SMUIN CONTEMPORARY BALLET CELEBRATES THE SEASON WITH “THE CHRISTMAS BALLET”

Smuin artist Alison Ramoran leaps in the air during "The Christmas Ballet," returning to spread yuletide joy around the Bay Area from November 18-December 24, 2023. Credit: Chris Hardy
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Shows in Walnut Creek, Carmel, Mountain View, and San Francisco

Pictured: Smuin artists Maggie Carey and Yuri Rogers Credit: Chris Hardy

From November 18 – December 24, 2023 the Bay Area is in for a treat. Don’t miss it. Smuin’s joyful holiday tradition returns to spread yuletide cheer with its signature showcase of classical and contemporary dances set to delightfully festive tunes. Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet offers something for everyone: an elegant first act presenting beautiful classical ballet set to beloved carols, followed by the red-hot second act with joyful contemporary numbers set to pop favorites. With the surprise unwrapping of new treats each year, this celebratory medley incorporates a variety of dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, swing, and more. Smuin’s holiday spectacular was declared “sheer joy…the finest toast to the season” by the San Francisco Chronicle. This year’s edition will include world premieres by Smuin Associate Artistic Director Amy Seiwert and former Smuin artist Nicole Haskins. The LGBTQ+ Night performance of Smuin’s irrepressible holiday classic will also return December 19, hosted by Lady Camden of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fame. Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet will tour the Bay Area, beginning with shows in Walnut Creek (November 18-19), continuing in Carmel (December 1-2) and Mountain View (December 7-10), and wrapping up with San Francisco (December 14-24). Tickets ($25-$119) are available by calling the individual venues (see below for details)or visiting smuinballet.org.

Smuin Xmas Ballet

Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet premiered in 1995 and has long been a festive tradition for dance lovers across the Bay Area. Along with a return to Michael Smuin’s original pieces, the company will unwrap new surprises from Smuin Associate Artistic Director Amy Seiwert and Smuin alum Nicole Haskins. The first act, Classical Christmas, will unveil a new trio by Seiwert titled “Catalan Carol,” in addition to traditional favorites such as Michael Smuin’s “Bach Magnificat,” “Gloucestershire Wassail,” and “Licht bensh’n”. The Cool Christmas second act will feature the world premiere of “Ring Ting Tingling” by Haskins, as well as a spirited medley of contemporary festive numbers including Michael Smuin’s sultry “Christmas in New Orleans,” a tropical oasis in “Christmas Island,” and dancing conifers in “Droopy Little Christmas Tree.” And fans can rest easy, Smuin’s iconic “Santa Baby” featuring the “world’s longest feather boa” will be back.

Pictured: Smuin artist Brennan Wall in the iconic heels of “Santa Baby”

The LGBTQ+ Night performance of Smuin’s irrepressible holiday classic on December 19 will be hosted by San Francisco drag queen Lady Camden, who rose to international acclaim following her appearance on season 14 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The drag persona of former Smuin artist Rex Wheeler, Lady Camden returns to Smuin for a fabulous evening of fun twists and surprises, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting local non-profit organizations. An afterparty hosted by Lady Camden will follow the performance.

Pictured: Smuin artists Smuin artists Tessa Barbour and Brandon Alexander in “Licht bensh’n.” Credit: Chris Hardy

ABOUT SMUIN

For 30 years Smuin has pushed the boundaries of contemporary ballet, incorporating diverse dance styles and musical genres. Smuin creates art that is original and evocative, engaging and delighting audiences with works of uncommon physicality and expression. Founded in San Francisco in 1994 by Tony and Emmy award-winning choreographer Michael Smuin, the company is committed to creating work that merges the diverse vocabularies of classical ballet and contemporary dance. Artistic Director since 2007, Celia Fushille has celebrated Michael Smuin’s legacy while enriching the company’s impressive repertoire by collaborating with inventive choreographers from around the world, commissioning world premieres, and bringing new contemporary choreographic voices to the Smuin stage. At the conclusion of the 2023-2024 season, Fushille will step away from her role as Artistic Director and Seiwert will continue to lead Smuin in bold and creative ways for the next decade and beyond. For more information, visit smuinballet.org.

Pictured: Smuin artist João Sampaio (top) with the Company in Amy Seiwert’s “The Twelve Days of Christmas” Credit: Chris Hardy

Daily Newspaper sponsor for Smuin’s 2023/2024 season is the San Francisco Chronicle.

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