From Studio to Stage: Christmas Spectacular’s ‘Rag Dolls’A
Christmas Spectacular fan favorite, this spirited, high-energy tap routine takes the audience through Santa’s workshop while the rag dolls (aka us Rockettes!), wear whimsical and charming costumes as they kick, tap and spin their way to the top of everyone’s holiday wish list.
A key element to the number? The hidden rag dolls that come from different areas on the stage: “Twenty-four of the Rockettes are on the blocks in the pit that rise up on to the stage,” says Christmas Spectacular Director and Choreographer Julie Branam. “Twelve of them are hidden on the stage in different sections that sneak out as the boys [brothers Patrick and Ben] are looking for the perfect present for their sister.”
The number also features improv sections which mean us Rockettes get to add our own personality to the choreography: “Rag Dolls is the number where we have the most freedom in the show,” says Rockette Natalie. “There’s a little improv section so we get to kind of goof around a little bit!”
But one of the more challenging elements of the number is incorporating giant blocks that are moved from Rockette to Rockette. “You’re looking at your block making sure you have the right number,” says Rockette Natalie. “For one section we have to go pick up our blocks … spin it and make sure the block lands upstage so when we flip the block and lift it overhead it says a special message for our audience.”