Photo Flash: Smuin KIcks Off The Holidays With THE CHRISTMAS BALLET

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Smuin kicks off the holidays with the welcome return of The Christmas Ballet, a program featuring two acts packed to the brim with both breathtaking classical ballet and festive contemporary numbers. The beloved Bay Area tradition will bring back time-honored favorites and unveil brand new surprises set to holiday tunes and incorporating ballet, tap, jazz, and swing.

The first act, Classical Christmas, features dancers costumed in snow-white ensembles performing flawless ballets celebrating the holiday season. The Cool Christmas second act brings a red-hot costume change along with a medley of lively modern numbers, including the iconic "Santa Baby" featuring a 42-foot long feather boa.

The Christmas Ballet opened November 22-23 with shows in Walnut Creek, and will continue to Mountain View (November 29-December 1) and San Francisco (December 12-23), finishing up after Christmas in Carmel (December 28-29). Tickets ($25-$97) are available by calling the individual venues (see below for details) or visiting www.smuinballet.org.

This year marks the 25th edition of The Christmas Ballet, which premiered in 1995. Along with a return to Michael Smuin's original pieces, the company will unwrap new surprises from Smuin's beloved Ballet Master Amy London, as well as both former and current Smuin artists.

The first act, Classical Christmas, will unveil a world premiere from Amy London set to "Still, Still, Still," as well as traditional favorites such as Michael Smuin's "Bach Magnificat" and "Wassail." The Cool Christmas second act features a spirited medley of contemporary festive numbers. Premiering works include a brand-new pas de deux set to "Silver Bells" by former Smuin artist Rex Wheeler and a spirited and festive tap dance to "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" by Smuin artist Tessa Barbour. Among favorites returning to the stage are Smuin's nod to Hanukkah, "Licht bensh'n," a rollicking Elvis tribute in "Blue Christmas," and the Latin-inspired "La Calandria," as well as a charming sock-hop in "Winter Weather," and dancing conifers in "Droopy Little Christmas Tree." Also on the bill is Smuin's iconic "Santa Baby" featuring the "world's longest feather boa." This year, Smuin will present a LGBTQ+ performance in San Francisco on Thursday, December 19, with special guest Lady Camden in the role of "Santa Baby."

Photo Credit: Chris Hardy

Photo Flash: Smuin KIcks Off The Holidays With THE CHRISTMAS BALLET
Tess Lane

Photo Flash: Smuin KIcks Off The Holidays With THE CHRISTMAS BALLET
João Sampaio and Zachary Artice

Photo Flash: Smuin KIcks Off The Holidays With THE CHRISTMAS BALLET
Tessa Barbour (left) and Maggie Carey

Photo Flash: Smuin KIcks Off The Holidays With THE CHRISTMAS BALLET
Ben Needham-Wood and Tess Lane, Max van der Sterre and Terez Dean Orr, Zachary Artice and Maggie Carey

Photo Flash: Smuin KIcks Off The Holidays With THE CHRISTMAS BALLET
Tessa Barbour

Photo Flash: Smuin KIcks Off The Holidays With THE CHRISTMAS BALLET
The Smuin Company

Photo Flash: Smuin KIcks Off The Holidays With THE CHRISTMAS BALLET

Terez Dean Orr and the men of the company



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