RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Christmas classic returns to the stage in Richmond!

This weekend, Richmond Ballet is debuting ‘The Nutcracker’ with new scenery by Alain Vaës, choreography by Ma Cong and revamped costumes.

Company dancer Naomi Robinson said the additions freshen up the classic tale.

“We get to see some new characters on stage as well, like the Chinese dancer,” Robinson said. “She’s doing a dance different from previous years, and we actually have a ring where we’re fighting a dragon. It’s based off the mythological character, NeZha.”

Colin Jacob, a company dancer, said preparations are months in the making.

“I would say preparations for The Nutcracker start as soon as the previous Nutcracker ends,” he explained. “I would say rehearsals definitely started about two months ago. We piece together the costumes, the set, the choreography — into the project that you see on stage.”

Richmond Ballet dancers in The Nutcracker by Stoner Winslett. Photo by Sarah Ferguson / Courtesy of Richmond Ballet.

Jacob added the production is a tradition that brings Richmond together.

“I think, specifically to Richmond, it just really brings unity to the community,” he said. “It’s something very specific that we have here. We do it everywhere. All over the nation, all over the world, but there’s something very special about what Richmond Ballet brings.”

Tickets to the production start at $25. Opening night at the Dominion Energy Center is Friday, Dec. 9, and shows run through Friday, Dec. 23.

More details can be found on Richmond Ballet’s website.