San Jose’s longest running Nutcracker will capture your imagination and transport you to a magical world of brave toy soldiers & dancing snowflakes.

Audiences will be awed by the grace and talent of our world-class guest artists. Masterful conductor, Scott Johannes Krijnen, will lead the The Cambrian Symphony’s 52 piece, symphony orchestra. Featuring principal dancers and solists from San Francisco Ballet: Julia Rowe and Jaime Garcia Castilla, and from Cincinatti Ballet: Chisako Oga and James Cunningham.

Continuing the tradition for the 52nd year, SF Bay Area dancers take part in this iconic production at the San José Center for the Performing Arts in downtown San Jose. This holiday season, experience the beauty and splendor of San José Dance Theatre’s, The Nutcracker, a San Jose tradition since 1966.

The Nutcracker Ballet
Best Tickets Available Now

Theater Patrons, THANK YOU!
We are honored to have such loyal theater patrons who provided a record-breaking attendance year. We hope you enjoyed being in our audiences as much as we enjoyed bringing you the 52nd annual, The Nutcracker.
We look forward to seeing you again in 2018!
Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2018
Dec. 7 – Dec. 9, 2018
Best Holiday Wishes to You and Yours,
San José Dance Theatre

Box Office
Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
City National Box Office
135 West San Carlos St., San Jose, CA 95113

Girl Scouts of Northern California
We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership and tradition with The Girl Scouts of Northern California, offering a Nutcracker workshop and special Girl Scouts Nutcracker show package. Please contact your troop leader for more information. To order tickets for your troop, contact (408) 286-9905 or email [email protected].

Group Discounts
Groups of 20 or more receive a significant savings off regular priced tickets. Contact (408) 286-9905 to book your group.

2017 Performance Dates

SOLD OUT Dec. 1, 10:30am*
December 1, 7:30pm
December 2, 2pm
December 2, 7:30pm
December 3, 2pm

SOLD OUT December 8, 7:30pm
December 9, 2pm
December 9, 7:30pm
December 10, 2pm

*School Performance is not open to the public. Select “Teachers” to learn more about how your school (or homeschool) group can attend.

Corporate Discounts
For Corporate Discount Program information, ask your employer to contact (408) 286-9905

All Performances
San José Center for the Performing Arts

255 S Almaden Blvd
San Jose, CA 95113

The Nutcracker Story

The Nutcracker ballet was first presented 123 years ago at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, on December 17, 1892. Peter Tchaikovsky, the famous Russian composer, was commissioned by mastermind choreographer Marius Petipa to compose the Nutcracker ballet, score based on Alexandre Dumas’s adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman’s tale “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”

The first performance of The Nutcracker ballet in the United States was by the San Francisco Opera Ballet, in 1944. The production was directed by William Christensen. Twenty years later in 1966, San José Dance Theatre brought the Silicon Valley it’s own version of the Nutcracker ballet. San José Dance Theatre is the second oldest Nutcracker ballet in the Bay Area and has been produced each and every December for 50 consecutive years.

Read the Full Nutcracker Ballet Story


Nutcracker Ballet Arabian Scene

Candy Kingdom

Your opportunity to meet select Nutcracker dancers including our Sugar Plum Fairy and Sugar Plum Cavalier. Get autographs and pose for photos. Enjoy cookies, drinks and and crafts for young guests. Candy Kingdom events are one hour before evening Nutcracker ballet performances and directly after matinee performances. Don’t forget your camera!

Friday, December 1, 6pm
Saturday, December 2, 4pm
Saturday, December 2, 6pm
Sunday, December 3, 4pm

Friday, December 8, 6pm
Saturday, December 9, 4pm
Saturday, December 9, 6pm
Sunday, December 10, 4pm

Backstage Tours

Take an exclusive, behind-the-scenes Nutcracker ballet tour. Visit the stage and the backstage areas where the dancers prepare. Who knows, you may even run into a few of the dancers!
A limited number of tickets are available before each performance.

