The first time I saw the Christmas Spectacular, my mom and I were 1 hour late, and I did not remember a thing. For a number of years, I never had a strong desire to watch the whole thing, mostly because it was not exactly on my radar. However, as the years progressed, my YouTube feed started to recommend Rockette audition videos, likely due to my obsession with watching clips of different ballets. After watching a number of Rockette related videos, I was hooked and suggested that my family watch it together.
So on December 29th, 2018, we went! My brother, mom, dad, and my sister-in-law pushed through dense crowds and made it to Radio City Hall. The theater itself was enormous, and I think better designed than some of the theaters at Lincoln Center (namely the David H. Koch Theater). The seats, even the so called obstructed ones, all had a clear view of the stage itself. In the David H. Koch theater, I have tested the partial view seats, and they were indeed only worth part of the price.
The Christmas Spectacular uses a combination of singing, dancing, and digital animations for their show. Not only that, the show expanded their definition of the performance beyond just the stage: there were singer and dancers on side platforms and the digital effects expanded the round theater projecting from the stage. These effects made the audience feel like they were in a snow globe, almost as if we were part of the show. The set designs were beautiful - very elaborate and well planned. In particular, I liked how the double decker bus looked as though it was moving using the animation that looked as though we were traveling through different areas of NYC.
However, I believe the stars of the show were the Rockettes. All of the women in the company look incredibly strong and well-rehearsed; there was not a single moment where they were not synchronized. Their dancing in totality felt like a woman power-group who were going to dominate the world. Not only was their dancing impeccable, their ability to remember all the choreography the show required is something to marvel at. Unlike other dance companies, because of the homogeneity of the choreography among the dancers, it is impossible to point a single dancer out for her abilities. For example, in ballet companies, dance critics constantly applaud or scrutinize dancers in principal roles because those roles are meant to exemplify one dancer’s dancing. However, with the Rockettes, each dancer must dance like the one next to her, otherwise, the whole group is let down. Perhaps this is beauty of the Rockettes; everyone is held to the same standards and are therefore (theoretically) treated all the same.
I also wanted to give a special shout-out to the girl who played Clara in the Nutcracker scene. I thought she was so bright and had a beautiful stage presence.
Please comment below on your thoughts on the Radio City Rockettes!