International Cast

International Cast Brings

NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet

To American Audiences

 (Berkshires, Mass.) Aug. 11, 2022 – On this 30th Anniversary tour, an all-star, award-winning ensemble from Ukraine, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and more bring NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet back to the stage.

Talmi Entertainment Producer Dan Talmi said the classic Christmas ballet with its cast of international luminaries sets the stage for peace, hope, and understanding that transcend conflict.

“In a world that sometimes seems to be pulling itself apart, the message of this international troupe of artists is that we can still come together to celebrate beautiful art across borders,” Talmi said.

This mission of international understanding is reflected in the core values of the production. Unique to NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet is the Land of Peace and Harmony in Act II, in place of the traditional Land of Sweets. Clara and her Nutcracker Prince encounter symbols of each culture in the form of larger than life 10’ tall puppets; Wisdom from the Persian Elephant, Strength from the Slavic Bear, Courage from the Spanish Bull, Honesty from the French Unicorn, and Resilience from the Chinese Firebird. The theme of international peace is brought to life by the world-class Principal artists of the company. 

haruo niyama 3The tour features three gold-medalists; Hitomi Takeda, who received her awards at the prestigious International Ballet Competitions of Lausanne, Varna, and Bulgaria; Haruo Niyama, winner of the Lausanne International Ballet Competition; and Batur Buklu, who took the gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Istanbul.

Haruo Niyama, as the Nutcracker Prince, joins the troupe from Japan and is a Gold Medalist and a star of the Paris opera. Award winner Hitomi Takeda as Clara, has danced on premier stages from Japan to Houston to Switzerland, becoming nationally recognized with prestigous awards, including taking the special technique prize in 2000 and 2001 while also coming in second in the National Ballet Academy competition in 2001. In 2002, she won the Bourse Jeune Espoir in the Prix de Lausanne.

 Karyna Shatkovskaya is the principal artist from the Ukrainian ballet capital of Kharkiv. With an International Ballet Competition win in Kazakhstan and as a UNESCO recognized artist, Karyna comes to this message of peace in a time of great uncertainty for her country and her people. Her performances are a cry for humanism in an age that must be reminded of the value of life, beauty, and human artistic creation. [Full Bio]

Batur Buklu, Principal Artist, joins the production as a resident artist of the Turkish national ballet company, Istanbul State Opera and Ballet. With residencies at the prestigious John Cranko school in Germany, Buklu is destined to leave a mark on the American theater-going public. Istanbul State Conservatory and was selected for the prestigious John Cranko Ballet School in Stuttgart, Germany. Buklu has graced stages across the world, with a major residency in Hof, Germany.

karyna and rustem in final scene·       Olena Pecheniuk: Principal Ballerina Olena Pecheniuk premiered with NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet on the 25th Anniversary Tour of North America as heroine Clara in NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. Olena is a rising star ballerina, prima with the Dnipro Opera of Ukraine and 2022 Honored Artist of Ukraine.

·     Rustem Imangaliyev: Imangaliyev premiered in the U.S. on the 2015 NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet tour to 80 cities as principal danseur. Imangaliyev is a highly awarded danseur receiving an honorary mention from the International Ballet Competition in Korea and an honorary award at the Asylmuratova International Ballet Competition in Kazakhstan. 


This Christmas, bring the whole family back to a simpler time with NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet! The acclaimed holiday tradition is LIVE in theaters for the 30th Anniversary tour. Gather friends and family to re-live your fondest childhood dreams, overflowing with larger-than-life puppets, breath-taking acrobatics and dazzling costumes. Experience the exquisite artistry of the international cast, featuring stars of Ukraine ballet, performing at the highest level of classical technique. Share in the message of Peace and Harmony this Christmas with tickets in your city!