San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

National Theater welcomes back ‘The Nutcracker’

Christmas spirit is popping up all around San José, and soon that cheer will glissade into the National Theater as ballerinas and danseurs take to the stage in the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.”

Twelve presentations of the Russian ballet will run Dec. 1-11. This year marks the first time that all female roles will be performed by Costa Rican ballerinas and not foreigners. 

The leading role of Clara will be alternated between Mariana Elizondo and Alejandra López. Kristiane Feoli, Johanna Castro and Gina Chavarría will dance the roles of the Sugarplum Fairy, Snow Queen and Flower Queen, respectively. 

The ballerinas will be accompanied by three U.S. danseurs and one Japanese danseur from the American Ballet Theatre (ABT). 

Wes Chapman, a former principal danseur and artistic director for the ABT, will join María Amalia Pendones and Patricia Carreras in directing the show. Chapman, whose résumé includes work with famed Latvian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, will also fill the role of Drosselmeyer, Clara’s godfather. 

“The Nutcracker” at the National Theater has been an annual tradition in San José. Last year’s show was canceled after the 2009 production failed to break even. The 2009 production cost ₡158 million ($316,000) and earned only ₡76 million ($152,000). The remaining costs were paid by the National Theater and the National Music Center. 

Tickets for this year’s show run ₡11,000-₡26,000 ($22-$52) and are available at authorized Servimás outlets, Bansbach and La Barbería stores and the Ramada Plaza Herradura. They may be ordered online at or via telephone at 2207-2025.

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