Atlanta Ballet Gennadi Nedvigin | Artistic Director

Atlanta Ballet Gennadi Nedvigin | Artistic Director

The Nutcracker

The Carlos Family in Honor of Thalia N. Carlos Presents

The Nutcracker

Illustration by T. Dylan Moore.

December 4-29, 2021 The Carlos Family in Honor of Thalia N. Carlos Presents The Nutcracker

  • Choreography by Yuri Possokhov
  • Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Conductor Ari Pelto
  • Performed by Atlanta Ballet Orchestra
  • Scenic design by Tom Pye
  • Costume design by Sandra Woodall
  • Lighting design by David Finn
  • Video design by Finn Ross
  • Props and Set Decoration by Faye Armon-Troncoso

One year past its intended Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre debut, Atlanta Ballet will make its long-anticipated return to the theatre stage to present Yuri Possokhov’s The Nutcracker. Described as “one of the most entertaining [Nutcrackers] out there” by The Washington Post following the Company’s 2019 Washington D.C. debut at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, this innovative production features larger-than-life sets and bold costumes enhanced by striking video projections, created by a world-class creative team that includes Tony Award-winning and -nominated designers. As one of the top major performing arts facilities in the metro Atlanta Area, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is the perfect fit for this ultra-high-tech production. 

The Nutcracker FAQs


Performance Photos

  • Venue
    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

    The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is the first major performing arts facility built in metro Atlanta in four decades.

    The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is located in northwest Atlanta near the junction of I-75 and I-285, at the intersection of Cobb Galleria Parkway and Akers Mill Road. Click here for parking, dining, hotel, and additional venue information.

    Emergency Phone Number
    The 24-hour public safety number for the Cobb Energy Centre is 770.916.2911. Please leave your seat location with your babysitter or answering service so that the house manager may find you in case of an emergency.

    Special Needs
    The venue is ADA compliant. Designated seats in various locations are available for guests with disabilities and those needing special assistance. The venue is equipped with wheelchair accessible courtesy phones, elevators, plaza ramps, wheelchair accessible ticket windows, and wheelchair accessible drinking fountains.  For more information, please call 770.916.2800.

  • Group Discounts

    It only takes 10 people to benefit from Atlanta Ballet's Group Sales program.  With our fast, friendly, and convenient service, you can secure the best seats in the house in no time at all. Groups save up to 25% on regular prices!

    Click here for details and to submit a request to Associate Director of Group Sales Myredith Momongan.

    Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education's Kids In Step Student Matinée Series for School Groups

    The Centre for Dance Education's Kids In Step student matinée series is designed to bring dance to the school-age child. For more information on weekday performances for accredited school groups and registered home schools, please visit our Kids In Step page.

  • Audience Reviews

    By Genie Brown Dec 17th, 2018

    I’m so sorry to say that I was extremely disappointed in the new version of the Nutcracker. It certainly lacked the pageantry of the older version. Not many children participated, and the scenery was terrible. Dark and depressing. Hope next year The Atlanta Ballet will go back to the older version. Technology has it’s place but not in the beautiful world of live theater.

    By Vi Pham Dec 20th, 2018

    As I gathered my belongings to follow the throngs of theatergoers flooding the exit, I cradled my right swollen middle finger. I had spent the last couple hours wildly applauding at every opportune moment and still, I was draped in the enchantment of the evening.The Atlanta Ballet Company's emotive and hauntingly beautiful performance of the reinvigorated production of "The Nutcracker" was nothing short of delightful and many times, goosebump-inducingly so. From the moment the word "Nutcracker" appeared on the projection-screen curtain prior to the show--with the turning cogs and whimsical slipping of letters that a mechanical arm would barely catch in time (and even a tooting teddy bear!)--I was transported to the remarkable places from my husband's beloved steampunk stories with cold, dreary weather and lots of scientific discoveries.I work in tech but have been vocally skeptical of its role in society, however, on my drive home from The Fox last night, I strangely felt comforted by the possibility of people finding ways to integrate technology into our lives that preserve and respect our humanity while bringing us to foreign lands and times.While I refrain from giving away the story (which you can just search for anyway), I feel compelled to urge those who have yet to see the show to go and experience the seamless weaving of classical ballet with the technological advances of our age. I have seen the Atlanta Ballet perform "The Nutcracker" throughout the past six seasons and this year's show left me utterly spellbound. I cannot wait to see next year's performance!

