities, San Diego Culture Shock, and San Diego Dance Theater among others. SDB has been voted #1 dance troupe by The Reader’s Poll of the San Diego Union-Tribune and is the only Nutcracker in San Diego included in CBS-Los Angeles’ top picks of “So Cal’s 5 Best Nutcrackers!” San Diego Ballet is thankful for the Billings Symphony Orchestra for helping to make Big Sky Country their Thanksgiving weekend holiday tradition.


Javier Velasco has supplied dances for productions at the La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, and has a long-standing relationship with the San Diego Repertory Theatre, where he has staged productions of A Christmas Carol, Cabaret, Hairspray, Tommy, In The Heights, and many others. He has enjoyed many long creative relationships, having worked with: Luis Valdez on the 20th Anniversary production of Zoot Suit, Bandido, and Corridos.; composer Steve Gunderson on the premieres of Suds (NYC) Dixie Highway, Back To Bacharach And David (NYC) and the dance/theatre piece The Brontes/Secret Pleasures, Secret Tears; and Douglas Jacobs and Sam Woodhouse, founding directors of the San Diego Rep. He currently serves as artistic director of the San Diego Ballet, having created over 70 original pieces for the company since its inception, including 10 pieces in collaboration with composer David Burge, to commissioned scores. His ballet set to the poems of Kenneth Fearing, Love: 20 Cents The First Quarter Mile, was given the award for Best Choreography by the San Diego Area Dance Alliance, the third time he was honored by the organization. Most recently, Mr. Velasco wrote and directed The Toughest Girl Alive, which premiered at Moxie Theatre and had a successful run at the New York International Fringe Festival. Mr. Velasco was recently awarded a Creative Catalyst Fellowship by the San Diego Foundation to create new work.