11 Dec 2021-2 Jan 2022


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

Running time

2:20 hours, 1 break


Not available

Notenkraker & Muizenkoning

Season 23/24 brings two more ballet classics: Giselle and Raymonda

The Nutcracker & the Mouse King was on the programme in season 21/22. Would you like to see another unmissable famous ballet classic? In season 23/24 you can enjoy Giselle (12 Oct - 19 Nov '23, also in other theatres) as well as Raymonda (9 Dec '23 -1 Jan '24)!

Info & tickets Giselle
Info & tickets Raymonda


The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Dutch National Ballet’s ultimate Christmas production is a festive fairytale, steeped in Dutch traditions for the month of December. There are skating scenes on the canals of Amsterdam, a living room that transforms into a snowy forest and a magic lantern that takes you on a journey to exotic countries. Since its premiere, the ballet has enchanted more than 325,000 children and adults.

Immerse yourself in a festive fantasy world

The first version of the ballet The Nutcracker premiered in St Petersburg in 1892. Nowadays, productions of Nutcracker are performed all over the world, especially at Christmas time. The Amsterdam version, entitled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, is regarded by connoisseurs as one of the most beautiful productions of the ballet ever, and it is a milestone in Dutch theatre history. Choreographed by Wayne Eagling and Toer van Schayk, the ballet is now also, in a slightly adapted version, part of the repertoires of several companies abroad.


For both children and adults

For their version for Dutch National Ballet, Eagling and Van Schayk chose to take a purely Dutch approach to the story. Unlike the original story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King does not take place on Christmas Eve in a small town in Germany, but on the eve of St Nicholas, in Amsterdam, around 1810. At the same time, they adapted the story to suit contemporary tastes. There are lots of scene changes and an exciting battle between Clara’s nutcracker doll, which comes to life, and the mouse king’s army. This makes the ballet less sugary and more dynamic than many other Nutcracker productions. In the version by Eagling and Van Schayk, imagination rules – and that works, for the adults as well.


Dutch masters

The audience is immersed in a festive fantasy world, in which the wonderful sets and costumes, designed by Van Schayk himself, play an important role. For his designs, Van Schayk was inspired by the work of the Dutch masters of the Golden Age.


Choreography  Wayne Eagling and Toer van Schayk
Music  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Musical accompaniment  Dutch National Ballet Orchestra conducted by Fayçal Karoui

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, we, unfortunately, had to decide to cancel the Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor's participation in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.

Watch the trailer

Notenkraker & Muizenkoning
Notenkraker & Muizenkoning
Rave reviews
In the media
17 December

The luxurious flower waltz is like a moving poesie picture. Couple that with Tchaikovsky's timeless music and you have a wonderful family party.

19 December

A celebration for young and old.

29 December

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by the Dutch National Ballet, with music from Tchaikovsky, is like the Christmas circus in Carré: the perfect family outing during the holidays!

Het Balletorkest

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

conducted by Fayçal Karoui

Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been proud to accompany its partners, Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. The working method is unique in the Netherlands.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as principal conductor, consists of a regular core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest performers. This gives the orchestra its unique character: flexible, dynamic and high-quality.

More about Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Podcast The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - part 1

The set
In this 3-part podcast, podcast maker Babette Rijkhoff takes you behind the scenes of Dutch National Ballet during the preparations of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. In part 1, she visits designer and choreographer Toer van Schayk and takes a walk with props craftsmen Niek Gersen and Linda Molenaar

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King- Podcast part 1

By: Babette Rijkhoff

Podcast The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - part 2

Costume department
Did you know that The Nutcracker and the Mouse King has more than 300 different costumes? And that some dancers wear out a pair of ballet shoes per performance? And did you ever think vodka was a good way to clean a ballet costume? In this episode, Babette Rijkhoff is in the Costume department. 

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - Podcast part 2

By: Babette Rijkhoff

Podcast The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - part 3

Dutch Ballet Orchestra
The music of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Did you know that he found composing this ballet a 'real torture'?  The dancers of Dutch National Ballet are musically accompanied by the Dutch Ballet Orchestra, consisting of a permanent core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by guest performers.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - Podcast part 3

By: Babette Rijkhoff


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