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The Radio City Rockettes Return To the Stage At The Fox Theatre 11/19-12/6

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For more than three quarters of a century, the Radio City Rockettes, the world's most famous precision dance troupe, have been a legendary force in entertainment with a rich history of skill and dedication to their craft. From their memorable USO Tours during WWII, to show-stopping Super Bowl half-time appearances, to the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade performances, to Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies, The Rockettes are recognized as a national treasure: the epitome of glamour, excitement, joy and optimism.

Their annual starring role in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and in numerous other cities across the North America is, during its holiday season-run, seen by more people in any one year than almost any other live show in America. Even shows that boast weekly performances all year long rarely play to two million people annually. Given that the Radio City Christmas Spectacular has been performed annually since 1932, it clearly holds an unrivaled record for having been seen by more people than any other production.

The appeal of The Rockettes is timeless and enduring. The New York Times, reviewing a recent performance, summed it up raving "Best of all, as always, are the miraculous Rockettes in their crisp costumes, smiling and tapping their way flawlessly everywhere." In 2009, the Radio City Rockettes will kick up their heels in thirty-six cities across America and display their famous eye-high kicks and precision dance with the same enthusiasm and vigor that has become their trademark.

BRINGING THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS ACROSS THE NATION

Everyone loves a festive holiday season filled with joyful celebration and meaningful family traditions. For decades, one of the most beloved family holiday traditions has been an outing to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. And because not everyone is able to travel to New York City to see the famed show at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) is bringing the classic spectacular to other areas in North America!

In 1994, due to popular demand, MSGE broadened the beloved holiday theatrical's schedule for the first time to encompass markets outside New York, while running simultaneously in New York. Since then, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular has performed in many cities across North America including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Mexico City, Minneapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, St. Louis, Seattle, and many more.

In 2009, more cities will receive a holiday visit from The Rockettes than ever before. Productions will play extended runs in Nashville, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Dallas and Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular arena tour will expand this year to encompass 31 cities across North America.

A LEGENDARY HISTORY

The Rockettes first kicked to life in 1925 as the "Missouri Rockets," and made their show business debut in St. Louis, the realization of a long-time dream of their founder Russell Markert. "I had seen the John Tiller Girls in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1922," Markert once reminisced. "If I ever got a chance to get a group of American girls who would be taller and have longer legs and could do really complicated tap routines and eye-high kicks ... they'd knock your socks off!"

At Radio City Music Hall's opening night on December 27, 1932, The Rockettes did just that. Brought to New York by consummate showman S.L. (Roxy) Rothafel, who first dubbed them the "Roxyettes," the women shared the stage with 17 diverse acts, among them the Flying Wallendas, Ray Bolger and Martha Graham. The Rockettes were an instant sensation! Markert had created the quintessential American chorus line - an exciting precision dance troupe with tremendous style and glamour. Starting with a line of just 16 women, the numbers grew over the years.
In 1933, Radio City Music Hall's typical program featured a new movie and a lavish stage production every week starring The Rockettes. Russell Markert's stringent requirements never varied, and he continued to stage and choreograph productions at the Music Hall until his retirement in 1971. The concept of the dance line was to achieve absolute precision. The audience saw 36 Rockettes perform intricate routines, but always moving as "one dancer." Everything - the costumes, the steps and the skill - are kept seemingly identical. The illusion of uniform height is maintained to this day by putting the tallest dancers in the center, and gradually decreasing the height with the shortest women at either end.

RADIO CITY AMBASSADORS

The Rockettes have not only served as ambassadors for Radio City Music Hall, but also for the entire nation. Throughout its history, the dance group has participated in numerous historical events including memorable USO Tours during World War II, show-stopping Super Bowl half-time appearances before television audiences of 150 million viewers, and Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies, where The Rockettes performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and on The White House lawn.

