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American Academy of Ballet presents 'The Nutcracker'

To watch Misa Kuranaga and Daniel Ulbricht together on stage is a true thing of beauty. Kuranaga, principal dance with Boston Ballet, and Ulbricht, principal dancer with New York City Ballet, reunite for what has become a holiday tradition, reprising their roles in the timeless holiday classic, “The Nutcracker” for three performances at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts.

Presented by American Academy of Ballet, “The Nutcracker” offers a set replete with magnificent décor, magical costumes, and, if all stays true to years past, a supporting cast, young and old, that delivers a stirring rendition of the tale of young Clara and the Christmas gift that changed her life.

If you’ve seen some version of the enormously popular production, rest assured that the American Academy of Ballet strikes a fine balance of staying true to the traditional tale while Kuranaga and Ulbricht offer their unique (and breathtaking) interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s ballet.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to take in the splendor that is “The Nutcracker,” you’d be hard pressed to find a more impressive production than this one.

In fact, the best part of the production may be what happens off stage. Children of all ages, many dressed in their best holiday clothes, sit wide-eyed and smiling as it unfolds. Their excitement at the pageantry of “The Nutcracker,” is a joy to behold. During the intermission, the lobby is abuzz with the chatter of children, most marveling at what they just saw. It is as magical as the production itself.

'The Nutcracker" will be performed at 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 1 p.m. Dec. 4 at the UB Center for the Arts, North Campus, Amherst. Tickets are $21 to $30 (box office). Visit


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