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The Radio City Christmas Spectacular Rockettes show at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee celebrates their 85th anniversary celebration and prove, once again, the true meaning of Christmas. Their show will be in Nashville from November 16-December 24.
The performance immediately showcases why the Rockettes are world renowned; the girls are able to dance and sing beautifully while perfectly on beat with one another. There are twenty girls total and they all played a wide range of characters, from elves to Raggedy Ann dolls to wooden soldiers.
The performance is divided up into twelve scenes taking the audience through the stages of Christmas and popular Christmas songs. Their dancing ranged from classical ballet, in “The Nutcracker,” to high-energy tap dance, in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” where each Rockette has a different routine for each verse of the ever-popular song. Each scene was very different from the previous, which made the performance absolutely unexpected and enchanting.
The degree of precision also varied, but perhaps the most impressive execution of precision was during “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.” As the title suggests, each of the Rockettes were wooden soldiers who moved robotically and ultimately lined up like dominoes and fell onto each other in extreme slow motion. The Rockettes enthralled the audience with their talent. The first eleven scenes were about the typical Christmas hoopla—Santa, Frosty the Snowman, Mrs. Claus, and every other iconic Christmas figure. However, their last scene, “The Living Nativity,” was the most powerful.
“The Living Nativity,” involved re-creating the Biblical story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem where Mary gave birth to Jesus. The program included a full paragraph entitled “One Solitary Life” to prelude this amazing re-creation of the nativity story, “Two thousand years have come and gone, and today He is the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched and all the navies that ever sailed and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this ‘One Solitary Life.’”
There was a narrator reciting the paragraph to the audience as the living nativity was being assembled. The show included bringing in live camels, sheep, and donkeys. The Rockettes were dressed lavishly or simply, depending if they were wise men or shepherds. The wise men walked through the aisles in the audience. In the center of the stage stood the stable and the key characters to the story arrived accordingly to when the narrator brought them into the story. As the narrator mentioned the shepherds following the Star, the shepherds and sheep took their places on stage. The narrator quoted Biblical passages and included extra information, like the symbolism behind why the wise men brought frankincense, myrrh, and gold.
Unlike in the other scenes, the Rockettes were not singing or dancing; instead, they reverently reenacting this miraculous story. The reverence and Christian message behind this scene was very unexpected from the Rockettes, but showcased a very powerful message. At a time when people can get wrapped up in the presents and the traditions, sometimes it is prudent to take a step back from the holiday mania and remember why we celebrate Christmas to begin with. The Rockettes certainly showed the typical holiday iconic characters, but definitely showed the audience the true meaning of Christmas in their final and most powerful scene. The true meaning of Christmas is not all about the presents, but it is instead a time of faith and a time to be near those you love best.
Image Courtesy : The Rockettes