The Rockettes are celebrating their 85th year as part of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular this year.
The musical revue, which also includes a live nativity, opened last Friday (November 9) at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, and the engagement will play through December 30.
This year’s show will feature a combination of new choreography and favorites that have been part of the show since the very beginning. Additionally, to mark the Rockettes’ anniversary, there is a special “experiential archive exhibit” in the building that is dedicated to this history of the Rockettes.
“Each year I strive to move both the Rockettes and the ‘Christmas Spectacular’ forward by providing our audiences with fresh, contemporary and innovative content, while still maintaining the show’s rich heritage,” said Linda Haberman, director and choreographer of the production, in a statement. “The 2012 ‘Christmas Spectacular’… will take the Rockettes signature precision dance techniques to new levels by showcasing both the women’s strength and athleticism.”
This year’s production will feature digital projections on LED screens and even a special 3-D section that requires glasses.
“I try to look at it with new eyes every year,” Haberman told HuffingtonPost.com. “It’s really important to honor our past. There are things that part of the Rockettes’ rich history that I would never let go of. But I think it’s important to keep the Rockettes as entertainment relevant to our changing times.”
Haberman has been choreographing the show since 2006, and added the now favorite double-decker tour bus dancing routine. However, HuffingtonPost.com lists three portions of the show she says she would never change: “the ‘Nutcracker’ minisuite, the woozy fall of the wooden soldiers, the ‘Living Nativity’ and ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ sequences.”
As another way to celebrate the Rockettes anniversary, a costume retrospective has been added to the show, representing different costumes the group has worn throughout the years.