Buy Tickets Online

Meet the Artists

Audiences will be awed by the grace and talent of our Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, Julia Rowe and Jaime Garcia Castilla of San Francisco Ballet. And, Chisako Oga and James Cunningham of Cincinnati Ballet. Also gracing the stage, the dashing Snow King and mysterious Arabian Prince portrayed by professional guest artist, Nathan Cottam, director of Mannakin Theater & Dance.

Julia Rowe


Sugar Plum Fairy Dec. 1-3, All Performances
Julia Rowe has danced principal and featured roles in Tomasson’s Giselle (Peasant pas de cinq, Moyna), Haffner Symphony (soloist), Nutcracker (Grand Pas de Deux, Sugar Plum Fairy, Ballerina Doll, and Spanish), Romeo & Juliet (Acrobats), and Swan Lake (Act 1 pas de trois, Cygnets, and Neapolitan); Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote (Cupid and Kitri’s Friend); Balanchine’s Coppélia (Swanilda’s Friends, Spinner, and Jesterettes), Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (2nd movement demi-soloist), Serenade, and Theme and Variations (soloist); Caniparoli’s Lambarena (principal) and Tears (principal); Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Possokhov’s Fusion (principal); Scarlett’s Frankenstein (Justine Moritz); and Wheeldon’s Cinderella (Stepsister Clementine and Spirit of Spring/Lightness), Ghosts (demi-soloist), and Rush (soloist). She created roles in Forsythe’s Pas/Parts 2016, Tomasson’s Caprice, and Scarlett’s Hummingbird. Before joining San Francisco Ballet, Rowe was a Soloist with Oregon Ballet Theatre.
Rowe’s repertory includes Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, The Four Temperaments (Melancholic and Sanguinic demi-soloist), Rubies, and the 4th movement and finale from Symphony in C (demi-soloist); Makarova’s (after Petipa) “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, Act II; Morris’ Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes and Maelstrom; Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings; Possokhov’s Firebird; Ratmansky’s Shostakovich Trilogy (Symphony #9 and Piano Concerto #2); Robbins’ Glass Pieces; Scarlett’s Fearful Symmetries; Thatcher’s Ghost in the Machine (principal), Manifesto, and Stone and Steel; and Tomasson’s Prism and Trio (principal).

Jaime Garcia Castilla

Principal, San Francisco Ballet

Sugar Plum Cavalier Dec. 1-3, All Performances
Jaime Garcia Castilla has danced major roles in Tomasson’s Giselle, Nutcracker (Grand Pas de Deux Prince and King of the Snow), Romeo & Juliet (Benvolio), The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Chi-Lin, and Trio; Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote; Cranko’s Onegin (Lensky); Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid (Sea Witch); Balanchine’s Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperaments (Melancholic), and Symphony in C; Forsythe’s Artifact Suite; Liang’s Symphonic Dances; Lifar’s Suite en Blanc; Possokhov’s Optimistic Tragedy (Anarchist); Ratmansky’s From Foreign Lands and Shostakovich Trilogy; Robbins’ In the Night; Scarlett’s Hummingbird; and Wheeldon’s Cinderella and Rush. He created roles in Elo’s Double Evil; McGregor’s Borderlands; Morris’ Beaux, Joyride, and Sylvia; Page’s Guide to Strange Places; Possokhov’s Classical Symphony and Fusion; and Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour.
His repertory includes Ashton’s Symphonic Variations; Balanchine’s Agon, Diamonds, Rubies, Square Dance, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Symphony in Three Movements, and Theme and Variations; Forsythe’s Pas/Parts 2016 and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations; McGregor’s Eden/Eden and Chroma; Morris’ Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes and Maelstrom; Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, Glass Pieces, and West Side Story Suite; Taylor’s Spring Rounds; Thatcher’s Ghost in the Machine; Tomasson’s 7 for Eight and On a Theme of Paganini; and Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), Number Nine, and Quaternary.
Castilla performed with SFDanceworks in 2017, at the Pas de Deux Gala in Valladolid, Spain, in 2011 and 2012, and in Osaka, Japan, in 2006. He received the Prize of Excellence and Contemporary Dance Prize at the Prix de Lausanne in 2001.

