VOL. 27 - NO. 1
JAN 16 - 23, 2022
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Smuin’s “The Christmas Ballet” Is Back in Full Swing for the Holiday Season

Nov 30, 2021
by Darlene Jurow
The Smuin Ballet always delights, and at Christmas time, especially this year, in a return to live in-theater performance after 21 months, the pleasure is doubled!

The two acts of this year’s “The Christmas Ballet” feature the best of both worlds: classical ballet set to carols followed by a medley of hot contemporary works set to rock favorites.

The first half is classical and elegant, with music by Bach, Palestrina, Handel, etc. The Ave Marie solo, danced by Tessa Barbour is truly stunning. The sets are minimal; the lighting very effective.

The second half, “Cool Christmas,” is not exactly your grandmother’s nutcracker. The signature medley of classical ballet, contemporary music, Broadway jazz, and tap, with a giant nod to the roaring ‘20s, along with the firey red costumes, dancing green trees, and contemporary music, is spunky, clever, and well performed.

This review hopefully won’t spoil the surprise finale, but the music of White Christmas might give you a clue. It’s a great ending to a terrific performance!

Running time is approximately 1 hour 55 minutes, with one intermission.

Smuin’s “The Christmas Ballet” performance at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts (500 Castro St.) in Mountain View of December 2-5 (650-903-6000); then Dec. 10-11 at the Sunset Center (San Carlos Street at Ninth Avenue) in Carmel (831-620-2048); followed by performances on Dec. 16-26 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (700 Howard St.) in San Francisco (415-912-1899). For more information please visit www.smuinballet.org.

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Photo caption: Dancer Max van der Sterre prepares to launch a giant snowball at Maggie Carey, Tess Lane and Ian Buchanan in Rex Wheeler’s “Snow Day!” (Photo: Chris Hardy)


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