    By Brianna Green Dec 20th, 2018

    I was very excited to see the Nutcracker again this year as I have for the last 5 years and was very disappointed with the new changes. It's not what I was expecting at all. There weren't many individual dance sequences for Arabian nights and sugar plum fairies etc. They were very short and not very lively. The set was very dark and not very colorful as the previous/original show. The technology sequence was cool but didn't seem to fit very well with the theatrics of the show. This was not what I expected at all and I was very excited to come back again this year. I hope the ballet will go back to the original version next year.

    By Dance Lover Dec 21st, 2018

    Beautiful sets and costumes, updated choreography. A beautiful production!

    By Frederick K Duffer Dec 23rd, 2018

    I am disheartened to see the 1 and 2 star reviews for the new version of the Nutcracker. This was my first ballet experience, and I have to say it was excellent and nothing like I was expecting to see. I may not be a ballet afcianado, but I am infilm production, and I found it fascinating. I understand how change from a traditional presentation can be difficult to accept, but such poor reviews are completely unwarranted. It was a great mix of new theatre technique and traditional dance presentation. Do youself a favor and go see this for yourself.

    By Remi Klein Dec 24th, 2018

    Please go back to the original version next year! This year’s set was dark and did not fit the lively Christmas theme. I did not like that the beginning of act one was completely different from the original-they took out clara getting her pointe shoes, the beggars in the intro, etc. And the second half was even worse-where were the jokers and the sheep? Why was the dress lady a man? What happened to the children in all of the scenes? The whole thing was really disappointing. I would much rather see the original version than see this new “fancy” tech savvy version.

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  • Seating Chart

    Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

  • Reviews

    Atlanta Ballet’s high-tech ‘Nutcracker’ at Kennedy Center is one of the most entertaining out there

