Live dancers dazzling the audiences with ballet. PHOTO: ISABELLA WEST

Just in time for the holiday season, The Immersive Nutcracker, A Winter Miracle has landed in Calgary and runs at the BMO Centre from Dec. 1 to 28. 

The experience consists of a technology display based on the 1816 tale, The Nutcracker and The Mouse King, written by E.T.A Hoffman. 

The show transports the audience into the world of The Nutcracker by bringing to life animated projections that dance along four large walls and the floor right under their feet. 

“At one point there is an entire holiday decoration avalanche, filling the whole screen with all of those fun ways to animate the show, I think that is really the appeal with The Nutcracker story,” says Sheri Rowe, director of operations for Paquin Entertainment. 

The Nutcracker army prepares for battle against the Mouse King in one of the interactive videos at the exhibit. VIDEO: ISABELLA WEST

Live-action actors and dancers are accompanied by timeless music by Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky — engulfing visitors in the holiday experience. 

“It’s quite a magical adventure,” says Rowe, explaining that the audience is never quite sure what the show is going to offer next. 

The open concept of the exhibit allows visitors to move freely, immersing them right into the display and allowing them too to become characters.  

“There’s lots of little ones bouncing around and pirouetting, moving along with the show. That’s really what makes this experience, again, different than your kind of traditional going to the theatre and being seated and watching the ballet,” says Rowe.

The Calgary exhibit is one of a number around North America. The exhibit is open from Wednesdays through Sundays but on Dec. 26 and 27, it will stay open to the public in order to allow individuals to take advantage of their Christmas break and visit the show.

The one-hour-long immersive experience ends with Christmas-inspired photo ops and a small gift shop. Tickets are available for purchase through The Immersive Nutcracker, a Winter Miracle’s website.

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Isabella West is a fourth-year Journalism student at MRU. She completed her work term over the summer of 2023 at LiveWire Calgary in partnership with the Calgary Journal.