Nutcracker Fun Facts

Helgi Tomasson's production of Nutcracker features lots of holiday magic—and some impressive stats.

The battle scene in Tomasson's Nutcracker // © Chris Hardy

In the Act I battle scene, the Stahlbaums' fireplace (above, at right) grows to 22 feet tall and 19 feet wide. For perspective, that's the size of two San Francisco cable cars stacked on top of each other.

SF Ballet's Nutcracker has more than 300 costumes—including three separate Drosselmeyer costumes—for different casts.

Val Caniparoli as Drosselmeyer in Tomasson's Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson


The ballerina doll in Act 1 has Nutcracker's heaviest costume. Her tutu weighs
18 pounds!

Lauren Parrott and Rubén Martín Cintas in Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson


Drosselmeyer also makes the Stahlbaums' Christmas tree grow to a height of 30 feet in less than two minutes. It would take a real fir tree 15 to 20 years to grow that high.

The Christmas tree growing in SF Ballet's Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson


The Snow Queen’s embellished tutu took 80 hours to make and we have five.
That’s a total of 400 hours spent creating one character’s costume.

Yuan Yuan Tan in Tomasson's Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson


In Act II, the giant Faberge eggs in the Russian dance are nine feet tall.
That’s 50 times larger than a real egg.

Francisco Mungamba in Tomasson's Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson


Explore: The Children of Nutcracker

Each year, 175 students from SF Ballet School perform onstage in Nutcracker. From the smallest Act II ladybugs to the steadfast soldiers of the Battle Scene, all the children work hard learning their steps and getting into character.

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Explore: How to Create the Perfect Ballerina Bun

A beautiful, secure hair bun is a crucial part of any ballerina’s look, from the youngest student to the professionals—and no more so than onstage in Nutcracker. We asked SF Ballet School faculty member Dana Genshaft to show how she ties the perfect “figure 8” ballerina bun for her daughter Nadia.

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