The company said it was reimagining the “harem” scene in the Tchaikovsky original to ensure that it remained “fresh and inclusive... to a broad audience”.
During Tuesday’s opening of the altered production only two dancers performed the scene, instead of the usual three female dancers and one male over worries that its harem overtones would offend.
A spokesman said: “The Royal Ballet regularly looks at the classic repertory to ensure these works remain fresh and as inclusive as possible to a broad audience.
“The Nutcracker is one of the most well-known ballets and is the perfect introduction for new audiences into this art form.
“Kevin O’Hare, director of the Royal Ballet, is keen to ensure that the production elements are appropriate within the context of classical ballet.”
The move comes after the Scottish Ballet said this month it was updating the costumes and choreography in the Chinese and Arabian-inspired scenes to strip the performance of “outdated and racial artistic content”.
Both the Spanish and Arabian dances were cut from the last year’s production.
The Royal Ballet said at the time, this was due to dancers needing to be socially distanced due to Covid-19 restrictions.