How Long Is the Ballet Nutcracker?


The Ballet Nutcracker is one of the most beloved holiday traditions around the world. This ballet, based on the 1816 story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A Hoffman, tells the story of a young girl named Clara and her adventures with her beloved nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. The ballet is full of charming characters, exciting music, and dazzling choreography that bring this classic story to life.

The length of The Nutcracker has varied over time from just over an hour to around two hours in some productions. The traditional version is divided into two acts with a total running time of about 90 minutes, including intermissions.

It opens with a lively Christmas Party in the home of Drosselmeyer, Clara’s godfather who gives her a special gift – the Nutcracker Doll. After the party scene ends with a battle between an army of mice and toy soldiers led by the Nutcracker, Act II begins with Clara’s journey to the Kingdom of Sweets where she meets many characters who reward her for her bravery.

The second act is usually shorter than the first act but includes many memorable moments, such as Clara’s pas de deux (a duet between two dancers) with her beloved nutcracker doll, as well as dances performed by characters like Mother Ginger and Sugar Plum Fairy.

No matter how long it may be or how it has changed over time, The Ballet Nutcracker continues to enchant audiences year after year. Its timeless story and captivating music will continue to delight audiences throughout generations.


The traditional version of The Ballet Nutcracker is divided into two acts that take approximately 90 minutes to perform in total including intermissions. However, some productions can vary in length from just over an hour to up to two hours long depending on which production you see.