The Rockettes in 2016
Image: Getty

Can you even imagine how hard it must be stage a show like the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular at Radio City? The concept itself is retro, and how are you supposed to generate new gimmicks for something that’s been running more than 80 years? This year’s answer is, apparently, drones.

“One hundred palm-sized drones will create a light show over the stage, using choreographed movements to create holiday-themed silhouettes in the new finale scene, Christmas Lights,” according to Deadline. The details:

At the conclusion of the Living Nativity scene, fragments of light will suddenly appear as aerialists fly across the Great Stage The illuminated drones will interact with Obscura Digital’s projections to make various scenic elements come to life. The Radio City Rockettes will be revealed, as they perform new choreography in costumes designed by Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominated costume designer, Emilio Sosa.

“It’s going to blow away everyone’s expectations. They’re not going to expect to have drones flying 3D inside Radio City,” Natalie Cheung, general manager of Intel’s drone light shows, told Deadline. Alternate headline: Robot Uprising to Begin at Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

If only Christmas drones were enough to erase the memory of their performance at the Trump inauguration ball. Alas, it is not, and one of New York’s great campy tourist institutions is permanently tainted with orange.