Radio City Spectacular Steps Up Its Game
by allison polster
In a new scene to celebrate the milestone season, Santa Claus shares a brief history of the Rockettes as dancers emerge in costumes from every decade since its 1933 debut. “We chose one costume from each period,” explains director and choreographer Linda Haberman. “Some of [them are] cultural and some [are] historical,” ranging from a sailor outfit from the ’40s to a high-fashion piece from the ’80s.
The scene is one of a few changes Haberman implemented this year, which will also include the enhancement of last year’s “3D Live” segment, as well as a new song within the mother-daughter story line. Still the show maintains its focus on tradition, as it incorporates iconic scenes such as The Living Nativity and Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (shown), which have been part of the production since its introduction. “It is so much based on precision and formations that I have really left that one very simple,” says Haberman of the soldiers scene. “It stands on its own.”
Most iconic of all may be the Rockettes’ home in Radio City Music Hall, which was built during the Great Depression and to many symbolizes the power of working together, an idea that Haberman likens to the influence of the Rockettes’ combined movements. “It is 36 individuals, but when they come together and work together, they create something that’s very powerful,” she says. Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, 212- 247-4777
photography courtesy of MSG Entertainment