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Dancers of the classical favorite, The Nutcracker, ring the opening bell at the NYSE

  • The Nutcracker performance has been an annual holiday tradition since 1954
  • 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 40 stagehands and more than 125 children make up the show

Dancers of the holiday classical, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, have journeyed to the New York Stock Exchange to ring Friday's opening bell.

The show is about a little girl in a world of sugary confection that's surrounded by ballerinas, toy soldiers and mischievous mice. It includes 90 dancers, 62 musicians, 40 stagehands and more than 125 children from the School of American Ballet.

The story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, was first written in 1816 as a scary fairy-tail intended for adults only. The book was revised years later in order to be more appropriate for children.

The first production of the ballet was performed in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky composed the music.

The first performance in New York City wasn't until February 2, 1954 and has been an annual production ever since. The New York City Ballet usually presents 47 performances of the ballet annually.

The Nutcracker is on stage now at Lincoln Center in New York City until December 31.

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