    Sarah L. Kaufman, The Washington Post, 2019.11.28

    You know it’s not your typical, fancy-schmancy “Nutcracker” Christmas party when the maid drunkenly hurtles by on the cocktail cart, helped along by a dashing Herr Drosselmeier who’s a cross between a steampunk bad boy and the craziest, coolest uncle ever.In the Atlanta Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” which opened at the Kennedy Center Opera House on Wednesday, just about every detail of the standard holiday ballet is whomped up, rethought and mined for either laughs or meaning or both. I have seen a lot of “Nutcrackers,” and this one, created by Yuri Possokhov, resident choreographer at San Francisco Ballet, tops them all as the most entertaining as well as the smartest.The first moments are like being shot out of a cannon, as video images projected across the stage spin us rapidly through a snowy night to a German city in the early 19th century. The sense of speed in this flying, swooping perspective is intense, especially if you’re prone to vertigo, and it’s a relief when the focus finally settles on the dancer who plays Drosselmeier, the clockmaker and gift-bearing godfather who sets the story in motion. Through an alchemy of video projection and action on the stage, Drosselmeier appears to be bounding through his own fantastical movie, which whirls us from his magical shop to the doorstep of the Stahlbaum household.The scrim lifts, the video images vanish, and the familiar story begins, told through dancing and lively stage action. But the feeling of freedom and high spirits never leaves. Ice skaters and skiers glide past the house, a couple smooches and giddy young women cease waltzing for a moment to stare at them with longing. This opening montage sets up the theme of discovery in this “Nutcracker,” where all the traditional events happen, but nothing is as you expect.Drosselmeier is not a remote, mysterious figure, as in most versions of the ballet. Instead, he’s the embodiment of pizazz, running about in his satin breeches, orchestrating all the fun with his gleaming hair flying. He gets on the floor to play with the children, and he conjures a lively show-within-a-show in the swanky parlor, full of music-hall touches and Old World details that plunge us into a bygone age that still feels as fresh and current as today. This is a party, after all, and so the adults, all hopped up on champagne, try a formal maypole dance but make a mess of it and end in a heap, all perfectly in time with Tchaikovsky’s stately music.It’s all in the spirit of merrymaking. The whimsy is enhanced by the graceful Empire silhouettes of Sandra Woodall’s costumes, the clever tricks of dimension in Tom Pye’s set designs and the warmth of David Finn’s lighting.But the decor and special effects never outshine the cheerful dance energy of this ballet, and that is a testament to Possokhov’s exceptionally fluid and musical choreography. Longtime dancegoers may recall, back in 2007, when the Bolshoi Ballet performed his “Cinderella,” set on the moon. Courage and creativity mark his work as well as seamless construction. He’s willing to upend convention to get at the heart of the story.Marie, the Stahlbaum child (delightfully portrayed by Remi Nakano) whose dream of ad­ven­ture and romance whisks us from reality to fantasy, faces invading mice who roll into her parlor on their bellies, like kids on sleds. The ballerina dolls battle alongside the wooden soldiers (yay, female power). Marie dreams of herself as a grownup, and the Waltz of the Snowflakes features a tender pas de deux between the adult Marie, danced by the notably musical Airi Igarashi, and Vitor Luiz’s handsome Nutcracker Prince. In a surprising but effective use of contemporary dance, Possokhov includes floor work throughout this ballet, always in keeping with the overall flowing, spiraling quality of movement.On evidence of Wednesday’s performance, fluidity is also a hallmark of the Atlanta Ballet dancers, all of whom acquitted themselves beautifully. Of special note were Lucas Labrador, Emma Guertin and Ashley Wegmann in the ebulllient Spanish dance. Jackie Nash and Jacob Bush added terrific comic flair to a French dance that parodied every 19th-century ballet mannerism in good fun.Technological effects continued, with huge storybooks suspended in midair and pages flipping wondrously to announce the next scene. But the most remarkable, even magical, feature of this “Nutcracker” is that nothing is what you expect, and yet through its innovations and creativity, it finds fresh ways to illuminate the age-old themes of love, play and endless possibility.

    Review: Atlanta Ballet’s new “Nutcracker” captivates with layered effects, simple story

    Cynthia Bond Perry, ArtsATL, 2018.12.11

    On stage, the real and fantastical mingled with everyday things — an armchair and a glass-front cabinet, or a puppet theater and its marionettes that suddenly grew tenfold then collapsed into nothing just as quickly. In this storybook world, Marie’s living room turned surreal, throwing her environment off-kilter. The mysterious uncle or godfather Drosselmeier — whom Nikolas Gaifullin portrayed with a youngish, gentlemanly grace — took a central role. He orchestrated the transformation of everything around Marie, including a wooden-headed Nutcracker that turned into a handsome prince. In both of the pas de deux with Marie and the Prince, Possokhov’s choreography looped and dove around the space like a roving, dream-like imagination, liberated from the constraints of rational thought and physicalized. Within the nucleus of their duets, their movement stirred and whirled, then soared, dipped and opened outward toward the audience. Igarashi projected warmth and vivacity.

    “The Nutcracker” Embraces High Tech in Atlanta

    Laura Jacobs, Vanity Fair, 2018.11.26

    Lest anyone think that a high-tech approach is inappropriate for this classic, be reminded that at its premiere in 1892, Tchaikovsky’s fantasy ballet left Russian critics perplexed. His colleague Mikhail Ivanov, however, saw that with this brilliant score, ballet as a medium had “started out along a completely different path from before.” So “The Nutcracker” itself was progressive. That said, Possokhov is following the traditional American story line as laid out by the Christensen brothers in San Francisco (1944) and George Balanchine in New York (1954), though his iteration will be more mystical, celestial, and spooky.