The Rockettes have tapped their way into the hearts of thousands of young girls, many who hope to add their own talents to the world-famous kick line one day. Many first fall in love with The Rockettes by viewing their annual appearances during the nationally televised Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting ceremonies, inspiring scores of young dancers nationwide.
In 2007, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The Rockettes starred in their own prime-time special on NBC, hosted by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira. They also have participated in many studio film premieres held at Radio City including "Miracle on 34th Street," Disney's "102 Dalmatians" and "The Lion King" and "Ice Age." The dance troupe has also opened the Tony Awards and Daytime Emmy Awards, broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall, and have appeared numerous times on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Dancing with the Stars, The Late Show With David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. They are even the inspiration for their own Rockette doll, produced by Madame Alexander.

TODAY'S ROCKETTE

The Radio City Rockettes have entered into the 21st Century with a new, fresh and contemporary flare, while exhibiting the same enthusiasm and vigor that has become their signature trademark. Today's Rockette line exemplifies the diversity of women everywhere, but all possess a level of polish, sophistication and strength that is unmatched.

Since 1932, more than 3,000 women have danced as Rockettes. What does it take to be a Rockette? The requirements today remain almost exactly as they were at the dance troupe's inception. Each year, in cities across America, hundreds of young women audition to become members of the internationally known troupe. Radio City Rockettes must be between 5'6" and 5'10 ½" and demonstrate proficiency in tap, jazz, ballet and modern dance. But exceptional dance skill alone is not enough to secure a coveted position on the dance line. They must also display a radiant energy that will shine across the footlights to their audience.

The more-than-200-women dance troupe embodies the modern-day woman - intelligent, strong, ambitious, multi-talented, beautiful, stylish, hip, fun, witty and fashionable. The stamina required to perform as many as four performances daily ensures that they maintain the most physically fit bodies in the business. The Rockette line is made up not only of dancers, but also businesswomen, fashion designers, students, actresses, models, volunteer workers and young mothers - all of whom have learned to perfect the art of balancing a dance career with their careers off the stage. Endurance, perseverance and dedication have all contributed to their success in life, and they proudly serve as role models for young women everywhere.

GIVING BACK

Since 1994, The Rockettes have brought their legendary style of dance to 42 cities outside of New York. In each and every city, the beloved dance troupe has been received with open arms and embraced by the community.

In addition to entertaining audiences with their eye-high kicks, The Rockettes enthusiastically give back to the communities in every way possible. When they are not on stage, The Rockettes are active members of the local community through their involvement in charitable and outreach programs. Their dedication to helping those less fortunate is tireless. The Rockette's commitment to community involvement extends to every city they visit. In Chicago, The Rockettes hosted a benefit performance for the children of the COACH Care Center, which provides children with chronic, high-maintenance special healthcare needs a continuum of care beginning at the time of diagnosis. While in Seattle, The Rockettes worked closely with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on several fundraising events including their annual "Gingerbread Village," that helped to raise thousands of dollars for a wonderful cause. The Rockettes promoted children's literacy in Cleveland, Milwaukee and Phoenix, including reading stories to children and running book drives at local libraries and children's hospitals. The Rockettes' involvement with the Ronald McDonald House, a "home-away-from-home," for the families of seriously ill children, brought smiles to hundreds of children in Tampa.

The Rockettes have been great supporters of our nation's troops, paying holiday visits to the Selfridge National Air Guard Base in Detroit and partnering with the Marines in Minneapolis for their annual Toys for Tots toy drive. As the St. Petersburg Times in Florida observed, "Not only do The Rockettes have great legs, they have wonderful hearts."

The Rockettes experience some of their most rewarding moments as dancers off the stage. The ability to bring a smile to the face of a terminally ill child is beyond measure. Recognizing their capacity to bring joy to others, The Rockettes look forward to becoming involved with many more outstanding charity and outreach programs this holiday season.

ROCKETTES ARE A NATIONAL TREASURE

The Radio City Rockettes perform with a signature precision that perpetually delights every new audience. Indeed, these "dancing daughters" - as their founder, Russell Markert always referred to them - have not only persevered for more than 75 years, but are thriving now more than ever.


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