Arts & Culture

S.F. Ballet returns to the stage with the ‘Nutcracker’

Hansuke Yamamoto in Helgi Tomasson's Nutcracker. Photo: Erik Tomasson - COURTESY S.F. BALLET

Nothing says the holidays quite like the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker. This year’s production is particularly special because it marks the ballet’s return to the stage for in-person performances after 21 months as the city emerges from Covid restrictions. 

The company has a long history with Tchaikovsky’s ballet, staging the first American production in 1944. Helgi Tomasson’s production premiered in 2004, and is set in San Francisco during the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. It includes a backdrop of the city’s famous Victorian houses, in addition to scenes from the exposition, making it a wonderful tribute to San Francisco.

“I wanted to capture the hope, progress, and civic pride felt by San Franciscans following the 1906 earthquake,” says Tomasson. We’re approaching this year’s Nutcracker and the 2022 Season in a similar spirit.” 

San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, 201 Van Ness Avenue, 29 performances and related programming Dec. 10–30; 415-865-2000,

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