Maris Battaglia has been directing the American Academy of Ballet and Dance in Williamsville for the past 54 years.
And she has been putting on “The Nutcracker” for over two decades of that time.
She says she started doing it because she used to take her nieces and nephews to the show….and while they loved the first act…they’d snooze through the second.
Liking a challenge, Battaglia took on the production at her own studio, but adds her own twist each year.
“The second act we do things more geared to children,” said Battaglia.
“We go to the North Pole… we go under the sea.”
Around 80% of the dancers in the Nutcracker come from her school, another handful from other companies in Western New York and a few principal dancers from the New York City Ballet come in to take part.
Her lead in the ballet this year has been a part of the production for the past 15 years!
It will be performed at University at Buffalo’s center for the arts December 1, 2018.
There are two showings - 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Tickets run from $22-33, find them here.