9

SUNDAY

Long red ribbons in elaborate bows, falling from freshly washed, combed-for-once hair. White-collared dresses—maybe green velvet, maybe red. Maybe Christmas plaid with a wide sash. Petticoats—definitely petticoats—and white tights. Black Mary Janes, preferably patent. For the boys, clip-on ties and gold-buttoned blazers. No sneakers. What else will you see at the Kennedy Center tonight? Well, Clara, and Herr Drosselmeyer, and the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the valiant soldier himself, of course. And one of the world’s finest ballet troupes gamely trotting out an old warhorse so little girls and boys can decide they like ballet, or at least dressing up. Once a year, everybody needs an occasion. Make yours the American Ballet Theatre’s no-lily-ungilded performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Performances are at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House. $50-$95. (202) 467-4600. (Caroline Schweiter)