By Jon King /

Following a pandemic pause, an annual tradition will return next week to Brighton.

The Brighton School of Ballet returns to the stage to celebrate their 35th anniversary of performing the holiday classic, “Nutcracker.” Performances will take place Saturday and Sunday, December 4th and 5th at 2pm at the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts.

The production, complete with dazzling scenery and costumes, features more than 110 local dancers, supporting cast members, gymnasts, and professional guest artists from Puerto Rico. Brighton School of Ballet owner and artistic director Katrina Frelich said while it is always an honor to bring this holiday tradition to life for their students, families and community, “this year feels even more meaningful” as they weren’t able to perform in 2020 through a difficult COVID period, adding, “it’s an even sweeter blessing this year to see our dancers and cast members so excited to share their talents and shine their lights to our community while celebrating our 35th anniversary! We’re so grateful for the support and appreciation the community has shown us over the decades, and for the opportunity to showcase the depth of artistic talent in Livingston County.”

The production is also very much a family affair, as the majority of the props and scenery were handcrafted decades ago by Frelich’s father, Dusan Shiposh, while the choreography was handed down from her mother, Deborah Shiposh, from whom she took over ownership of the studio in 2014. This year, principal dancers Marena Peréz and Daniel Ramirez from the National Ballet Theatre of Puerto Rico and Mauro Ballet will reprise their dazzling rendition of the ‘Sugar Plum Pas de Deux,’ while Jesús Sánchez, also of Mauro Ballet will dance the title role of the Nutcracker.

Tickets are $25 and are on sale now through December 4 at