'Tis the Season: Holiday Dreams Come True

American Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker Returns to Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the return of its popular tradition – American Ballet Theatre’s captivating production of The Nutcracker. 

Co-presented by the Center and ABT with choreography by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, The Nutcracker is the beloved holiday story based on The Nutcracker and the King of Mice written by E.T.A. Hoffmann and set to a magical score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky.

In its annual holiday engagement, American Ballet Theatre will give 12 performances between December 10 through December 19 in Segerstrom Hall.  This year marks the 6th time that The Center has presented ABT’s The Nutcracker, Southern California’s grandest production of this beloved holiday tradition. This Nutcracker features ABT’s international all-star cast.

American Ballet Theatre has a long, storied history of producing several critically acclaimed productions of this annual family-friendly classic tale of Clara and the Nutcracker over the years (previous versions were by Mikhail Baryshnikov and ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie). The Nutcracker, with its timeless music by Tchaikovsky and fairytale costumes and exotic dances, is the perfect way to introduce children to dance and even inspire them to study dance and become a little Clara or Nutcracker Prince.

As the lights dim and Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score fills the air, young Clara enters a dreamlike journey amid magical toy soldiers, mischievous mice, sparkling snowflakes, and a glittering Christmas tree!

With an impressive cast of more than 100 performers, ABT’s The Nutcracker features scenery and costumes by Tony Award® winning designer Richard Hudson (Disney’s The Lion King).  Lighting for the production is by Tony Award® winner Jennifer Tipton. 

The Los Angeles Times said, “Choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has made his own Christmas miracle: a joyful “Nutcracker” ballet that is ravishing and clever enough to inspire multiple viewings … in ‘Waltz of the Flowers,’ Busby Berkeley-esque waves of complex human patterns make this waltz one of the most astounding and beautiful you’ll ever see … in all its wondrousness, an unreserved classic.”

The New York Times said, “Mr. Ratmansky here is an enchanting storyteller, but his is among the most original, fascinating for children and adults alike. A production like no other, made with complete theatrical authority from first to last.”

This engagement of The Nutcracker begins a new three-year partnership of the co-presented annual production of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker and continues with World and West Coast Premieres and engagements each spring through 2024 combining the resources of America’s National Ballet Company® and one of the nation’s leading presenters of dance.

Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker start at $30 and are now available online at, at the Box office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling (714) 556-2787.  For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services offices at (714)755-0236.

"In its annual holiday engagement, American Ballet Theatre will give 12 performances between December 10 through December 19 in Segerstrom Hall."

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