By Jocelyn Gallardo
For over 25 years, the Montecito School of Ballet has put on an annual Christmas production called The Night Before Christmas Les Patineurs. This lovely show is based off of the book, and the well-known story, “The Night Before Christmas” and a royal ballet piece where dancers perform a skating piece. This year the show is on Saturday, December 12th at 7pm and Sunday, December 13th at 3 pm at the Marjorie Luke Theater.
Before the actual show begins, the performance starts off with a dance piece entitled Les Patineurs, which is the French word for the skaters. In this short scene, men, women, and teens, ranging from the ages from ages 10 to 20, come on stage and perform an enchanting dance. Playing the role of ice skaters, they glide across the snowy stage.
The stage is then set at a Victorian holiday party in which all families have been invited to attend. With several dances embedded within one scene, including a waltz, men/women dances, and children/teen dances. Then, the real story begins. After all of the families have left, the main family settles down to sleep. As the family sleeps, they have visions of sugar plums, the toys given to the children come to life, and the parents encounter St. Nick (Santa Claus).
The following act is where cherry candies, lemon drops, peppermints, bon-bons, and gingerbread cookies all dance in the family’s dreams. Children and teens ranging from ages 3 to 18 all come on stage in this scene. This scene also includes many dances done in pointe shoes. At the very end of this second act is the Christmas walk that is intended to look like a long string of candies moving across the stage.
The third act is where all of the toys come to life. These toys include Raggedy Ann and Andy, the Ballerina Doll, the Jack-In-The-Box, and the Top. At the beginning of each of each dance, the little boy comes on stage to wake the toys, marking the beginning of the dance. At the end of all of the toy’s dances, they all come together and do a final dance with the dad who has been woken up by all of the ruckus.
Following this is Santa Claus and the reindeer. Small children of about the age of 8 to 9 come on stage a perform a short and sweet reindeer dance. Finally, closing up the whole show Santa Claus will come out of the chimney to put the presents under the tree and does a dance with the mother who he has accidentally woken.
This hour and a half long show is loved by many and worth watching. For more information and tickets please visit montecitoschoolofballet.com or call (805)-560-0597. Hope you choose to watch this captivating show and have happy holiday!