Chisako Oga


Sugar Plum Fairy Dec. 8-10, All Performances
Chisako Oga trained at the San Francisco Ballet School with full scholarship, which she received at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition. She was promoted as San Francisco Ballet School trainee in 2015, then became an apprentice in the company the following year. In 2016, Oga joined Cincinnati Ballet. Her repertory includes Kirk Peterson’s Coppelia (Swanilda), Victoria Morgan’s King Arthur’s Camelot (Guinevere), Justin Peck’s Capricious Maneuvers, Liam Scarlett’s Fearful Symmetries, Ma Cong’s Near Light, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations (principal), Vainonen’s Flames of Paris (pas de deux), and Helgi Tomasson’s Bartók Divertimento. She has received many awards at Youth America Grand Prix, including being a top 20 finalist at the New York City Finals; giving her the opportunity to perform at the David H. Koch Theater at the Lincoln Center. In 2016, she participated in the Shanghai International Ballet Competition among select dancers from all over the world and received a Silver medal.

James Cunningham

Soloist, CINCINNATI Ballet

Sugar Plum Cavalier Dec. 8-10, All Performances
James Cunningham graduated from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Earning a degree in dance on full scholarship, he was also able to begin his career as a professional dancer with Cincinnati Ballet. Cunningham has performed roles such as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Escamillo in Carmen, and the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. He has worked with many choreographers, including: Adam Hougland, Victoria Morgan, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Jennifer Archibald, Ma Cong, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Val Caniparoli, and Yuri Possokhov. In 2016 and 2017, he was selected to be a dancer for the National Choreographers initiative. For the past four years, Cunningham has taught year round for the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet. Victoria Morgan selected his solo “Prohibition Condition” for Director’s Cut in 2016. That year he also created a ballet for the fall showcase at the University of Cincinnati in 2016. The second company of Cincinnati Ballet performs Cunningham’s choreography as well.

Nathan Cottam

Snow King, Arabian Prince Dec. 1-3 & 8-10, All Performances
Nathan Cottam is a dance artist with a passion for creating, performing and teaching for a wide audience. Raised in Buffalo, New York, Cottam was exposed early in life to music and drama and embarked on a formal study of dance upon entering college at Brigham Young University.
After completing a BS in sociology, Nathan went on to earn a Master of Fine Art in Dance from the University of Arizona. He has performed with many ensembles and companies including Oakland Ballet, Bay Pointe Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre and the Serbian National Ballet in Belgrade, Serbia. In 2013, Cottam founded Mannakin Theater and Dance to showcase his own choreography and artistic vision. With his company, Cottam has created many new dances and several tours of Serbia. In the Summer of 2016, Nathan produced his first performances in California with Mannakin Theater and Dance.
He continues to perform and teach around the Bay Area and Western United States.

George Ou

Dew Drop Cavalier
Dec. 1-3 & 8-10, All Performances

George Ou started his ballet training at the age of 21 with the Marin Ballet and was significantly influenced by Shannon Bresnahan, Svetlana Afanasieva, Mikko Nissinen, and Alexi Zubiria. He performed as a guest artist for various Bay Area ballet schools and companies. Outside of dancing, Ou has worked as a Network Engineer, a tech analyst and writer, and research fellow at a Washington DC think tank.

Kathryn Petak

Snow Queen
Cast 1: 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected], 12/[email protected], 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]
Spanish Lead
Cast 2: 12/[email protected]:30am, 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]
Kathryn Petak started ballet at the YMCA and by age 6 began her dance training at San José Dance Theatre. After training with such schools as San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Western Ballet, she joined Smuin Ballets/ SF where she performed soloist roles as well as being part of the original cast of Smuin’s Christmas Ballet. She then joined State Street Ballet as a principal dancer where she did leading roles including touring Taiwan and China as Beauty in Robert Sund’s “Beauty and the Beast”, which was featured in Dancer Magazine. She danced in the chorus at San Francisco Opera Ballet and Santa Barbara Opera Ballet. Petak has done numerous guest appearances in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Western Ballet. She has also explored musical theatre, where she has performed supporting roles in West Side Story (AMT), Cats (Sierra Repertory) Brigadoon (Lyric Theatre) and others. Petak is a Yoga and Pilates teacher by day, where she has taught throughout the Bay Area, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Brooklyn and in Manhattan. Yoga and Pilates has been a wonderful cross training to her dancing through the years.

