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nspired by Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace and its opulent ball portrayals, James Brown decides to delve into the Russian ballroom culture. He learns the dress code of a traditional ball, its etiquette and even a fan language: a code that female ball-regulars used to communicate with their admirers. Balls were very popular events in 19th-century Russia. Only the very wealthy were allowed to attend these fetes, which required some serious preparation. Those who attended had to wear a fashionable dress or a perfect suit, know the etiquette and be a confident dancer. Follow our correspondent James Brown for an in-depth look at Russian ballroom culture, and visit the major ball of the year.