    Atlanta Ballet enchants and stuns in new ‘Nutcracker’

    Allison Gupton, Dance Informa, 2018.12.09

    A talented team of artists and designers assembled over the past two years to create an incredibly magical theatrical experience. The hard work, creativity and commitment to this world premiere was evident in the scale of all aspects of the design and in the small details seen throughout the show.

    High tech, holiday traditions meet in Atlanta Ballet’s new ‘Nutcracker’

    Curt Holman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2018.12.04

    The production team includes Tony Award-winning video/projection designer Finn Ross, Tony-nominated set designer Tom Pye and lighting designer David Finn. The $3.7 million production promises to enhance the dance with projected imagery and other state-of-the-art technological effects. “As technology moves on, artists develop new skills. Technology inspires creatives to explore new borders of their imagination onstage. Yuri is a master of this. The projections and visual enhancements will only help him bring the dancers up front,” says Nedvigin.

    The Atlanta Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker” at Fox Theatre

    O'Brian Gunn, GA Voice, 2018.11.20

    When you hear mention of “The Nutcracker,” your mind may instantly conjure up the new “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” movie. Rather than take a risk on what’s (so far) shaping up to be a rather lackluster movie, treat yourself and your family to a new, transcendent onstage performance of the classic production from the talented Atlanta Ballet at the historic Fox Theatre this December.

    The Nutcracker from Atlanta Ballet gets new-age makeover in its 24th year

    Natisha Lance, 11Alive, 2018.12.21

    It’s a challenge Atlanta Ballet dancer Emily Carrico, who plays Marie in the production, said the dancers are up for.“The scale of everything in this theater and the choreography is just out of this world,” she said. “It's like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, and pretty much, I would say, it's safe to say any dancer in the company has danced before.”

  • Video

    Yuri Possokhov's "The Nutcracker" 2018 | Atlanta Ballet

    Atlanta Ballet's The Nutcracker: Past Present and Future

    The Nutcracker 2018 Tickets | Atlanta Ballet

    Behind the Scenes of "The Nutcracker" 2018 | Atlanta Ballet

    Yuri Possokhov's "The Nutcracker" at Fox Theatre 2018 | Atlanta Ballet

    Yuri Possokhov's "The Nutcracker" - Opening Night Gala 2018 | Atlanta Ballet

    The Nutcracker 2018 | Atlanta Ballet

    The Nutcracker 2018 - Teaser | Atlanta Ballet

    The Nutcracker at Fox Theatre - Drex Rener | Atlanta Ballet

    The Nutcracker at Fox Theatre - Kaedy Kiely | Atlanta Ballet

    The Nutcracker at Fox Theatre - Condace Pressley | Atlanta Ballet

    The Nutcracker at Fox Theatre - Checka Cee | Atlanta Ballet

    The Nutcracker at Fox Theatre - 11Alive News | Atlanta Ballet

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    The Nutcracker FAQs

    Will there be full houses?

    At this time we are planning on returning to 100% capacity for all performances.  We will continue to follow the advice of the CDC and public health professionals, and ticketholders will be notified of any change to this plan.

    What other safety protocols will be in place for performances?

    The Nutcracker is a family tradition for many with performances filled with children of all ages.  To protect our patrons, especially our youngest patrons, we will continue to follow the lead of the CDC, and local and state officials.  Given the current upward trend in COVID-19 infection rates, we are not sure what safety protocols, including requiring masks, may be needed in December.  Please check back for updates on COVID safety protocols for The Nutcracker.

    Are young children allowed at performances and do they need a ticket?

    The Nutcracker runs just over 2 hours with a 20-minute intermission.  Due to the length of the performance we recommend The Nutcracker for children ages 4+.  Cobb Energy Centre is also no longer providing booster seats.