Krystn Noelle Janicek

Dew Drop Fairy
Cast 1: 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected], 12/[email protected], 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]
Snow Queen
Cast 2: 12/[email protected]:30am, 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]
Krystn Noelle Janicek is a Trainee in San Francisco’s Alonzo King Lines Ballet program. In 2016, Janicek performed with the Joburg Ballet in Johannesburg, South Africa. Janicek’s repertoire includes roles in Paquita Suite, Carmen, North Pole Fairy, Coppelia, Odalisque and Flames of Paris. In 2015, Janicek placed in the Top 24 of the senior age division of the Youth America Grand Prix competition in San Francisco. Janicek is honored to perform for the first time in San José Dance Theatre’s, The Nutcracker, at the personal invitation of the artistic director.

Jazon Escultura

Cast 1: 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected], 12/[email protected], 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]
Mr. Staulbahm
Cast 2: 12/[email protected]:30am, 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]
Jazon Escultura has his B.A. in Dance from San Jose State University where he trained in Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Hip-Hop. He studied with Fred Mathews, Gary Masters, Jill Yager, Heather Cooper and Maria Basile.
Escultura was a member of the University Dance Theater at San Jose State University from 2005-2007. As a company member, he had the opportunity to perform at the American College Dance Festival, Dancin’ Downtown and National Dance Week. He currently teaches Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary at various studios in the south bay area and is starting his own Modern Dance Company “Moving Sculptures.” Escultura has also danced with sjDANCEco, Nhan Ho Project, and South Bay Ballet Arts.

Michael Howerton

Mr. Staulbahm
Cast 1: 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected], 12/[email protected], 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]
Cast 2: 12/[email protected]:30am, 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]:30pm, 12/[email protected]
Michael Howerton is a native Californian and has been dancing since he was just 7 years of age. Howerton trained in classical ballet with Paul Curtis and Shawn Stuart, Francesca Romanoff, Benjamin Harkarvy and Carol Petersen, among others. His extensive modern training came from Margaret Wingrove and David Grenke. Howerton is a long-time veteran of the Margaret Wingrove Dance Company, where he has had many roles, ranging from Director, Choreographer, Teacher, Principle dancer and Guest artist. Howerton has also performed with Mark Foehringer Dance Project of San Francisco, Peninsula Ballet Theater, Western Ballet and San Joaquin Ballet. Howerton is thrilled to perform with San Jose Dance Theatre, where he grew up performing and built many fond memories.

