Smuin Ballet Company's THE CHRISTMAS BALLET Returns

Smuin Ballet returns with THE CHRISTMAS BALLET, making its annual return with "a perfect gift for audience members of all ages."

The two distinct acts, Classical Christmas and Cool Christmas, are filled to the brim with an eye-catching array of ballet, tap, and swing, celebrating holiday traditions from around the world. The 2012 Edition includes new choreography from acclaimed Choreographer in Residence Amy Seiwert and Smuin artists Darren Anderson and Jane Rehm to accompany time-honored favorites. The Christmas Ballet will tour the Bay Area, beginning with shows in Livermore, followed by Mountain View, Carmel, and its annual holiday run at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Single tickets ($25-$65*) are available by calling the individual venues or visiting * San Francisco venues only, other venues $49-$65

An ever-changing carousel of mischief and elegance, THE CHRISTMAS BALLET has a diverse set of seasonal offerings that satisfies all tastes. THE CHRISTMAS BALLET, 2012 EDITION will unwrap three world premieres, including one from Smuin artist Jane Rehm for Classical Christmas, set to the Canadian Brass version of “Here We Come A-Wassailing.” Cool Christmas will feature world premieres from Darren Anderson, set to “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and Amy Seiwert, set to “No Christmas for Me” by Zee Avi. A former dancer with Smuin Ballet, Seiwert has been choreographing since 1999 and has won numerous awards and critical accolades. Now an internationally-acclaimed choreographer, her works are in the repertory of Smuin Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, and Carolina Ballet, as well as Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Colorado Ballet, Robert Moses KIN, and Ballet Austin. Rehm is a current dancer with Smuin Ballet, and Anderson was a Smuin Ballet Company member for four years until his retirement from dancing last spring. While continuing to choreograph for the Company, he has also taken a position as Smuin Ballet’s Community Relations Manager.

The Classical first half of THE CHRISTMAS BALLET, 2012 EDITION heralds the return of several favorites, including two pieces from Artistic and Executive Director Celia Fushille set to “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming” and “Resonet in Laudibus,” and an Amy Seiwert original set to “Sleigh Ride.” It also includes a piece by the late Michael Smuin, staged to a majestic classical recording of “Ave Maria,” that has never been performed for the holiday program. Cool Christmas promises a serenade from the King of Rock’n’Roll; a flirty “Santa Baby;” a trip to “Christmas Island” with some gyrating hula girls and surfer dudes; and a “Jingle Bells Mambo” from San Francisco choreographer Val Caniparoli.

Debuting in San Francisco in 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. During its recent New York City debut, Smuin Ballet was praised by critics as “irresistible, bright, and breezy” by the New York Times, which also noted, “Smuin dancers are at their finest.”

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