Radio City Christmas Spectacular – Starring The Rockettes
Fox Theatre, Atlanta
Saturday November 21st
By Deborah Searle.
The Rockettes are an American Christmas tradition with a proud 77 year history. The precision dance troupe of long legged beauties take stage every holiday season across the US to usher in the Christmas spirit. This November I was lucky enough to enjoy the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the famous Rockettes at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre.
Having seen The Rockette’s in their 75th anniversary year, back in 2007, I was looking forward to the performance. The Rockettes are said to have inspired over 65 million people in their long history. I am certainly one of them. Who wouldn’t dream of wearing those glitzy costumes whilst kicking their legs incredibly high, all the while oozing charm and elegance?
The Christmas Spectacular follows Santa and The Rockettes through many aspects of Christmas. A fun moment includes a spin-off of the Nutcracker ballet performed by dancers in large bear costumes, as well as three, very cute, little bears. We visited Santa’s workshop, flew with Santa through the sky, did some Christmas shopping in New York, and enjoyed Christmas gifts and much holiday fun.
A playful number to the Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas was a delight. The Rockettes performed a strong, and fast tap number that although very long, kept us entertained. It was quite comical with references to Swan Lake. The tapping Rockettes even broke out in the famous Dance of the Cygnets. The talented artists sang and danced with excellence.
The ensemble dancers performed several numbers that were exciting and exuberant, involving clean partner work and fun dances full of characterization. Although The Rockettes get to kick their legs high and wow us with their synchronization and elegance, I feel that the ensemble dancers get to enjoy the most creative choreography. They were all very strong dancers and very entertaining.
The traditional dance of the toy soldiers was flawless and a favourite of the audience. Although the dance movements were easy, the timing, patterning and exact placement of each dancer had to be so precise and The Rockettes mastered every step.
The dance of The Rockettes as rag dolls was also a treat. As they danced and spun toy blocks in total synchronization one had to wonder how many hours of practice they must have had!
To end the performance we were presented with a beautiful reenactment of The Nativity. A Christmas show wouldn’t be complete without reference to the first Christmas, and The Rockettes paid a fitting tribute. Live camels and sheep graced the stage as well as the Nativity characters of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the wise men and shepherds, whilst Bible scripture was read. It was breathtaking and memorable.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a must see. Full of fantastic Christmas music, song and dance, there were so many fun and exciting moments. The show is such a holiday treat and perfect for an audience of all ages.