Ballet music by Tchaikovsky, Choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.
Original story 1816 by Prussian author E. T. A. Hoffmann adapted by Alexandre Dumas'.
It is Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum house -- A large and grand house with the most beautiful tree imaginable. The Stahlbaums are hosting their annual Christmas party, welcoming the arrival of their family and friends. The children, Clara and Fritz, are dancing and playing as they welcome their friends too.
The party grows festive with music and dance as godfather Drosselmeyer arrives. He is a skilled clock and toy maker and always full of surprises. Drosselmeyer draws everyone's attention with the gift of several life-size dolls. They are the delight of the party, each taking a turn to dance.
The children begin to open gifts when Drosselmeyer presents his to Clara and Fritz. He gives Clara a beautiful Nutcracker that becomes the hit of the party. Fritz becomes jealous and grabs the nutcracker from Clara and promptly breaks it. Clara is heartbroken looking on as Drosselmeyer quickly attempts to repair the Nutcracker.
As the evening grows late, the guests depart and the Stahlbaum family retires for the evening.
As the clock strikes midnight strange things begin to happen. Clara begins shrinking as her beautiful Christmas tree grows high above her. The toys around the tree come to life while the room fills with an army of mice, led by the fierce Mouse King. As the Nutcracker awakens, he leads his army of toy soldiers into battle with the mice. The Mouse King corners the Nutcracker and battles him one-on-one. The Nutcracker seems to be no match for the Mouse King.
The Land of Snow
The Nutcracker turns into a Prince and takes Clara on a journey to the Land of Snow, an enchanted forest wonderland where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes.
The Land of Sweets
The Prince escorts Clara to the Land of Sweets where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Prince tells her about their daring battle with the army of mice and she rewards them with a celebration of dances.
The Spanish Dance
The Arabian Dance
The Russian Dance
The Chinese Dance
The Mirliton Dance
The Waltz of Flowers
As a finale, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier dance a beautiful Pas De Deux.
The Dream Ends
Clara awakens from her dream and finds herself by her Christmas tree with her beloved Nutcracker.