By Lina Broydo
It’s the Nutcrackers, Christmas Ballet, Concerts
And Ballet Folklórico México Danza Bring Magic for the Holidays
San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker
December 13 – 30, 2023
Can you imagine the month of December without the celebrated Nutcracker ballet? Not in the Bay Area!
Tchaikovsky’s beloved score for the world’s most famous ballet creates a winter wonderland of toy soldiers, King of the Mice, the Plum Fairy and the kaleidoscope of over 150 magnificent ballet dancers performing in the whirlpool of fluffy snowflakes covering the entire stage of the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco.
Note: a very special luncheon and the matinee performance to benefit the Boys & Girls Club are scheduled for December 16 offering the reserved private box seats and the surprise guest appearances by the Nutcracker characters.
This will definitely be an outing you will never forget. Hope your cell phone batteries are fully charged to capture this very special moment.
War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco
Photos courtesy of SF Ballet
Smuin’s – The Christmas Ballet
December 7-10 in Mountain View; December 14-24 in San Francisco
Move over, Nutcracker – Smuin’s witty and whimsical alternative holiday program is back! Don’t miss spirited tap, jazz, swing, folk and more dance styles in the iconic “Christmas Ballet.”
Along with a return to classic Michael Smuin pieces, the company will unwrap two world premieres: Nicole Haskins “Peaceful Prayer” set to music created from a prayer for Ukraine, plus a contemporary ballet from lauded choreographer Amy Seivert!
“Brilliance. Winning. Sharply danced with a side of silly.” – SF Chronicle. “Smuin’s – The Christmas Ballet” is simply irresistible!” Smuin’s annual holiday extravaganza is a true celebration of the festive season with a show that’s a little ballet, a little Broadway, and a whole lot of Smuin.
As always, look for new numbers alongside iconic mainstays like Santa Baby.
But no dancing in the isles… please.
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
San Francisco Blue Shield of California Theater
Photos courtesy of Smuin Contemporary Ballet
Bay Philharmonic Lights up the Season with A Holiday Spectacular!
Sunday, December 17 at 3 p.m.
A multi-genre, multi-media, and multi-sensory showstopper with Maestro Jung-Ho Pak, soprano Erica Gabriel, vocalist and harpist Deanna Loveland, Ballet Folklórico México Danza, jazz pianist Steve Pietkiewicz, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and Yoko’s Academy of Dance and Performing Arts – all backed by the incredible 50-piece Bay Philharmonic at a fabulous concert to celebrate the holidays.
Bay Philharmonic has taken on a new direction with renowned and esteemed Artistic Director and Conductor Jung-Ho Pak The New York Times describes him as a conductor who “radiates enthusiasm” and who is known for his unique approach and vision for symphonic music.
Pak brings over 35 years of experience conducting acclaimed professional and conservatory orchestras worldwide. As with every show, Pak will infuse his style of creativity, knowledge, connections, passion, and enthusiastic conversational personality.
I am happy to report that Ballet Folklórico México Danza was honored to receive a Presidential Proclamation from President Clinton. Influenced by the work of Amalia Hernandez, the “Queen of Mexican Folklore,” México Danza helps students of all ages develop as artists in a unique, disciplined, and cultural environment. Their dancers’ passion and energy, colorful costumes, and intricate dance style created by the founder René González, with collaboration from Martín Romero of Mexico City, have moved many audiences and helped their group gain a loyal following, including this writer.
Tickets are $25 to $67
Chabot College Performing Arts Center in Hayward
Photos courtesy of the Bay Philharmonic
A Charlie Brown Christmas with SF Symphony
December 20 – 23, 2023
Have fun with Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the entire Peanuts team as they are bringing this television classic to life.
With live actors, an animated backdrop and Vince Guaraldi’s timeless music, Davies Symphony Hall will come alive with this fun festivity of this year’s holiday season.
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco
Photos courtesy of SF Symphony