It’s beginning to look a lot like……….

I’m not much of a Christmas kind of guy–Ebeneezer Scrooge is my hero on this most commercial of seasons.

I’ll make an enormous exception for the Smuin Ballet Holiday show.  We saw it last night, for the 4th consecutive year, and it just keeps getting better.

There are two acts, divided into the “Classical Christmas” and the “Cool Christmas”.  Both are wonderful.

The Classical Christmas is the more serious of the two, featuring 16 separate pieces with music from J.S. Bach, Prokofiev, Leonard Bernstein, traditional carols and Mozart.  The dancers are in toe shoes, the girl’s hair is up in the traditional chignon, there was even, gaaack, a tutu or two.  In particular, Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, (O come, O come Emmanuel) was a masterpiece of slow, minimalist dance that entranced me.

The second half, the Cool Christmas, is a riot.  Seventeen pieces, ranging from classical ballet to jazz, rock, zydeco, tap, Irish step dance and just plain silliness.  Music from Elvis Presley to Eartha Kitt, Lou Rawls, Louis Armstrong, Linda Ronstadt, Ray Charles, The Chieftans and finally, inevitably, Bing Crosby.

They do this show every year, and there are both old and new pieces.  The season isn’t complete without their brilliant interpretation of “Santa Baby”, I wait all year to watch Shannon Hurlburt do his tap version of The Bells of Dublin.

Two years after Michael Smuins death, the company continues strong and vibrant, with new talent and new works by innovative choreographers. You can still get seats for this weekend at the Lesher–don’t miss it.


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