Linda Hurkmans

artistic director, san josé dance theatre

As a child, Linda Hurkmans was given detailed Vaganova training from Connie Schwartze and performed for San José Dance Theatre. She was then heavily mentored by Larissa Sklyanskaya (Soloist with Bolshoi Ballet), Natasha Papina (Soloist with Kirov Ballet, and the 1st ballet partner of Mikhail Baryshnikov), Benjamin Harkarvy, and Conrad Ludlow (Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet). Linda received scholarships to Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and at the age of 16, a full scholarship to the University of Utah Ballet Dept. Hurkmans danced professionally with The Royal Danish Ballet, the Utah Ballet/Ballet West, The Norwegian Andanse Ballet, Zahkraz Dance, and The Norwegian National Ballet in conjunction with The Year of Dance in Norway and the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Hurkmans competed in the 72 country ITI International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland, 1991, and appeared in the CBS Mini-Series “At Mother’s Request” starring Stefanie Powers.
Hurkmans holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, Cum Laude, in Ballet Performance from Univ. of Utah, a Master’s Degree in Psychology from the Notre Dame de Namur University, and full Pilates certifications in Pilates Mat and Apparatus from Turning Pointe Studios and the PhysicalMind Institute. Hurkmans has taught youth, pre-professional, adult ballet dancers and Pilates students for 18 years in Europe and in the U.S. and at Stanford University and Santa Clara University, where she helped found the Pilates program for dancers and athletes. Hurkmans’ choreography has been performed at the Norwegian State Ballet, Western Ballet, Zohco Dance, and in 2014, she accepted the position of Artistic Director of San Jose Dance Theatre. Hurkmans helped successfully re-open the doors to the San Jose Dance Theatre’s academy and choreographed a new full length version of “The Nutcracker” as well as the works “Rodrigo’s Adagio”, “Festival”, “Classroom Expressions”, “Chopin’s Etudes”, “Nocturnes”, “Minute Waltzes”, “Rachmaninoff’s Taunt”, and has staged “Swan Lake Pas de Trois”, “Le Corsaire Pas de Deux”, “Paquita Grand Pas Classique” and more for SJDT. Hurkmans has overseen SJDT’s collaborations with Margaret Wingrove’s Dance Co., with Foothill College, and performances at SjDANCE Co. Festival, the Montalvo Arts Center, and the San Jose Center for Performing Arts.

Scott Krijnen

music director and conductor, cambrian symphony

Born in Antwerp, Belgium, Scott Krijnen was raised in an environment of music, conducting and education. It is with great joy that he continues to grow in these areas everyday in his career and personal life. A recipient of a Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he is a frequent performer as a chamber musician, with recent concerts across Europe, Taiwan and Korea, and as an orchestral player, including as a member of the Silicon Valley Symphony and the San Francisco Chamber orchestra. As a conductor, he is sought after throughout the Bay Area, appearing as a recurring guest conductor with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, and has recently been appointed as Orchestra Director of the “Summer in the City” festival at San Jose State University. As an educator, Scott currently teaches over 500 students through nine orchestras at Castillero and Redwood Middle Schools, winning teacher of the year recognition in 2011. He coaches and conducts at Saratoga High School, leads sectionals at San Jose State University, and has coached and presented with Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra for the last decade. Krijnen is happily married to his wife Aryn, and is the father of two beautiful children who get to grow up in the same wonderful world of music as their father. In 2015, Krijnen was recognized for his dedication to music, his students, and the greater community with both the Richard Levin Orchestra Educator Award from the California Music Educators Association and the Comcast SportsNet Bay Area All-Star Teacher Award.

The Ballet Academy

San José Dance Theatre is the official school of The Nutcracker. San José Dance Theatre offers excellence in dance training in a nurturing environment. Classical ballet is the main focus, students also receive weekly contemporary dance and conditioning (a combination of Pilates, yoga, strengthening and stretching).

San José Dance Theatre offers training for youth and adults
at beginning through pre-professional levels.


Teachers & Educators

Special School Show A dream field trip for your class or school. The Nutcracker never fails to dazzle adults and children alike with its magic and adventure and promises to be an unforgettable experience. Research indicates that students who participate in the arts are more successful academically, socially and as members of their communities. The Nutcracker Ballet will be performed at our exclusive student performance on Friday, December 1 at 10:30am at the San José Center for the Performing Arts. This performance is sure to provide lasting memories to your students and fulfills Common Core Standards.

Nutcracker Assembly at Your School San José Dance Theatre offers an opportunity to learn about the discipline of ballet including the dedicated training and practice required. Youth ballet students from San José Dance Theatre are available on a limited basis to visit Bay Area schools. During our school assemblies, dancers and Nutcracker staff will provide a 45-minute overview of ballet and demonstrate excerpts of Nutcracker dances.

To reserve tickets for the Special School Show CLICK HERE or for more information about having a Nutcracker Assembly at your school, email Outreach School Coordinator, Jacqui Culler, [email protected]