Company dancers perform the Waltz of the Flowers. (Angela Sterling)

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Spend your holidays with PNB! See “The Nutcracker,” with Tchaikovsky’s cherished score played live by the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, the brilliant dancing of PNB dancers, Ian Falconer’s scenery and costumes, and Seattle Center’s McCaw Hall all dressed up for the holidays.

While a few minutes of stage time sounds like a far cry from full day, the demands of "The Nutcracker” are the most exacting of a season for many dancers.

Keeping 154 costumes (per show) fresh and performance-ready is a big job, which requires a crackerjack team – and a surprising amount of alcohol.

One "tacked" tutu, so named because all the layers of tulle are tacked together by hand, is estimated to take about 100 hours of labor to create.

In 2020 and into 2021, major ballet companies across the country pivoted to digital or hybrid performances, as did several dance companies in Seattle.

As arts groups prepare to revive holiday traditions in person, they face challenges unique to each performance.

Student dancers balance a busy rehearsal and performance schedule with schoolwork and their regular ballet training.

The iconic music plays as important a role in the show as the dancing itself.

Every dancer steps on stage with hair in place and perfect makeup that won’t melt under the bright lights.

Dancers reveal how they balance shows, rehearsals, holidays and everyday life during ‘Nutcracker’ season.

It takes a big crew (and a lot of tulle and jewels) to make a ballet sparkle.

PNB shares trade secrets on the role of Clara in George Balanchine’s 'The Nutcracker.' (Hint: It’s more than just candy canes and snowflakes.)

Costumes, set design and labor – three vital components of bringing a holiday tradition to the Northwest.

Effects combine to help audience experience a convincing winter wonderland indoors.