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

The Longest Running San Jose NutcrackerAudiences will be awed by the grace and talent of our world-class guest artists Alison Stroming (of Dance Theatre Harlem) and Fredrick Davis (former Principal Dancer with Dance Theater of Harlem) Dec. 7-9, and Claire Rathbun (of Syracuse City Ballet) and Jake Casey (formerly of Cincinnati Ballet and most recently the Estonian Theatre Vanemuine Ballet) Dec 14-16.

The Cambrian Symphony’s 52-piece orchestra will be masterfully led by conductor Scott Johannes Krijnen.

Continuing the tradition for the 53rd year, San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley 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 The San José Dance Theatre’s, The Nutcracker, a San Jose family tradition since 1966.

"The tour (Girl Scouts) was amazing, a real memory maker for the girls! My daughter and I (in particular) have always loved Mother Cupcake, and seeing her walk through the skirt was the highlight of the day for me... something she'll talk about forever. Really neat program you guys put on, and we're so thankful. Also we've been to the Nutcracker, various companies, over the last 5 years -- this was the first I've seen with SJ... and it was BY FAR the best. Kudos, really well done! The tree growing was the best/most spectacular presentation I've seen of that." - Meghan P.

Best tickets to the most anticipated
San Jose Nutcracker On Sale Now!


Box Office
Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
City National Civic
135 West San Carlos St., San Jose, CA 95113
Contact City National Civic to buy tickets at (408) 792-4111.

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, email [email protected], or register online.

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

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

2019 Performance Dates

December 6, 2019 @ 10:30am*
December 6, 2019 @ 7:30pm**
December 7, 2019 @ 2:00pm
December 7, 2019 @ 7:30pm
December 8, 2019 @ 2:00pm

December 13, 2019 @ 7:30pm**
December 14, 2019 @ 2:00pm
December 14, 2019 @ 7:30pm
December 15, 2019 @ 2:00pm

  1. *School Performance is not open to the public. Select “Teachers” to learn more about how your school (or homeschool) group can attend.
  2. **Tickets for both Friday evening performances are Half Price (excluding VIP).
  3. Ages 2 and over require a ticket.

All Performances
San José Center for the Performing Arts

255 S Almaden Blvd
San Jose, CA 95113

The Nutcracker VIP Experience

Don’t just see The Nutcracker, experience it! See more than just the performance with the Nutcracker VIP Package! In addition to the best seats in the house, take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Nutcracker and see the magic of the production up close. Meet and greet the cast at the exclusive Candy Kingdom party held in the Ridder Lounge, while filling up on delicious holiday treats and drinks. VIP ticket holders can also skip the crowds by using a special entrance into the theater, and using the Ridder Lounge restrooms during intermission.

Nutcracker Ballet Arabian Scene

The VIP Package includes:

Candy Kingdom Party

This is an exclusive party held in the Ridder Lounge, in which VIP ticket holders can meet and greet the cast. Get autographs and pose for photos with dancers in full costume, including the Sugar Plum Fairy and Sugar Plum Cavalier! The Candy Kingdom party is one hour before each performance. Fill up on delicious holiday treats and drinks during the party

Backstage Tours

The backstage tour offers a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse into The Nutcracker production. Visit the stage and backstage areas where the dancers prepare, and learn more about props, sets, and the magic that goes into making the production spectacular!

A limited number of VIP tickets are available for each performance. Please check-in with the VIP Manager 1 hour and 45 minutes prior to the start of the performance (showtime) in the location indicated in your VIP itinerary.

For matinees, the arrival time is 12:15 pm
For evenings shows, the arrival time is 5:45 pm

The VIP Experience starts promptly 1 hour and 30 minutes prior to showtime and will last 30-45 minutes. Look for the VIP Entrance sign at the theater and enter the theater there.

No discounts are allowed for the VIP Experience.


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

Meet the Artists

Audiences will be awed by the grace and talent of our Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, Alison Stroming and Fredrick Davis , who both danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem. And, Claire Rathbub and Jake Casey of Syracuse City Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet will be performing the second weekend. Also gracing the stage, the dashing Snow King and mysterious Arabian Prince portrayed by professional guest artist, David Fonnegra, with the San Jose Dance Theatre.

Alison Stroming


Sugar Plum Fairy Dec. 7-9, All Performances

Alison Stroming was adopted from Recife, Brazil at the age of four months and started dancing when she was three years old. She was accepted to The School of American Ballet where she began her formal ballet training at the age of nine. She attended the American Ballet Theater Summer Intensive in New York in 2004. Franco De Vita, principal of the JKO School at ABT, offered her a full scholarship to the new Junior Division where she then continued her studies. With JKO she has performed in numerous technical demonstrations and performances at The Juilliard School, Guggenheim Museum, City Center, The Metropolitan Opera House, Joyce Theater, and The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Alison also toured with The American Ballet Theater II in Europe in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, Alison won the title of “Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen” and represented the state of New York at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen where she won Overall Talent.

