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Holiday music provides the unifying theme of the show, along with festive costumes and set design. Smuin’s artistic director, Celia Fushille, says they strive for variety and balance when planning the program, to create a lively and entertaining show for audiences both young and old. The Classical Christmas pieces are set to traditional and devotional music, and allow the Smuin dancers to display their outstanding ballet technique. Cool Christmas pieces feature popular music and are generally more light-hearted, showcasing the more theatrical and comedic talents of the dancers.
One piece sure to make the lineup this year is the perennial audience favorite, Michael Smuin’s “Santa Baby,” in which a spoiled but irresistible Santa petitioner struts in perilous heels and an enormous feather boa that stretches from one side of the stage to the other, Fushille was the first to perform the role, more than a decade ago, “The audience’s reaction when the boa just kept coming and coming — I’ll never forget it,” she says, Along with pieces by Smuin and other old favorites, there contemporary dance shoes near me will be a crop of new dances, Among them will be a new work by choreographer-in-residence Amy Seiwert, for the Cool Christmas lineup, Seiwert spent nine years dancing with Smuin Ballet, and has been creating works for the company since she retired as a dancer in 2008..
“Having performed eight years in The Christmas Ballet, after years of dancing in the Nutcracker — there’s just something about it,” says Seiwert. “The audience responds so well. They laugh out loud. They’re really interacting with you as a performer, and it’s a feeling you never forget.”. Her new piece, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” will be set to a remix of the Irving Berlin song. Seiwert says the music almost always comes first when she’s creating a new work. She finds a piece that speaks to her, and then she’ll study the score and listen to it over and over again, “until I’m almost sick of it,” she says.
At the first rehearsal of a new piece, Seiwert comes to the studio with a strong idea of the movement she wants and the number of dancers, She then proceeds to refine the movement, contemporary dance shoes near me “like a sculptor, taking away what doesn’t need to be there to help the audience see the sculpture in the rock.”, When casting roles, Seiwert will look for dancers whose movement qualities and strengths will help her to bring out the story, She observes “how they like to move and where their kinetic energy goes,” and uses those qualities to enhance the choreography, She loves smart dancers, and says the current company are “all incredibly smart and talented, and all so unique.”..
Seiwert’s new piece will need to fit with the overall theme of The Christmas Ballet, but as far as costuming, she is allowed some leeway. “One time I had created a solo for [longtime company member] Susan Roemer, and I really wanted her in a big, pink, prom dress,” she says. “So we went out to Haight Street, and found the perfect one in a second-hand store.”. Smuin Ballet is busier than usual this anniversary year, with three full programs making up the 2013-2014 season. In addition to preparing for the Christmas Ballet, the company is in the middle of its “XXtremes” tour, and will shortly begin work on its Spring program, “XXcentric.”.
The company is “small and very familial,” says Fushille, usually between 15 and 20 members strong, The dancers rehearse six hours a day, five or six days a week, Fushille’s aim is to keep the dancers employed for as much of the year as possible, at the same time balancing the schedule so that they get sufficient contemporary dance shoes near me downtime for their bodies to rest, The dancers say they appreciate the steady work, enjoy the variety and thrive on the camaraderie and supportive atmosphere of the company, Many, like Fushille and Seiwert, stay with the company for a decade or more..
As a seventh-grader, Goodman had firmly decided on a military career, and she hasn’t swayed from the idea one bit. Currently in her senior year at Freedom High School in Oakley, Goodman will be joining the Navy after graduation this summer. She said she chose the Navy because she feels it’s the right fit, but she has “respect for every single branch.”. “I was way beyond my years, and already thinking of how I could make my family proud and impact this world in a positive way,” she said. “I always wanted to be a role model ever since.”.
To kick start her future path, she joined the U.S, Naval Sea Cadet Corps that year and was sent to a boot camp in Chicago, At 14, she contemporary dance shoes near me had “no clue about the journey, but I fell in love.”, And, so it seems fitting that she shared that love via the city of Oakley’s recent Military Hero contest, With no intentions of winning, Goodman penned the essay for the “chance to write about something I feel so dearly about, It was strictly out of respect.”, But, win she did, The Oakley resident scored first-place bragging rights, along with $50 and a certificate..