Arts & Culture

Soloist Gretel Batista performs with Neglia Ballet in Nutcracker at Shea’s

For the 10th anniversary of the Nutcracker, the Neglia Ballet is proud to announce the performance of Gretel Batisa, who will be performing the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  The inclusion of Ms. Batista signals new heights for the Neglia Ballet Company.

Born in Cuba, she received her training at the Cuban National Ballet School.  Later she moved to the United States and joined the Orlando Ballet and is currently a principal dancer with the Dance Alive National Ballet.  Batista has toured throughout South America and Europe and was invited to perform in the International Ballet Festival of Miami.

In the Neglia production of Nutcracker, Batista will be partnered with award-winning dancer, Sergii Sidorsky, a graduate of the Kiev State Choreographic School and former Principal dancer with the Schevchenko National Ballet Theater in Ukraine.

 The pairing of the two promises the performance of performances of the Nutcracker in Buffalo.

In Neglia’s traditional staging of The Nutcracker, we follow young Marie on her journey through a magical battle scene, a breathtaking winter wonderland, and the scrumptious Land of Sweets.  Become enchanted while watching world class ballet at Shea’s Performing Arts Center with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s treasured score.

The BPO’s new assistant conductor, Todd Craven, who began his tenure last autumn will be conducting this year’s performance. Todd presides over select Pops concerts and special orchestral engagements, as well as the BPO Kids series and concerts for students.

Of course we cannot forget the amazing talent from our fair city when they reprise the roles they originated back in 2009, with Sergio Neglia (Nutcracker), Suzanne Evans (Mother Ginger), and Brian Pagkos (Rat King).

Four of the six original party scene boys (all former Neglia Conservatory students) will perform as party scene adults. Rorey Fraser, one of the original party boys and current member of the Hartford Ballet Company, will also be performing the Arabian Dance with current Neglia student and selected participant in the 2018 Jackson International Ballet Competition, Maggie Weatherdon.

Two Neglia students from the Buffalo Public Schools shine as the only students to perform in all 10 presentations of Neglia’s The Nutcracker.  Rising through the ranks from the smallest roles to featured dancers in this year’s production are  Lara Deboy who was an Angel in 2009 and  this year takes on the role of a Snowflake and Flower.  Adrien Malof, who originated the role of Lead Mouse in 2009, will perform the leading role of Marie for the second year.

If you haven’t already, start an aesthetic holiday family tradition by going to the Neglia’s Nutcracker.

This year, you can enjoy performances which will be held at Shea’s Performing Arts Center with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra December 22  at 7 pm and Sunday December  23, 2018 at 2 pm.

For tickets, call 1-800-745-3000, or visit Shea’s Ticket Office. Tickets: $29 – $75. For groups (10+), please call (716) 829-1153. For more information, visit #

About the author

Teresa Reile

Teresa is a strong leader having worked closely with Nobel Peace Prize Nominees, business and entertainment icons, political and religious leaders the world over.

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