Pacific Northwest Ballet & George Balanchine’s Nutcracker


I’ll be the first to admit that I am not always the biggest fan of ballet.  I like words too much to fall in love with an art form that often uses none at all.  However, ballet does  convey a story thru movement and artistry & can be enchanting in its own way, so I feel that a well-rounded culturally rich upbringing should include an occasional ballet or two.  It also helps that I happen to work at McCaw Hall, home of the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Seattle Opera, and dress rehearsal tickets are a periodic perk to my working woman grind.


Of course, no ballet is better known than the Nutcracker and the Pacific Northwest Ballet does it better than most.  From the costumes to the infamous “growing” tree, everything about the PNB Nutcracker is colorful & enchanting.  It launches the beginning of the Christmas season for many in the Seattle area and Seattleites would be hard pressed to find a more dazzling tradition elsewhere.  Though I risked the wrath of my fellow ballet goers by taking my nearly 3-year-old as my date, aside from his plethora of loudly whispered questions, he actually did surprisingly well. The scenery & sets from the Nutcracker are designed by Ian Falconer, the notable children’s author & illustrator of  Olivia the Pig series, so the entire production has a very whimsical feel to it.


The lobby of McCaw Hall is fittingly decked out during the Nutcracker season, with plenty of Instagram worthy scenes around and mouse cookies in the concession stands. With the ballet clocking in at just over two hours long with a 25 minute intermission, getting to the theater early to let the little wild ones explore and get some energy out is always a good idea.  Plus, seeing some of the props and costumes will hopefully get them excited about the show they are about to see.  I know Huck certainly couldn’t get enough of being center stage in my photo shoots as well as sneaking in to photobomb perfect strangers shots as well.  The kid likes attention I guess.



Though I may not attend the ballet every year, I do and will continue to drag my boys to see The Nutcracker in hopes that they will learn at least a little to appreciate art in all its’ forms and to marvel at the athleticism of the dancers.  Maybe someday, far away down the line, when their wives suggest a date night out at the ballet, they won’t scoff or roll their eyes but dutifully put on their best garb for a night out on the town.  For that is what going to the ballet is all about; witnessing ethereal beauty through the story of dance and conveying emotions & themes through the movement of silent bodies.  And I can rest easy knowing that their appreciation of art & beauty & passion, no matter where it takes them; it all started with those job perk dress rehearsal tickets.


Pacific Northwest Ballet & George Balanchine’s Nutcracker

Runs from the day after Thanksgiving thru the end of December

Tickets run between $25-$178

McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street

Seattle, WA 98109




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