Are you ready for a holiday performance of The Nutcracker? Here’s a list of where to find them across Colorado

Courtesy of Mike Watson
Artists of the Colorado Ballet in the Act II Finale of “The Nutcracker.”

Updated at 4:53 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023

The two-act ballet "The Nutcracker" follows a family's Christmas Eve feast and a young girl's late-night awakening to love and the world.

Moscow's Imperial Theatres director Ivan Vsevolozhsky commissioned the Tchaikovsky composition and Marius Petipa choreography in 1891, and the dance premiered in 1892. Western dance companies' 1940s renditions made the Nutcracker a seasonal classic. 

The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a has eight of the ballet's most famous pieces from 1892. The suite was an instant hit, but it took another half century for the ballet to become a Christmas institution.

Performances of this ballet are a holiday tradition for families across the world.

You can see it this year in Colorado from these companies:

Denver area

Belliston Ballet's 

An 'all youth' production of the Nutcracker, the Belliston Ballet stars students from throughout the Denver area, ranging in age from 8 to 18. Performances are Nov. 24 - 26 at DU’s Newman Center.

The Dance Conservatory of Denver 

This year’s performances of The Children's Nutcracker, a shortened version of the ballet, with a young cast and cheery animations, will be held at Lakewood Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 25 and 26.

Colorado Ballet 

The Colorado Ballet’s performance is the largest Nutcracker production in the state. Dancers are accompanied by its orchestra performing Tchaikovsky's arrangement live. The show also features the company’s custom-made sets and costumes, which debuted in 2021. The company has 28 performances this holiday season, including a matinee with sensory-friendly adaptations on Sunday, Nov. 26. Performances are from Nov. 25 - Dec. 24 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Colorado Conservatory of Dance

The conservatory has been putting on performances of the full-length Nutcracker since 1993. Performances Dec. 9 & 10 and 16 & 17 at the Performing Arts Complex at Pinnacle Charter School in Federal Heights, with a sensory-friendly show on Friday, Dec. 15.

Parker Arts and Denver Ballet Theatre

This Nutcracker, presented by Parker Arts and Denver Ballet Theatre offers eight performances between Dec. 14 and Dec. 19 at the PACE Center in Parker.

Littleton Youth Ballet

The Nutcracker features a cast of over 140 children, pre-professional dancers, and guest artists. Shows run from Dec. 15 to 17 at the Joanna Ramsey Theatre in Westminster.

Ballet Melange 

The group provides a creative outlet for young dancers pursuing successful careers. Young Classical Ballet Academy students perform with Ballet Melange and other professionals in The Nutcracker, with European costumes and Nutcracker projection designs. Performances are Dec. 15 - 17 at Lakewood Cultural Center.

The 5 Points Nutcracker: A Jazz Experience

The 5 Points Nutcracker celebrates the cultural diversity of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, sometimes known as "The Harlem of the West," by putting a modern spin on the holiday classic. Larea Edwards (The Flobots and Deep Pocket Thieves) transforms classic Nutcracker characters, drawing parallels to local Five Points legends, presenting a Christmas narrative deeply rooted in the African-American experience. Performances Dec. 22 and 23 at the Savoy Denver.

NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet

Elite artists from all over the world, including Ukraine, Tokyo, Italy, Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Germany, and more, have performed with this traveling ballet group. Performing at the Denver’s Paramount Theatre Dec. 23 and 24.

Northern Colorado

Boulder Ballet 

This version brings in the Christmas season at three locations, in Boulder, Longmont and Estes Park. The performances at CU’s Macky Auditorium include a cast of more than 80, including the professional company and young student dancers with the Boulder Philharmonic. 


Nov. 24 – 26 at Macky Auditorium with the Boulder Phil

Dec. 2 - 3 at Vance Brand Auditorium with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra

Dec. 10  Stanley Hotel, Estes Park

Canyon Concert Ballet

The holiday classic The Nutcracker will be performed by Canyon Concert Ballet and the Fort Collins Symphony. Performances at The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins on Dec. 7 - 10, or travel north to see it at Cheyenne Civic Center in Cheyenne on Dec. 16.

Colorado Dance Theatre

The Nutcracker staging by Colorado Dance Theatre features dancers from various studios across Northern Colorado accompanied by musicians from CDT's in-house orchestra, led by Russell Guyver, and  the Greeley Children's Chorale. Dec. 8 - 10 at the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley.

Centennial State Ballet 

This staging of the Nutcracker features aspiring professionals, academy students, and special guests. Two performances on Dec. 16 and one on Dec. 17 at the Niwot High School Auditorium.

Dance with Georgia

The inaugural production of "Brown Sugar Nutcracker" is an adaptation of the holiday classic, featuring a more inclusive array of dance styles alongside ballet. They include belly dance, samba, hip hop and salsa. It will feature a mix of professional performers and musicians with multi-generational community members as cast from an open audition. It will be presented at the Junkyard Social Club on Dec. 15-16 and at the Dairy Arts Center on Dec. 17.

Southern Colorado

The Colorado Springs Philharmonic 

This production includes the Oklahoma City Ballet and the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, with student dancers from the Pikes Peak region. Performances from Nov. 24 - 26 at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts. 

World Ballet Series

The Nutcracker, a part of the World Ballet Series, showcases a diverse cast of 50 professional ballet dancers, who come together to breathe new life into this classic holiday tradition. The one-day performance takes place at Pueblo Memorial Hall on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.

The Colorado Ballet Society and Colorado Youth Ballet 

A Colorado Nutcracker reimagines the ballet to bring Colorado Springs' history to life. Step back in time and experience a 1907 Christmas Eve celebration at the Glen Eyrie home of Gen. William J. Palmer, one of the city's illustrious founding families. Young Clara, an orphan visitor, receives an enchanted Nutcracker doll from Nikola Tesla, inventor extraordinaire and special guest at the party. This 75-minute family-friendly production features the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, with Thomas Wilson conducting, at the Pikes Peak Center on Dec. 19 - 20.

Courtesy of Greg Hughes
Herr Drosselmeyer in the Canyon City Ballet's "The Nutcracker."

Mountains and Western Slope

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet's The Nutcracker

Boston Ballet principal dancers, Haley Schwan and Patrick Yocum, join a cast of performers from around the country for this show.


Dec. 8 - 10 at the Aspen District Theater

Dec. 16 - 17 at Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe

NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet

Elite artists from all over the world, including Ukraine, Tokyo, Italy, Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Germany, and more, have performed with this traveling ballet group. Showing in Grand Junction at the Avalon Theater on Dec. 13.

Colorado West Performing Arts Company 

The Grand Junction-based professional ballet company, Colorado West Performing Arts, presents The Nutcracker on Dec. 16 - 23 at the Robinson Theatre.