    All persons regardless of age must have a ticket for admission.  All tickets in your party, including those for children, must be for contiguous seats.

    Is there security screening at the venue?

    Doors to the venue open 90 minutes before a performance begins.  There are now enhanced security screenings (metal detectors) in place for every performance.  Patrons will be asked to return prohibited items to their car prior to entry.  Please allow extra time to enter the venue.

    Are there any prohibited items at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre?

    Yes, the following items are prohibited at Cobb Energy Centre:

    • Bags larger than 13 x 13 x 13
    • Cameras or electronic devices such as laptops (cell phones are ok)
    • Professional cameras
    • Video Cameras
    • Weapons of any kind
    • Shoes with wheels
    • Backpacks
    • Strollers
    • Outside food and beverages
    • To see the full list, please click here

    Will there be coat check?

    No.  Cobb Energy Centre Performing Arts Centre is no longer offering coat check at performances.  Patrons will need to plan on keeping their coats with them during performances.

    Is Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre ADA compliant?

    The venue is ADA compliant with seats designated in various locations for guests with disabilities and those needing special assistance.  The venue is equipped with wheelchair accessible courtesy phones, plaza ramps, wheelchair accessible ticket windows, and wheelchair accessible drinking fountains.  For more information please call 770-916-2800

    Is photography allowed during performances?

    No photography or videography is allowed during Atlanta Ballet performances.  We encourage you to take photos in the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre lobby and remember to tag @atlantaballet when posting!

    Is Cobb Energy Centre a cashless environment?

    Yes.  Cobb Energy Centre is a cashless environment.  Cash is not accepted for any transactions including concessions.  Please plan accordingly.

    Is there parking available on-site at Cobb Energy Centre?

    Cobb Energy Centre has 1,000 on-site parking spaces for performances and other events, 700 in a four-level deck and 300 in a surface lot.  Parking is through AAA Parking.  Prices may vary.

    Will concessions be open? 

    Cobb Energy Centre offers a variety of concessions and beverages in the lobby.   We are not sure at this time if food and drink will be allowed in the theatre.  Please check back for updates on our COVID safety protocols around food and beverage consumption.

  • Choreographer

    (© Chris Hardy)

    Yuri Possokhov, Choreographer

    Yuri Possokhov danced for 10 years with the Bolshoi Ballet, performing leading roles in the company’s classical and contemporary repertoire. While performing, Possokhov studied choreography and ballet pedagogy at the State College of Theatrical Arts, completing the five-year course in 1990. He was a principal dancer with the Royal Danish Ballet for two years before joining the San Francisco Ballet (SFB) as a principal dancer in 1994. During his 12 years dancing with SFB, he began choreographing. Upon his retirement from dancing in 2006, he joined the artistic staff at San Francisco Ballet as choreographer in residence. He has created 14 ballets for SFB and continues to choreograph new works for the company each season. Possokhov choreographs ballets for companies worldwide. In 2015, his full-length for the Bolshoi Ballet, A Hero of Our Time, was met with critical acclaim, and the company invited him to stage a full-length ballet based on the life of Rudolf Nureyev that premiered in December 2017. For these two ballets, Possokhov received the prestigious Benois de la Danse Award, established by the International Dance Union. Yuri Possokhov is a frequent guest choreographer with Atlanta Ballet. His Classical Symphony, Don Quixote and Firebird are also part of Atlanta Ballet’s repertoire. You can learn more at

  • Design Team

    Tom Pye, Scenic Designer

    Roundabout Debut. Broadway: Testament of Mary, All My Sons, Top Girls, Cyrano de Bergerac, Glass Menagerie, Medea, Fiddler on the Roof (Tony Nom). West End: A Christmas Carol, Sinatra, Medea. Recent: Invisible Thread (Second Stage, ART); High Society (Old Vic); Platonov, Ivanov, The Seagull (Chichester, National Theatre); John Gabriel Borkman (Abbey Theatre, BAM); Mother Courage, Happy Days, Measure for Measure (Royal National). Opera: Death of Klinghoffer, Eugene Onegin, Così Fan Tutti (MET/ENO); Akhnaten (ENO/LA); Death in Venice (Premio Franco Abbiati).

