Montana Ballet Company stages opulent Nutcracker

Guest artists from New York City Ballet add to 36th annual production, Dec. 7-8

On Stage

For the past 36 years during the Christmas Stroll weekend in downtown Bozeman, Montana Ballet Company (MBC) has presented an opulent rendition of The Nutcracker. First performed in the lobby of First Security Bank, MBC’s Nutcracker has become a cherished holiday tradition for countless performers and their families and friends, as well as the thousands of audience members who share in the experience year after year.

This year, The Nutcracker will be performed at the Willson Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 7, and Sunday, Dec. 8. “Each and every cast has its own special energy and gifts, breathing fresh life into this historic ballet. No two productions are the same,” notes MBC Artistic Executive Director Elizabeth DeFanti.

Clara and her Nutcracker doll prepare for their adventures.
Clara and her Nutcracker doll prepare for Tea With Clara, served Nov. 24, and the Nutcracker, Dec. 7-8.

The company welcomes exceptional guest artists from the world-renowned New York City Ballet, Sebastián Villarini-Vélez and Indiana Woodward, who perform the celebrated roles of Snow King and Queen and Sugar Plum and her Cavalier. Villarini-Vélez and Woodward will share the stage with Soren Kisiel, co-director of Broad Comedy, MBC’s own company dancers, and more than 100 dancers from the community.

Another highlight of this charming production is the live orchestra. Maestro Lee Mills, associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony and winner of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award in both 2014 and 2017, will conduct the Bozeman Symphony in Tchaikovsky’s beloved score.

Celebrating 36 years in Bozeman, MBC’s production of The Nutcracker is one of the largest artistic collaborations in the region, featuring the talents of master choreographers, distinguished guest artists, accomplished dancers, live musicians, seasoned stage technicians, costume and lighting designers, and a host of dedicated volunteers.

Tickets are $20-$60 and available from the Montana Ballet Company at 406-582-8702 or online at All seating is reserved (a $2 service fee will be added for “day of show” sales).

Tea with Clara: Nov. 24

As a festive prelude to performances, Montana Ballet Company will host two High Teas with Clara at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, at the Rockin’ TJ Ranch. Many other characters from The Nutcracker will join Clara at the tea, which is served by Café M.

This popular event for families and children includes performance excerpts from The Nutcracker. Tickets are $20, with sponsorship tables available. For reservations, visit or call Montana Ballet Company at 406-582-8702.