Radio City Christmas Spectacular comes to Atlanta

Thu, 11/19/2009 - 3:49pm
By: The Citizen

Radio City Christmas Spectacular comes to Atlanta The Rockettes perform “Christmas in New York” as part of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular now playing at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Photo/Special.

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 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 ?” 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.
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.
It takes a cast and crew of more than 100 people just to stage each performance of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. The cast rehearses for three weeks before the first performance while the crew uses about the same amount of time to load in the scenery, set up and conduct technical rehearsals.

The cast of 55 includes 22 Rockettes (18 plus four swings), 14 singers and dancers, two children, four little people and the one and only Santa Claus!

One beloved number, entitled “Christmas in New York,” features dancing snowmen, a larger-than-life New York City skyline and a dazzling “Happy Holidays” salute to the most wonderful time of the year by the Rockettes.

Two of the most cherished scenes in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular are “The Parade of Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” – both of which have been part of Radio City’s holiday tradition since they were first performed in 1933.

Four little people, each under 4 ? feet, appear in the production. They appear as baby bears in the “Nutcracker,” as dancing snowmen and, of course, as Santa’s elves.

More than 300 colorful costumes and 200 hats are used in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Each outfit is exclusively designed for the show.

Nineteen playful teddy bears star in the production’s tribute to Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Portrayed as a “Teddy Bear’s Dream,” it features dancing polar, panda, Arabian, Russian and baby doll bears in a variety of sizes. Each bear costume weighs between 30 to 60 pounds.

In addition to the regular cast members, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular has several members of the animal family who appear throughout the show. “The Living Nativity” features two camels, four sheep and a donkey.

Audiences experience the magic of Santa’s workshop where poinsettias sing and the toys dance in a sassy number. “We Put the Holiday Spirit in Christmas” is a song written for this production.

The Rockettes appear in seven different costumes during the show. If they are not seen dancing on stage, you can bet they are changing costumes!

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes returns to the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Street from November 19 – December 6, 2009.   Tickets for The Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the Fox Theatre are currently on sale by call Ticketmaster at 404-249-6400 or

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