George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® by the numbers

In 2015, Pacific Northwest Ballet debuted a dazzling new Nutcracker to Seattle audiences. Featuring 154 characters with costumes handmade by over 50 artisans, as well as sets and props crafted by a team of 35, this production was no easy feat.

Learn more about the work that went into this Nutcracker, then grab tickets before we close the curtains on December 28!


That’s how much of the new Nutcracker was built here in Seattle by local craftspeople, carpenters, painters, and animators.


Gallons of paint used on the 22 painted drops in the Nutcracker scenery.


Square yards of fabric used in the creation of the scenery.


Have you seen the Party Mothers’ extravagant hairpieces? They’re collectively made out of 500 yards of tubular horsehair.


Black pompoms on the eight Polichinelle costumes. “The new costumes weren’t as itchy…these ones are way more colorful,” said one young PNB dancer.


Total petals on the flower costumes. That’s 40 handmade petals on each of the 19 skirts!


Total holes cut (by hand!) to create the lace “doily” tutus and headpieces for the Marzipan costumes.


The number of hours spent making the giant tree onstage — look for 450 lights on the 40-foot tree! (Fun fact: The tree used in George Balanchine’s 1954 production of The Nutcracker for New York City Ballet cost over $20,000, which was half of the budget for the entire ballet. That’s $180,000 in 2016!)


And finally, there is one golden tooth on the Mouse King. Can you spot it in this picture?

Don’t miss out on all the intricate details at the remaining performances of The Nutcracker. Get tickets!

Photo Credits
Original “Snow Scene” artwork by Ian Falconer, photo © Lindsay Thomas. Scene shop photo © Lindsay Thomas. PNBS student © Angela Sterling. PNB Company dancer © Lindsay Thomas. Polichinelle costume © Lindsay Thomas. Flower costume © Angela Sterling. Marzipan costume © Angela Sterling. PNBS student © Elise Bakketun. Mouse King © Angela Sterling.