As a founding member of the Smuin Contemporary American Ballet, Celia Fushille danced in the original “Christmas Ballet” in 1995. Now, as Smuin’s artistic director, she’s helping other dancers rework existing choreography and create new works for the holiday program. Fushille, who took over as artistic director after company namesake Michael Smuin died in 2007, says “The Christmas Ballet” has been a fluid program almost from the start. “Michael first created it because he thought it’d be great to have a holiday show, and there were plenty of ‘Nutcrackers’ already,” she adds. “The first two years were pretty similar. Every year after that, we added numbers, and Michael eventually asked some of us to contribute work.
Sunnyvale Farmers Market: Enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables and arts and crafts from ballet slippers kind local growers and artisans, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1p.m, Murphy and Washington avenues, Sunnyvale, urbanvillageonline.com/markets/sunnyvale, Senior Nutrition Program: Hot meals served along with camaraderie, Must be 55 years or older and a resident of Santa Clara County, Monday-Friday; live dance music at 9:30 a.m.; lunch at 11 a.m, First United Methodist Church, 535 Old San Francisco Road, Sunnyvale, sunnyvaleumc.org/mis sion/seniornutrition.html..
As much as it is said to follow the journey of a Romantic hero — the Harold of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,” a poem by Lord Byron — “Harold in Italy” also was inspired by the composer’s own wanderings by foot through the central Italian region of Abruzzi. Over the course of the work, we “see” Harold/Hector in the mountains, or observing a pilgrims’ march and, later, a lover’s serenade. Stumbling upon a group of brigands, the hero witnesses an intoxicated orgy.
Benchmark: 5-9 p.m, Dec, 24, 499 Ninth St, Feast of the Seven Fishes, a traditional Italian meal with seven different fish prepared various ways including fried, in a stew and in pasta, ballet slippers kind $18-$26, www.benchmarkoakland.com, Copper Spoon: 5:30 p.m.-midnight Dec, 24, 4031 Broadway, Specials include Dungeness crab, pink peppercorn hot toddy and spiked hot apple cider, www.copperspoonoakland.com, Lake Chalet: 11 a.m.-9 p.m, Dec, 24, 1520 Lakeside Drive, The $85 four-course prix fixe dinner menu includes grilled beef rib cap or local petrale sole, www.thelakechalet.com..
Broadway choreographer Sean Kelly creates the world premiere of “A Swingin’ Holiday,” which mixes favorite holiday songs with swing dance and swing music, accompanied by a live 16 -piece big band under the direction of Diablo Ballet Music Director Greg Sudmeier. Performances are Friday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 17 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets — $36 to $52 depending on performance — may be ordered by calling the Lesher Center box office at 925-943-7469 or visiting www.LesherCenter.org.
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