ALL THAT ZAZZ
By Mary N. DiZazzo
"Roxyettes" --original name, by showman S.L. (Roxy) Rothafel, for the ROCKETTES.
It is a glamorous show of flair, great style, and world famous eye-catching kicks!
The Radio City Rockettes first landed in St. Louis in 1925 as the "Missouri Rockets." Their creator, Russell Market, was impressed by the Ziegfield Follies of 1922. He once reminisced, "If I ever got a chance to get a group of American girls who would be taller and have longer legs and could do really complicated tap routines and eye-high kicks...they'd knock your socks off!" And they did just that at Radio City's opening night of December 27, 1932.
They kicked off a show with 17 diverse acts starring along with the Flying Wallendas, Ray Bolger (remember the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz?), and Martha Graham.
In the early 30s, Radio City Music Hall would put on a lavish production starring the Rockettes every week also featuring a new movie.
The strict requirements of Russell Market never varied. His concept of the dance line uniformity with absolute precision and intricate routines gave the illusion of moving as one dancer.
Uniform height has also been an illusion conserved to this day by putting the tallest dancers in the center and gradually decreasing the height with the shortest women at the ends.
For more than 75 years the dancers' magnificent costumes have sparkled and dazzled the stage. Some of the most famous designers of the twentieth century created this radiant and show-stopping dress --designers such as Bob Mackie, Erte, and Vincent Minelli.
Donning white marabou hats, sparkling red sequins or top hats and tails, a line of 36 radiant Rockettes dancing in form bring these glorious costumes to life on stage. It is truly a visual feast for the eye and soul sure to put Christmas in your heart this season.