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Springfield, Missouri


Patrons will follow along as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince dash from an extravagant Christmas party to a fierce battle with the evil Mouse King, then on a magical journey through the Enchanted Forest of Snow and Land of Sweets. Families will celebrate this holiday tradition and share the magic of Springfield Ballet's The Nutcracker with the ones they love!

View Digital Program  
  • Friday, December 15 @ 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 16 @ 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 17 @ 2:00 pm & 6:30 pm
  • Monday, December 18 @ 6:30 pm

Run time for The Nutcracker is two hours, including a 20 minute intermission.

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The Nutcracker 2023 Cast List

2023 Professional Guest Artists

Maria (Hall) Velazquez and Jose Soares return once again as Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier! Like and follow us on social media to see more about this year's production!


Maria (Hall) Velazquez – Associate Artistic Director, Sugar Plum Fairy

Maria Hall's early dance training began at Springfield Ballet under the direction of Ashley Paige Romines. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ballet, Modern Performance and Choreography. At UMKC, she trained under Paula Weber, Mary Pat Henry, David Justin, DeeAnna Hiett, Gary Abbott, Tobin James and Sabrina Madison-Cannon. During this time, Maria performed works by Alvin Ailey, Gregory Dawson, Peter Anastos, Kameron Saunders and Philip Jerry. She performed with Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and the Alvin Ailey 1st Company in "Memoria.” Maria also performed "Eden” as an apprentice with Wylliams-Henry Contemporary Dance Company. She has trained at summer programs including SummerWind Youth Ballet, Giordano Dance Chicago, The Rock School for Dance Education, Kansas City Ballet and Netherlands Dance Theatre. Maria had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to perform in the 76th Annual International Choreographers Showcase with dancers from around the world.

After graduation, Maria spent a season dancing with Missouri Contemporary Ballet, where she performed in works by Karen Grundy, Sean Aaron-Carmon, Penny Saunders and Fernando Rodriguez. As an alumna of Springfield Ballet, Maria was honored and excited to return in 2021 to the ballet school that shaped the foundation of her dancing. She has been teaching and choreographing as Associate Artistic Director of Springfield Ballet ever since. She is thrilled to continue sharing all she has learned and help the future stars of the dance world grow and flourish. Maria is thrilled to return as Sugar Plum Fairy and share the stage once again with her students!

José Soares – Guest Artist, Cavalier

José Soares, began his training at age eleven in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil. He was one of ten children who was selected to study ballet at Bolshoi School. He trained under Dmitry Afanasiev and Galina Kravchenko and was rehearsed by Vladimir Vasiliev. After graduating from the Bolshoi School at age 18, he was accepted into the Trainee program at Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Following his traineeship with Joffrey Ballet, he was accepted into Milwaukee Ballet’s second company. In 2015, he danced with Lake Erie Ballet in principal roles such as the Cavalier in The Nutcracker and Dracula. In 2016 he joined the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, where he had the pleasure of working choreographers such as Joshua Blake Carter, Stephanie Martinez, Penny Saunders and Autumn Eckman. José was also invited to dance in Kansas City with Concept Zero where he performed a brand new ballet titled Alibi by Kristopher Estes-Brown. In 2019 by invitation of Alexei Kremnev, José danced in the opera Aleko and Everest with the Chicago Opera Theater. His role in the first act, Everest, was created solely for him. Additionally, he was seen in Dracula with Ballet Pensacola. He resides in Andalusia, Alabama where he teaches at the Andalusia Ballet Academy and has several freelance performance opportunities. José is excited to return for his third time as Cavalier in Springfield Ballet’s The Nutcracker.

Jeremy Rabe - Guest Artist, Uncle Drosselmeyer

Jeremy Rabe is an Emmy nominated host of Ozarks FOX AM, lifestyle expert, television critic, and a voting member of the Critics Choice Association. Jeremy has had a multifaceted career that includes performing in a variety of Branson shows to traveling the world as a lead male production singer for Carnival Cruise Lines. Jeremy has showcased his DIY and home renovation skills on television throughout the Ozarks for the better part of ten years. From his DIY/Craft show, "FYI GUY LIVE” to being a top 5 "DIY Star” finalist on Hallmarks channels "Home and Family,” Jeremy is nationally known for his ability to reuse, recycle and repurpose just about anything. Jeremy is an avid cook, horticulturalist, and rescue animal advocate! He has also been voted "Best Creative Mind,” ”Best Person to Invite to a Party,” and "Best Dressed,” by the readers of 417 Magazine. When Jeremy isn’t on TV you can find him checking out local restaurants, hiking the trails of the Ozark Mountains, or at home with his six rescue animals. He is thrilled to be sharing the stage for the third year with Springfield Ballet as Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker.


Ethan Houck - Guest Artist, Mouse King

Ethan Houck, 19, is a sophomore at Indiana University’s Ballet Department pursuing a BSOF in Ballet with an Outside Field in Arts Management. In the past year, Ethan had the opportunity to perform in Michael Vernon’s The Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s Serenade, and Dwight Rhoden’s Ballad Unto. He also recently performed in their Fall Ballet program, cast as the principal role in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Shibuya Blues. He is an alumnus of Springfield Ballet and Central High School, and is so excited to be back on the Landers Theatre stage reprising the role of Mouse King.