City Ballet Raleigh is pleased to present the 25th annual performance of Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker', our much-anticipated hallmark of the holiday season. We perform a full length, richly costumed and staged version of the ballet, featuring guest artists from Carolina Ballet. City Ballet Raleigh's 'The Nutcracker' promises to be a truly exciting production, one able to conjure up the magic of the season for young and old alike. Who knows, it may even start a new holiday tradition for your family.

Nutcracker Raleigh

Three Ways to Purchase @ NC State Ticket Central
Box Office Hours: Monday-Friday 1:00pm-6:00pm


In person: main floor lobby, Thompson Hall
By phone: (919) 515-1100

About "The Nutcracker"

The treasured story begins on Christmas Eve in Victorian Germany, as Clara celebrates the holiday with her family and friends. Her magician Godfather entertains the festive gathering with life-size dancing dolls, and presents Clara with a magical nutcracker that, late that night, comes to her rescue in a battle with the Mouse Queen and her mice minions. When the mice are defeated Godfather Drosselmeier re-appears and transforms the Nutcracker into a handsome prince. Together, the Nutcracker Prince and Clara travel through through the snowy pine forest and the starry night to the beautiful Kingdom of Sweets, where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. Surrounded by colorful confections, including ribbon candy, gingerbread cookies and candy canes, the Sugar Plum Fairy rewards Clara for her bravery against the Mice with a celebration. Beautiful dancers, who represent many kinds of sweets and people, dance in her honor. These dance variations include Polichinelles that somersault out from underneath Mother Ginger's skirt. Hot Chocolate (Spanish Dancers), Marzipan Flutes, Coffee (Arabian dancers), Tea (Chinese Dancers), Russian dancers and Icing Flowers. And before the night is over, the Sugar Plum Fairy dances a beautiful Pas De Deux with her Cavalier. Come watch the magic as the Christmas tree grows 20 feet tall, the toy soldiers come to life to battle the evil mice, and the Snow Queen and her Snowflakes dance amid real falling snow. Lavishly staged, City Ballet Raleigh's cast of professional dancers and selected dance students offers a must see Nutcracker production this Holiday Season.


City Ballet Raleigh is privileged to have the following Carolina Ballet dancers this year:

Ashley Hathaway

Sugarplum Fairy

Ashley is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. She began her ballet training at the Raleigh School of Ballet continued her high school training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. While at UNCSA, Ms. Hathaway had the opportunity to perform Balanchine's first movement of Serenade at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. She has also spent several summers at the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Jacob's Pillow.

Marcelo Martinez


Marcelo was born in Paraguay where he began his ballet training. He continued his training in Brazil at the Centro de Dance’ Rio and was accepted at age 17 into the company of Jovem do Teatro Mumicipal do Rio De Janeiro. He danced with the company for four years before joining Washington Ballet. He danced with Washington Ballet for three seasons before coming to Carolina Ballet in July 2007.

Nikolai Smirnov


Nikolai was born in the Soviet Union and came to the United States when he was 11. He immediately began studying dance at the School of American Ballet in New York City and danced in George Balanchine's Nutcracker as a young boy. While at SAB he studied under Olga Kostritsky, Peter Boal, Jock Soto and Andrei Kramarevsky among others. In 2010 he was promoted to Soloist. Prior to coming to Carolina Ballet, he danced with Sarasota Ballet of Florida.