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It's not Christmas without 'Nutcracker'

December 22, 1996
Web posted at: 11:15 p.m. EST

(CNN) -- Every holiday season, all over the country, ballet dancers large and small come together to preserve the Christmas tradition that is Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." movie icon (638K/17 sec. QuickTime movie)

Members of the Washington Ballet School and Company do their part. This is the 36th year they have performed the classic story, which revolves around a little girl and the magic present she receives.

But making the leap to period costume is not as easy as it looks. School founder Mary Day said one of the hardest things to teach dancers is the etiquette of the 1840s, including how to bow.

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