If you haven’t yet seen a Christmas ballet, you should!
There are some truly delightful ballets to enjoy, including The Nutcracker, The Red Shoes, and Droopy Little Christmas Tree.
Read on to find out about the best ballets for Christmas! Let us begin with a little history.
Ballet is not the only art form to celebrate the season!
There are many different types of Christmas ballets, and they can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Ballet Christmas: The Nutcracker, The Red Shoes, and Others
The Nutcracker is a classic fairy tale ballet, presented in two acts, about a young girl’s romantic awakening.
She sneaks downstairs to play with her favorite present, which comes to life as a charming prince who whisks her away to the Land of Sweets.
This beloved ballet was first performed on 18 December 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Tchaikovsky later adapted the story and composed a suite of eight musical highlights to accompany the ballet.
The suite gained instant popularity and is even featured in Disney’s Fantasia, a film adaptation of the classic story.
The first theatrical film version of “The Nutcracker” was produced in 1954, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducting.
This production of the ballet also featured a nativity story, although not all ballet companies follow this tradition.
The Washington Ballet, for instance, set its production in the Georgetown neighborhood.
Complete with cherry blossoms and Miss Liberty, and many dance studios make local productions a tradition in December.
The Nutcracker has an enduring appeal for young and old alike.
The enchanting music, swoon-worthy sets, and exquisite choreography are sure to delight any audience member.
The ballet’s magical setting allows audiences to slip into the Silberhaus family’s drawing room and witness Clara’s surroundings change.
Tchaikovsky’s timeless score sets the mood for a magical evening of ballet for young audiences.
The Christmas ballet “The Nutcracker” has become so popular that the larger companies double cast the roles and hope that the audiences will come to see other productions.
Likewise, ballet schools rely on dazzled children to enroll in their classes.
However, this popularity hasn’t spared it from criticism.
Many dance critics worry that too much reliance on familiar ballets can foster conservative programming.
It cancause professional dancers to grow tired of performing the same show fifty times a year.
The Red Shoes
Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes in Christmas ballet is the perfect holiday treat!
This magical performance is sure to delight audiences of all ages. In this film, the Red Shoes re-create the story of the beloved children’s book.
Featuring the iconic “wrong ‘uns” with a sadistic streak and tempting eyes, the ballet is a whirlwind of joy and wonder.
The film adaptation of this classic ballet is a classic that captures the spirit of the holiday season.
The story revolves around the dreams and desires of a ballet company – a replica of the Ballets Russes companies of the 1930s, who toured Europe, performing classical ballet and modernist pieces.
The troupes were comprised of Russian emigrants, ambitious choreographers, and dogmatic ballet masters.
The ballet’s musical score is gorgeous, and it has won two Olivier Awards.
New Adventures Orchestra will perform the score live.
The costumes and sets are by Paul Groothuis, Lez Brotherston, and Duncan McLean.
Bourne’s signature artistry is showcased in a number of different scenes, including the first-ever appearance of the “red shoes” in Christmas ballet.
It is recommended for audiences aged six and up, but under 5s are not allowed.
The film’s soundtrack is inspired by a 1948 Powell and Pressburger film starring Dame Moira Shearer.
The original score featured a fifteen-minute ballet, featuring music by Brian Easdale, a British composer who won the Academy Award for Best Original Music Score.
For the soundtrack of The Red Shoes, Matthew Bourne turned to Bernard Herrmann and Terry Davies, who orchestrated the piece.
The story of The Red Shoes in Christmas ballet began in 1849 with a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.
A young peasant girl is adopted and her foster mother buys her a pair of red shoes.
However, wearing the red shoes will bar her from attending church and invite a curse.
Because of this, the girl is doomed to dance her life away. Hence, the story has become a cautionary tale for young girls.
The Cool Christmas
“The Cool Christmas” is a fun-filled holiday dance extravaganza that takes inspiration from the traditional holiday season and throws it into a modern setting.
The program is divided into two acts: one is a classical Christmas full of pastel costumes, while the other is a modern Christmas, complete with hot red costumes and fluffy “snowballs.”
The ballet features a mix of traditional and contemporary dances, as well as some comic numbers.
The Cool Christmas Ballet by Smuin Ballet is a fun family event, featuring classical ballet and contemporary numbers.
This show blends ballet and contemporary dance to create an exciting, uplifting performance.
The Classical Christmas act features snow-white costumes while the Cool Christmas act features red-hot costume changes and a medley of contemporary numbers.
The cool act features the iconic “Santa Baby” with a 42-foot feather boa.
The Christmas Ballet includes four dances: two of the best-known pieces, “A Winter Wonderland” and “Christmas in New Orleans.”
Smuin has choreographed several works for this series and is an innovative force in the entertainment and ballet world.
His ballets are known for their innovative jumps, epaulement, and traditional attitude balances.
The show is a classic for the holidays. It’s a must-see performance in the Bay Area!
The “Cool Christmas Ballet” was first performed outside of Russia in 1934.
In 1944, it was produced in the United States, and directed by William Christensen.
The ballet will continue on tour through several cities and is sure to win hearts this holiday season.
While you’re watching, consider purchasing tickets for this enchanting ballet!
The San Francisco Chronicle has declared it “the finest toast of the season.”
Droopy Little Christmas Tree
The Droopy Little Christmas Tree takes its structure from a waltz clog, with the climax and ending in a dynamic toe stand.
The musical score, Bells of Dublin, is performed by Shannon Hurlburt, a former member of the Smuin Ballet.
The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tap duet uses tap vocabulary like back walks, cramp roll turns, and triple stomp time steps with half-breaks.
The music for this holiday piece came from Bach and other classical works.
Darren Anderson, Katherine Davis, and Henry Onorati wrote the songs.
The composers also wrote the lyrics, including “A Visit from Santa Claus.”
The second act of the ballet featured a smart shark and surfer Darren Anderson.
The dancers seamlessly transitioned from solo turns to interconnected dancing.
Ultimately, the audience enjoyed the show.