Alison danced for two seasons with the Alberta Ballet in Canada where she toured across the country and also performed as a soloist with recording artist Sarah McLachlan in her Hope Rising! Concert. She then danced with Ballet San Jose under the direction of Jose Manuel Carreno performing works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Ohad Naharin, Dwight Rhoden, and Jorma Elo. She just completed her fourth season with Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City. With the company, she has performed all across the United States and internationally in Israel, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, and Budapest.

Alison starred in her first national Ad Campaign “Strength In Beauty, Beauty in Strength” with Tumi Luggage in 2011 and since then has been featured in advertisements for Under Armour, Urban Outfitters, Adidas, Free People, McDonald’s, and most recently, American Eagle, which was featured on Times Square billboards. She has also been featured in several publications and media including Marie Claire, BET, Popsugar, Interview Magazine, and Nylon Magazine, and most recently ELLE Magazine.

In addition to performing across the globe, Alison also travels to teach master classes, provide coaching and choreography.

Fredrick Davis

Formerly, Principal Dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem

Sugar Plum Cavalier Dec. 7-9, All Performances
Born in Brooklyn by and raised in Chattanooga TN, Fredrick finished his training with Ballet Tennessee and moved to New York to pursue his dance career. He was given a full scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet School of NYC.  He joined Dance Theatre of Harlem as a Principal Dancer, under the direction of Arthur Mitchell and Virginia Johnson.

Mr. Davis also made a documentary with WTCI-PBS of Chattanooga, TN titled “From the streets to the stage the Journey of Fredrick Davis”. This documentary won an Emmy award at the 31st Midsouth Mid Regional Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, in January 2016. 

Mr. Davis is excited to be guest starring for San Jose Dance Theatre for the second time.

Claire Rathbun

Principal Guest Artist, SYRACUSE CITY BALLET

Sugar Plum Fairy Dec. 14-16, All Performances
Claire Rathbun is delighted to be joining San José Dance Theatre for their Nutcracker! Rathbun danced with Washington Ballet in D.C. from 2014-2016 where she originated new works from artistic director Septime Webre. Some of her favorite roles/ ballets include: Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Miss Liberty in Nutcracker, Serenade, Janita and Alicia, and the world premieres of Sleepy Hollow and Alice in Wonderland.

She currently is a principal guest artist with Syracuse City Ballet. Recent roles include: Snow White in Snow White, Jasmine in Aladdin, and Snow Queen and Dew Drop in Nutcracker. Most recently Rathbun has been seen on Broadway, TV, and Regional Theatre.

Theatre credits include; BROADWAY: Cats (Victoria) OFF-BROADWAY/ LAB: Little Dancer (Chantal, Marie u/s) REGIONAL : On the Town (Ivy Smith.) TV: “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Americas Got Talent.” Rathbun’s Awards include: YAGP (Silver medal for Black Swan pas de duex) and World Ballet Competition (Bronze medal.).

Jake Casey

Former dancer with CINCINNATI Ballet and up and coming choreographer

Sugar Plum Cavalier Dec. 14-16, All Performances
Jake Casey is a New York based Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, and Actor. He was born in Syracuse, New York, where he began his training with Kathleen Rathbun at the Syracuse City Ballet.  He then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to train at the Rock School for Dance Education, where he is now on the Permanent Guest Faculty. During his summers, he studied with the Boston Ballet and at the Chautauqua Institution. In the 2013-2014 Season, Casey danced as a corps de ballet member with Ballet Idaho. Under the artistic direction of Peter Anastos, he performed principal and soloist roles.

In Summer of 2014, Jake joined the Cincinnati Ballet, where he danced as a corps de ballet member until Spring of 2017. With Cincinnati he performed in ballets by: Ohad Naharin, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Val Caniparoli, Viktor Plotnikov, Victoria Morgan, Septime Webre, Trey McIntyre, Edwaard Liang, Jennifer Archibald, Adam Houghland, and many others. Casey danced at the National Choreographer’s Initiative in Irvine, CA. In Summer of 2017, Casey moved to Europe to dance with the Estonian Theatre Vanemuine. While in Estonia, he performed Soloist and Principal parts in creations by some Europe’s most sought after choreographers. 

