For the rest of us, there is The Christmas Ballet by Smuin Ballet. The show opens with an ensemble piece, set to Magnificat by J. S. Bach, seen here in a photo used by permission of the company. It thrills and inspires. We see the human body become an instrument for expressing superhuman themes. The solo dance, set to Schubert's Ave Maria, is so lovely that I held my breath through most of it. Licht bensh'n ("Candle Blessing") brings us back to earth with a hearty celebration of life. Two of the fourteen pieces in the first half or the show are by new choreographers; the others are masterpieces from the late Michael Smuin.
The first half is classical Christmas; the second half is cool Christmas. The first half is nice; the second half is a little bit naughty. It includes dances hilarious and hot to Eartha Kitt's recording of "Santa Baby," Duke Ellington's steamy adaptation of Tchaikovsky, "Sugar Rum Cherry," and many more. And there is plenty for children with the likes of "Mean and Green," and "Frosty the Snowman." Again, Michael Smuin's dances are complemented by new pieces from members of the company; this keeps the show fresh for us perennials.
The Christmas Ballet runs through December 27 this year, so you still have time to attend. Also, donations made by the end of the year are matched 2-for-1 by a member of their board, so if you like the show, show some love.
Ann and I have sister-in-law Kathleen to thank for introducing us to the company years ago when we visited San Francisco. Once we moved to town, we tried the company's fall and spring programs and enjoyed them just as much. Each time, the music includes classical, modern and pop, and the dancing runs from lovely to edgy to silly. As you can tell, I am neither a ballet fan or a a dance critic. We keep coming back, because they offer a lot of entertainment for the price of a ticket.