Montana Ballet stages lavish Nutcracker

Nearly 100 dancers take the stage Dec. 1-2 in Bozeman and Dec. 3 in Big Sky

On Stage
Clara and her Nutcracker doll
Clara holds her beloved Nutcracker doll in Montana Ballet’s production.

Montana Ballet Company (MBC), under the direction of Elizabeth DeFanti, stages its 34th annual production of The Nutcracker, at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Willson Auditorium in Bozeman.

Montana Ballet welcomes back guest artists Rachel Van Buskirk and Christian Clark, principal dancers with Terminus Modern Ballet Theater. Both artists have notable careers and have danced professionally throughout the United States and abroad.

They will share the stage with MBC’s own company dancers and nearly 100 dancers from the community. Also featured in the cast is Soren Kisiel, co-director of Broad Comedy, who will once again dance the role of Drosselmeyer.

MBC’s production of The Nutcracker, set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, is one of the largest artistic collaborations in the region. The production features the work of accomplished dancers, local and national level choreographers, guest artists, live musicians, seasoned stage technicians, lighting and costume designers and a host of dedicated volunteers. Audiences will delight in new and exciting choreography and theatrical elements.

The Bozeman Symphony will again provide live music, conducted by guest artist and Belgrade native Maestro Lee Mills, resident conductor of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and winner of the Solti Foundation U.S. 2014 Career Assistance Award.

For Nutcracker tickets contact the Montana Ballet Company at 406-582-8702 or order online at Ticket prices range from $15-$55, with a $2 service fee for day-of-show sales; all seats are reserved.

This production is generously underwritten by: Tim and Mary Barnard, the Gilhousen Family Foundation, the Montana Arts Council’s Public Value Partnership, and the Steinmuller Family Charitable Fund.

Montana Ballet Nutcracker in Big Sky

Montana Ballet also takes its production on the road to Big Sky Dec. 3. Show time is 4 p.m. at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center; tickets are $15-$35. Learn more at