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New York City Ballet will open its annual season of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® on Friday, November 26 at 8 p.m. at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The 2021 season of the holiday classic, sponsored by The Travelers Companies, Inc., will include 47 performances through Sunday, January 2, 2022.

Set to Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky’s score, NYCB’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® features choreography by Balanchine, scenery by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, costumes by Karinska, and lighting by Mark Stanley, after the original lighting design by Ronald Bates. The production features the Company’s entire roster of dancers and musicians, as well as two alternating casts of children from the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet.

As previously announced, and in keeping with current New York City mandates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, all employees of the New York City Ballet, including its performers, are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to work onsite at Lincoln Center. For performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, this will include the SAB students appearing in the production. As children under the age of 12 are currently not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine per FDA and CDC guidelines, this year only students 12 or older who are fully vaccinated will be permitted to perform in the production.

Audience members, 12 years of age or older attending performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® will need to present proof of vaccination to be admitted to the theater. Children under the age of 12, and those who are not able to be vaccinated because of a medical reason or sincerely held religious belief, will be permitted to attend performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® with proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the performance.

As a further tool to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, NYCB will require proper mask usage for all patrons, regardless of age or vaccination status, at all New York City Ballet performances.

Additional safety measures that will be in place at the David H. Koch Theater will include an upgraded auditorium ventilation system, rigorous cleaning and sanitation protocols, and a contactless entrance experience,

In addition, up until noon on the day of performance NYCB will offer audience members the opportunity to exchange their tickets or receive refunds for performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® free of charge.

Given the complexities of the situation and the continuing evolution of government and medical guidelines and requirements around the COVID-19 pandemic, NYCB will continue to evaluate these protocols and make adjustments as needed. For updates on the most current safety protocols visit nycballet.com/safety. For questions contact customercare@nycballet.com.

Tickets for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® will go on sale to the general public on Monday, October 11 at nycballet.com, by phone at (212) 496-0600, and in-person at the theater box office, The David H. Koch Theater is located on the Lincoln Center Plaza at Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street.



New York City Ballet’s (NYCB) acclaimed production of Balanchine’s masterpiece, which premiered on February 2, 1954, helped to establish The Nutcracker and its score as perennial favorites in the United States, evident by the now countless versions of the ballet performed all over the country. With the exception of the 2020 season when performances could not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NYCB’s beloved production has been performed in New York City every year since its premiere, and is seen by more than 100,000 people annually. Highlights of this world-renowned holiday production include a one-ton Christmas tree that grows from 12 to 40 feet, an onstage snowstorm, and hundreds of elaborate costumes. The production’s grand finale involves one million watts of lighting, the most used in any New York City Ballet production.

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