December 8-10 & 15-17, 2023 at DeVos Performance Hall

Share in the classic holiday tradition with Grand Rapids Ballet as we present The Nutcracker at DeVos Performance Hall! Become a part of the magic as Grand Rapids Ballet Company Dancers grace the stage performing choreography by Val Caniparoli before an immersive set imagined by Chris Van Allsburg and designed by world-famous Eugene Lee. Enjoy Tchaikovsky’s renowned score played by the Grand Rapids Symphony as you follow Clara as she receives a magical Nutcracker from her uncle, Herr Drosselmeier, which takes her on an adventure through the land of the sweets. Become mesmerized as Clara fights off impending mice in a battle alongside brave soldiers and explores the enchanting land with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her gallant Cavalier. After they enjoy a celebration with Spanish Chocolate, Chinese Tea, Arabian Spices, French Pastilles, and many more newfound friends, Clara awakens at home, questioning if the magic is real or if it was all just a dream. 

The Nutcracker is generously sponsored by Foster Swift and Meijer.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Evening performance at 7:30 p.m. | Get Tickets

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Matinee performance at 2 p.m. | Get Tickets

Clara’s Nutcracker Party | Sunday, December 10, 2023

Grand Rapids Ballet is thrilled to host a one-of-a-kind holiday celebration, made just for kids! Clara’s Nutcracker Party, taking place Sunday, December 10, 2023, is a joyous event where your child can meet their favorite characters from Grand Rapids Ballet’s The Nutcracker in a fun and festive fantasy land!

Get Tickets

Friday, December 15, 2023

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Sunday, December 17, 2023


Val Caniparoli

Val Caniparoli



Val Caniparoli’s versatility has made him one of the most sought-after American choreographers internationally.

He has contributed to the repertoires of more than 50 dance companies, including Finnish National Ballet, BalletMet, BalletX, Kansas City Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet West (resident choreographer 1993-97), Washington Ballet, Israel Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, State Theatre Ballet of South Africa, and Tulsa Ballet, (resident choreographer 2001-06). One of his most popular ballets, Lambarena, was nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 1997 for Best Choreography and was also featured on Sesame Street with dancers Lorena Feijoo and Lorna Feijoo.

Chris Van Allsburg

Chris Van Allsburg

Set Imagination


Chris Van Allsburg, a Grand Rapids native, is an American illustrator and writer of children’s books. He has won two Caldecott Medals for U.S. picture book illustration, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, both of which he also wrote; both were later adapted as successful motion pictures.

Eugene Lee

Eugene Lee

Set Design


Eugene Lee is a Tony Award-winning set designer who was born and raised in Wisconsin. He received BFA degrees from Carnegie Mellon and the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Yale School of Drama. His famed set designs include The Nutcracker, Sweeney Todd, Candide, Showboat, Ragtime, Wicked, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Glengarry Glen Ross, among others.

Peter Tchaikovsky

Peter Tchaikovsky



Peter (Pyotr) Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was a Russian composer whose works included symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, and chamber music. Tchaikovsky was born on May 7th, 1840 in Votkinsk, a small town in the Russian Empire. He displayed exceptional musical ability from an early age, improvising at the piano and composing his first song in 1844, aged four. Tchaikovsky persuaded his father that music was his future and he began composition lessons with Anton Rubinstein in 1861. Between 1871 and 1876 he produced a series of great works, including Swan Lake (1876) and the First Piano Concerto (1875), which established him as Russia’s leading composer. By 1887, he was conducting his own music to great acclaim and producing such works as the Sixth Symphony, the ‘Pathetique’ in 1893 (the year of his death), and the ballets The Sleeping Beauty (1890) and The Nutcracker (1892).

Patricia Barker

Patricia Barker

Costume Design | Former GRB Artistic Director


Patricia Barker was born in Richland, Washington, USA, where she received her early ballet training. She later studied on scholarship at Boston Ballet School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. At age 17, she joined Pacific Northwest Ballet, under the directorship of Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, and quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. Barker became Artistic Director of Grand Rapids Ballet and Director of the Grand Rapids Ballet School in 2010. She curated a compelling and dynamic repertoire ranging from full length classical ballets such as Petipa’s Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, to neo-classical masterworks including Balanchine’s Serenade and Four Temperaments, Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs and Taylor’s Company B. Barker was appointed as the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Artistic Director in June 2017.


Grand Rapids Ballet is thrilled to host a one-of-a-kind holiday celebration made just for kids! Clara’s Nutcracker Party, taking place Sunday, December 10, 2023, is a joyous event where your child can meet their favorite characters from Grand Rapids Ballet’s The Nutcracker in a fun and festive fantasy land! This incredible holiday experience includes:

  • – Fun arts and crafts activities
  • – Brunch to please children and adults, including festive desserts and mimosas for 21+!
  • – A live performance by Grand Rapids Ballet School

Guests are encouraged to join us following Clara’s Nutcracker Party for a matinee performance of The Nutcracker right next door at DeVos Performance Hall.





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