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'Wishes' granted

"Three Wishes" has become a Christmas tradition in Buffalo, thanks to the Greater Buffalo Youth Ballet. The tradition began when prima ballerina Ginger Burke, who worked with George Balanchine and founded the Royal Academy of Ballet here in 1947, produced ballets for television. She wrote and choreographed "Three Wishes," set to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, in 1957. Now, with new choreography by Elizabeth DiStasio-Waddell, it's as fresh and bracing as it ever was.

The ballet is the fairy tale of a girl named Suzie and a wizard named Chandu. Chandu disguises himself as a beggar and is touched when Suzie gives him her last penny, so he grants her three wishes. The fanciful story and the lush Russian music of Shostakovich make the drama perfect for December.

DiStasio-Waddell, a protege of Burke, directs talented young local dancers in "Three Wishes" at Mount St. Mary Academy in Tonawanda at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. For information, call 876-8706.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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