Pods en pointe: Smuin’s ‘The Christmas Ballet’ makes the most of a quarantine concept | News

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Smuin artists Brandon Alexander and Cassidy Isaacson get into the holiday spirit for “The Christmas Ballet.”
Photo by Terez Dean Orr

For the 25th anniversary edition of its holiday-themed show, Smuin Ballet has adapted the concept of pandemic pods and run, leapt and pirouetted with it.

The San Francisco-based dance company, which every year also brings its programs to the Mountain View Performing Arts Center, will instead be presenting its joyful ode to the holidays, “The Christmas Ballet,” virtually — and with a twist. The show is available online through Dec. 24.

Pods, small contained groups of people from several different households who quarantine together, are most often used for studying or socializing, but the company put the concept to work for the stage.

Smuin dancers have been working safely in small groups on solo and duet performances, and the company is presenting these smaller scale pieces in three different versions of “The Christmas Ballet,” showing online in a rotating schedule. Each version has a variety of different pieces.

The online experience will also include previously recorded performances from past editions of “The Christmas Ballet.” And every version will feature a beloved staple of the show: a flirty number danced to “Santa Baby” and featuring what might be “the world’s longest feather boa,” according to a press release from the company.

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