Gallery for Dec. 16

ttompkins@bradenton.comDecember 16, 2013 

Mattison Bedinghaus dances the part of Clara as the Dance Theatre of Bradenton rehearses "The Nutcracker" in their Bradenton studios recently. The group, presented by Bradenton Repertory Ballet, performed Saturday and Sunday at Manatee High School's Davis Center for the Performing Arts.TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

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The sweeping strains of Tchaikovsky's familiar Christmas ballet fill the room as dancers take their places.

They tuck the ends of point-shoe ribbons into pink satin winding around their ankles as they wait to dance.

They leap, bend, boureé across the floor, eyes flicking to the mirror as they check their lines.

Director Allison Norton calls out notes as they move, the dancers making subtle corrections as they glide across the rehearsal space.

On performance day the leotards and leg warmers are traded for tutus and bright lights.

The hard work is transformed into dreams come to life, unfolding across the stage.

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