Cory grabbed Kevyn’s hand and pulled him through a swirling sea of costumed dancers stretching or marking their dances in the narrow passageways behind the stage area at the Rouse Theater. She wanted to see Jess before the performance began, to wish her luck, and this time she really meant it. She’d teased Jess a lot in the past about taking the “Buttcracker” performances so seriously, but tonight was different. They brushed past more performers, bumping into a few who turned their made-up doll faces to them and frowned. A dancer in a yellow tutu studded with colorful flowers lifted one leg toward the ceiling like a marionette without the strings. Another group of performers dressed in velvety Victorian coats and dresses stood in the wings beyond the stage, talking and sneaking sips from Starbucks paper cups.
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