Choreographically, Jake has been commissioned by several companies to create new works.  He has been commissioned by Cincinnati Ballet three times, Metamorphosis Dance Company(Trinidad), Pulse Dance Company( Alaska), San Jose Dance Thetare, and Stalder Dance(UK), to name a few. His work placed second at the Reverbdance Festival in NYC.  On Television, Jake appeared on America’s Got Talent & So You Think You Can Dance.  He was a 2013 NYC Finalist for the Youth American Grand Prix. He also competed nationally as a Level 10 gymnast with USA Gymnastics, where he was an academic All-American. As a Guest Teacher and Artist, Jake has instructed and danced at institutions around the world. Jake is thrilled to be back with San Jose Dance Theatre to perform in the Nutcracker!

Karin Dun

Snow Queen & Spanish Trio
Cast 2, Dec. 7-9. Dec. 14-16
A native San Josean, Karin’s introduction to classical ballet began at age 4 in Janet Vertin’s San Jose Ballet School’s studio.

Karin’s passion and dedication to ballet was further inspired by the founders of San Jose Dance Theatre and Los Gatos Academy of Dance, Paul Curtis and Shawn Stuart. Karin was a member of the San Jose Dance Theatre “Company”, for many years, and in middle school, was given the opportunity to tour tour with a Santa Clara University Goodwill Ballet Ensemble throughout Poland and the former Soviet Union. Paul Curtis and Shawn Stuart inspired the Karin’s strong work ethic and professionalism and she was selected for the San Francisco Ballet School summer program on full scholarship as well as the Victoria Morgan performance workshop, also on scholarship. As a student at UC Berkeley, Karin earned a B.A. in legal studies, and maintained ballet discipline with respected teachers Sally Streets and Grace Doty.

Now a human resources senior project manager and consultant, Karin sustains ballet stage performing with San Jose Dance Theatre and Western Ballet in classical and contemporary roles, notably as Snow Queen in Nutcracker productions. Going full circle, Karin was also a youth ballet instructor.

David Fonnegra

Snow King
Dec. 7-9 & 14-16, All Performances

Born in Venezuela, David is a former Principal Dancer with Ballet Nacional de Caracas, Channel Islands Ballet, Miami City Ballet, State Street Ballet, and Diablo Ballet. His repertoire includes many of the major classical ballets, neo-classical and contemporary works.

He toured extensively with Ballet Nacional de Caracas to South America, the Caribbean, Spain, Mexico, the U.S. and to the Montpellier Fesitval in France, and the Ibero American Dance Gala at Madrid’s Royal Palace. In 1994, Venezuala awarded him its highest artistic honor, the Casa del Artista, for his accomplishments in classical dance. David has taught throughout the U.S. including the Miami City Ballet, New World School of the Arts, Steps in New York, State Street Ballet, and Ballet Torino in Italy, Ballet Nacional de Caracas, and others.

David Fonnegra was the artistic director of Peninsula Ballet Theatre for 4 years in which he developed curriculum based on the Vaganova syllabus and extensively taught and choreographed. David holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Mary’s College.

George Ou

Arabian Prince & Dew Drop Cavalier
Cast 1 Arabian Prince, Cast 2 Dew Drop Cavalier

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

Arabian Princess & Spanish Trio
Cast 1 Arabian Princess, Cast 2 Spanish Trio
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.

Michael Howerton

Drosselmeyer evening performances and Mr.Staulbaum matinee performances.
Dec. 7-9 & 14-16
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.

Jazon Escultura

Drosselmeyer matinee performances and Mr. Staulbaum evening performances.
Dec. 7-9 & 14-16
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.

Linda Hurkmans, M.A.

Artistic Director, San Jose Dance Theatre

As a child, Linda Hurkmans was given detailed Vaganova training from Connie Schwarze 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). Hurkmans received full 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. She 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. She 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.

Linda 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. She 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 Co., Santa Clara University, Foothill College, Pasquale Esposito’s Italian Christmas, and San Jose Dance Theatre.

In 2014, Hurkmans was named the Artistic Director of San Jose Dance Theatre and helped re-open the doors to the academy and rebuilt it from 0 students to over 100 today. She has choreographed a full length version of “The Nutcracker”, 20 original works for the school and company and has staged “La Bayadere Kingdom of the Shades:, “White Swan Pas de Deux”, “Swan Lake Four Little Swans”,“Swan Lake Pas de Trois”, “Le Corsaire Pas de Deux”, “Paquita Grand Pas Classique” and more. Hurkmans has overseen San Jose Dance Theatre’s collaborations with Margaret Wingrove’s Dance Co., with Foothill College, and performances at SjDANCE Co. Festival, the Montalvo Arts Center, Santana Row Tree Lighting Event, World Wide Women’s Festival at Santa Clara University, San Francisco Movement Arts Festival, and the San Jose Center for Performing Arts. On May 25, 2019, San Jose Dance Theatre will premier Linda Hurkmans’ new full length “Firebird” at the Hammer Theatre in San Jose.

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


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.

Nutcracker School Performance

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 7 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.

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