    Photo courtesy of

    Sandra Woodall, Costume Designer

    Woodall has contributed scenic and costume designs to San Francisco Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Georgian National Ballet, The Norwegian National Ballet, the State Opera Ballet of Austria, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Project, Singapore Dance Theatre, National Ballet of Finland, and other companies around the world. Recent productions include costume designs for Atlanta Ballet’s Camino Real choreographed by Helen Pickett. Ms. Woodall’s artwork has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, the San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design, and in many group exhibitions, including the 2011 Wearable Art exhibit in Hong Kong. In 1999 and 2000, she was a Fulbright scholar teaching at what is now the Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA). She has contributed designs and visual consultation to many productions in Taiwan and China, including 2009’s stadium-scale opening pageant for the Deaf Olympics, scenic designs for the 100th anniversary-celebration of Taiwan National Day, and in the 2015 scenic and costume design of Winter Journey by Wan Fang and directed by Stan Lai in Beijing.

    Photo courtesy of

    David Finn, Lighting Designer

    Finn began his professional career as a lighting designer at age 16 working for the puppeteer Burr Tillstrom and Kukla, Fran & Ollie. David's previous work with Atlanta Ballet includes The Four Seasons, The Exiled, and Camino Real (for which he also completed his first professional scenic design). His design credits for dance include The Nutcracker and Cinderella (Birmingham Royal Ballet), Romeo & Juliette for Sasha Waltz (Paris Opera Ballet), Swan Lake (Bayerisches Staatsballett), and works for renowned choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, James Kudelka, José Limón, Helgi Tomasson, Liam Scarlett, Yuri Possokhov, and Dana Reitz, as well as for leading international companies. David was the resident lighting designer for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project from 1993-2000. His opera work includes projects for the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera, Paris Opera, La Scala Milan, Salzburg Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper, La Monnaie (Brussels), Opera de Lyon, Opera Communale (Florence), Het Muziektheater (Amsterdam), Stuttgart Opera, Opera Australia, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and San Francisco Opera. For film, Finn’s work includes stage lighting for Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence and producer/director of the PBS documentary The Green Monster. David has designed two shows for Cirque du Soleil: ZED in Tokyo and MICHAEL JACKSON ONE in Las Vegas. Future plans include Les Troyens for The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cosi fan Tutti for Opera Australia, a world premiere of The Little Prince for The National Ballet of Canada, and a world premiere of Frankenstein for The Royal Ballet.

    Finn Ross, Video Designer

    Ross trained at Central School of Speech and Drama and designs video and projection for all forms of live performance. He works regularly for English National Opera, credits including Benvenuto Cellini (with Adam Young), The Death of Klinghoffer, Eugene Onegin, The Magic Flute, Simon Boccanegra, The Damnation of Faust, and Don Giovanni. Other opera credits include The Turn of the Screw (Theater an der Wien), Sunset Boulevard (Gothenburg Opera), A Dog’s Heart (Dutch National Opera, La Scala, Milan, ENO and Opéra de Lyon), Knight Crew (Glyndebourne Festival), The Adventures of Mr Brouček (Opera North and Scottish Opera), and Das Portrait (Bregenz Festival).

    Ross’s theatre work includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and Greenland (National Theatre), Shun-Kin and The Master and Margarita (Complicite) Sugar Mummies (Royal Court), The Gods Weep (Royal Shakespeare Company), Top Girls (Chichester Festival and Trafalgar Studios), All My Sons (Broadway), Little Otik (Vanishing Point/National Theatre of Scotland), and Die Ringe des Saturn (Schauspielhaus, Cologne). He is a member of the London-based group of video and projection designers Mesmer.

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