From Studio to Stage: Christmas Spectacular’s ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’
One of the biggest numbers in the Christmas Spectacular is “Here Comes Santa Claus.” Why?! Because there are 36 of us Rockettes and 12 ensemble members wearing matching Santa suits as we dance in unison from stage left, stage right and beneath the stage to create the illusion of endless Kris Kringles.
“Santa’s is one of my favorite numbers to perform in the Christmas Spectacular. It’s so much fun and it is such an energetic number,” says Rockette Maranda L. During the number, the actual stage turns and rises along with the dancers. “It’s so cool because you get to see the entire audience as you pass by and all of their reactions to seeing 48 Santa’s on stage at one time.”
Christmas Spectacular Director and Choreographer, Julie Branam, says the high-energy number is all about precision choreography, clean formations and ‘guiding.’ “You really have to know your numbers for this one,” says Julie, who notes that once dancers are in costume they really can’t tell the difference from each other on stage. “None of our physical features are showing, it’s a beard and a santa hat and a santa suit, so you really have to know where you’re going.”
During the number a large bell rack unit drops from the ceiling and the dancers have one count to grab their bells and move into the next formation. “It’s a fun number to watch even if you’re only looking at formations,” says Rockette Natalie R. “The precision is found in all of the formations and all of the movements. We’re running around on the stage in these big Santa suits having a ball!”