From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Rockettes are the best-known precision dance company in the world, stationed out of the Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, New York City. The Rockettes women have performed 4 shows a day, 28 shows a week, 365 days a year for more than 50 years.
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and numerous other American cities is the most-watched live show in the USA, with more than 2.1 million spectators annually.
The Rockettes performed annually at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (since 1957), The Columbus Day Parade, and America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. The NBC Rockefeller Center Tree-Lighting Ceremony also traditionally includes a performance by the dance troop.
The Rockettes have also kicked off the announcements for new product lines launched by such diverse companies as McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Oldsmobile, L'eggs hosiery, Mannington Floors, and Honda's 50th Anniversary show.
Their famous kick line started with 16 women and now has 36. They are all between 5′6″ and 5′10 1/2″ and are arranged tallest in the middle and shortest on the ends.
The group was started by Russell Markert in 1925 in Saint Louis, Missouri, as the "Missouri Rockets." S.L. (Roxy) Rothafel discovered them and brought them to New York City. They debuted in NYC at the opening of the Radio City Music Hall on December 27, 1932. In 1936, the troop won the grand prize at the "Paris Exposition de Dance." During World War II, the troupe was a mainstay of the USO Tours.
During the halftime show of Super Bowl XXII in 1988, the Rockettes were seen by a television audience of 150 million viewers. President Bush's 2001 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony featured the legged performers prancing down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
In November 2005, the Christmas Spectacular's musicians and stagehands went on strike, although the show will go on, with the Rockettes' dancing to recorded music.
Quotes on the Rockettes
- "The Rockettes are as precise and talented as ever, and their bright smiles and unison dancing evoke cheers and applause in old favorites like the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers". The overwhelming appeal of the Rockettes is undeniable." -- The New York Times