Smuin Ballet Presents a Holiday Celebrations with XXmas: The Christmas Ballet
The Bay Area's hottest holiday ticket gets a 20th Anniversary Season kick with XXmas: The Christmas Ballet, 2013 Edition, making its sassy return with a perfect gift for audience members of all ages. An ever-changing carousel of mischief and elegance, this enormously popular holiday celebration offers something for everyone, from ballet, tap, and swing to a wealth of other dances drawn from holiday traditions from around the world. This year XXmas: The Christmas Ballet will include new choreography from Smuin's acclaimed Choreographer-in-Residence Amy Seiwert and Post:Ballet Artistic Director Robert Dekkers. XXmas: The Christmas Ballet will tour the Bay Area, beginning with shows in Walnut Creek (November 22-23), continuing in Livermore (November 29-30), Carmel (December 6-7), and Mountain View (December 11-15), and finishing up with its annual holiday run at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (December 18-28). Single tickets ($25-$65*) are available by calling the individual venues or visiting www.smuinballet.org * San Francisco venues only, other venues $49-$65
XXmas: The Christmas Ballet has a diverse set of seasonal offerings that satisfies all tastes. The Classical first half of the evening features white-clad dancers performing holiday favorites, including Amy Seiwert's playful "Sleigh Ride" and Michael Smuin's lively "Wassail," as well as a world premiere from Robert Dekkers, set to "Carol of the Bells." Named "25 To Watch" by DANCE Magazine in 2011 and hailed as a "mad genius" by the Huffington Post, Robert Dekkers is founder and artistic director of Post:Ballet. Collaborating with eclectic artists to present work that is "anything but risk averse" (San Francisco Chronicle), Dekkers has created over a dozen new works for Post:Ballet since he founded the company in 2009. His choreography has been presented at venues including the San Francisco International Arts Festival, the Tanzsommer Festival (Vienna), the Ballet Builders Showcase (New York City), Against the Grain Festival (Seattle), and West Wave Festival (San Francisco).
The Cool second half of XXmas: The Christmas Ballet features a red hot costume change, with dancers performing a modern mash-up of numbers including "Jingle Bells Mambo" from San Francisco choreographer Val Caniparoli; a flirty "Santa Baby;" and the return of tap favorite "Bells of Dublin." Cool Christmas also boasts a world premiere from Choreographer-in-Residence Amy Seiwert, set to Kay Starr's "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (Stuhr Remix)." A former Smuin dancer, Seiwert has been choreographing since 1999 and has won numerous awards and critical accolades. Bay Area Reporter declares her to be "the most talented and prolific young choreographer working from a ballet base around here" and the San Francisco Chronicle has called her "sharply innovative" and "one of the country's most exciting young dance makers." Her work is in the repertory of Smuin Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Richmond Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet, as well as Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Robert Moses KIN, and Ballet Austin.
Debuting in San Francisco in March 1994, Smuin Ballet immediately established itself as one of the Bay Area's most eagerly watched performing arts companies, as "one of this country's most entertaining, original ballet troupes" (Dance Magazine), and as a Dance Company of international acclaim, performing to sold-out houses on European tours. Michael Smuin's singular philosophy to create pieces which merge the diverse vocabularies of classical ballet and contemporary dance has served as the company's touchstone since its beginning.
Now at the helm of Smuin Ballet is Artistic and Executive Director Celia Fushille, whose vision includes maintaining and increasing the company's reputation for presenting accessible and innovative repertoire, attracting new audiences of all ages to the medium. The company has continued to highlight works created by Smuin, both for his own and for other ballet companies, but Fushille also enriches its impressive repertoire with newer choreographic voices, bringing the Bay Area its first look at works by exciting choreographers from around the world, as well as developing world premieres by company members.