Yes, “The Nutcracker” is a tried and true Christmas tradition that is as warm and fuzzy as a favorite blanket. However, if you’d like a zany and whimsical departure from the usual Yuletide fare, why not take in a performance of Philadanco’s festive frolic, “Xmas Philes,” playing December 11-13 at the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater.
This campy, kid-friendly Christmas confection features a series of seasonal vignettes that include prancing reindeer, a holiday sale that spins out of control and a high-tech treatment of “Men In Black” that will have young members of the audience on their feet.
“Xmas Philes” was created by Daniel Ezralow in 2000 for the Philadelphia Dance Company’s (Philadanco) production at Annenberg Center. Ezralow’s choreography was the inspiration for the clever characterizations in the feature film “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” starring Jim Carrey. Known worldwide as a choreographer for many recognized dance companies such as Paris Opera Ballet, Hubbard Street, Pilobolus and Momix, Ezralow, who is “very excited” about continuing his interaction with Philadanco, has produced an extended full-length ballet.
“It is different from Danco’s usual modern, contemporary repertoire, but the artistry and ability of the dancers remains,” said Joan Myers Brown, Founder and Executive Artistic Director of Philadanco. “The performance is the same excellence as can be expected from a Philadanco production. It is a wonderful introduction to Philadanco for first-timers.”
Brown, who received the 2012 National Medal of Arts from President Obama, adds that “Xmas Philes” would be an alternative to a beloved but predictable Christmas classic.
“It is innovative and continuous fun, it is cool, it is entertaining, refreshing, exciting, exhilarating, joyous, upbeat and spirited,” Brown said. “It is a different take on Christmas than the time-worn Nutcracker that very seldom has more than one dancer of color. Kids now get to see dancers of color. It is wonderful Christmas music seldom seen danced to — adults and kids of all ages alike enjoy it.”
For tickets and additional information, call (215) 893-1999 or visit kimmelcenter.org.