Vail Video Journal – Part 3

Leigh-Ann’s experience with the Flip camera in Vail comes to an end in Part 3 of her video journal series. Here she takes you through MCB’s final days at the festival including Up Close: Edward Villella, on stage before and after a performance of “Rubies” and on the journey home.

Leigh-Ann did a terrific job documenting the Vail tour and was extremely excited about sharing it with you. Stay tuned for coverage on future tours!

Did you enjoy the video journal? What else would you like to see?

Vail Video Journal – Part 2

We hope you enjoyed the first part of Leigh-Ann’s video journal. There is so much more to see! In Part 2 you’ll follow the dancers during their time off in Vail, listen in on Damian Woetzel talking to the dancers at dinner, watch a pre-performance company class, and more.

Check back tomorrow for the third and final part of the video journal.

Dancer Video Journal: Leigh-Ann Esty at the Vail International Dance Festival

Post by Leigh-Ann Esty

Hello everyone! Leigh-Ann Esty, here. I am a member of MCB’s Corps de Ballet.

As you know, the Company recently traveled to Colorado, to participate in the Vail International Dance Festival, directed by Damian Woetzel (former New York City Ballet dancer).  It hadn’t been long since we’d gotten back from our summertime off, and before we knew it we were packed and on our way.   When I was asked by the Company to carry around a Flip camera and document our trip, you can imagine how excited I was – I’m a huge photography fan! I tried to capture all the moments I could: in the airport, on the bus, during free time, even on stage while we were warming up and about to perform! Out of this came a three-part video journal series, which gives you a sneak peek of what it’s like to be in the Company when we’re on tour. One of the best parts of this whole experience is being able to show you how normal ballet dancers really are! We are just a bunch of goofballs.

In Part 1 you’ll join us on the way to Vail and watch as we adapt to our new, and very different surroundings. You’ll see the two beautiful venues we performed at (Gerald R. Ford Ampitheater and Vilar Performing Arts Center), the dancers share their feelings about the Vail tour, and watch us backstage as we prepare for show time. Check back on Friday and Saturday for the rest of the Vail coverage .

Well, I hope you enjoy the clips! We all had a great time in Vail…minus the dramatic moments of high altitude hitting us! Thanks for viewing.

Daniel Baker Promoted to Soloist

Newly promoted Soloist Daniel Baker takes some time from his lunch break to tell us about his promotion and what he’s looking forward to the most this Season. Daniel joined Miami City Ballet as a Company Apprentice in 2006 and was promoted to Soloist this year. While still holding on to his Australian roots, Daniel has found a home at MCB. Look for him on the cover of this Season’s mailer, in MCB ads and as the Bugle Boy in most Company B performances (among other roles).

Daniel told us what he’s looking forward to performing. What are you looking forward to seeing?

Welcome Back Dancers Party

On August 14, Miami City Ballet’s Board of Trustees welcomed back our dancers with a party at The Betsy hotel on South Beach. After the dancers’ first week of rehearsals we were all ready to celebrate; dancers, VIP supporters and staff headed to recently-renovated The Betsy for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Wild Rock wine was flowing, and good times were rolling! Special guests included Ana Codina Barlick and Robert Barlick, Meike and Dominick Miniaci, Lisa Berg, Alexander I. Tachmes, Toby Lerner Ansin, Rosalind and Daniel Richter, Marvin Ross Friedman and Adrienne bon Haes, Frank and Gabrielle Armstrong, Joe Proto and others. What a fabulous way to kick off the season!

Special thanks to The Betsy and MCB’s Board of Trustees, who made this event possible.

Thinking Back on Layoff

Post by Kris Kramer — former MCB dancer and current member of the MCB Social Networking Team

I remember the various fazes I went through over the summer layoff when I was a dancer with Miami City Ballet.  The first few days were always filled with a sense of relief…the “I finally made it to a break, I didn’t go insane and my body is still in one piece” feeling.  Dancing in the MCB corps can get you wound pretty tight due to the overwhelming demand on your body, mind and spirit.  And while I was always excited to sleep in a little later, get outside to feel the sunshine, and have some lazy lunches with my girlfriends on Lincoln Road, it wasn’t long before that “antsy-ness” set in.

It’s like going from one extreme to another.  For nine months you are dancing six days a week, doing close to 100 performances and then BANG…no more morning ballet class; no more 6+ hours of rehearsal; no more running around like a chicken with its head cut off on your one free day.  I always felt like my body freaked out when the season ended. But, after a few summer layoffs, I found my magic pill – Crunch gym.  It’s amazing what the elliptical and some yoga can do.

Beyond battling antsy-ness, layoff was a time to do things that got pushed to the side during the season.  I’d visit my family in upstate New York, get to projects around my apartment and pursue other interests.  Mentally and spiritually it was necessary to focus my attention on something else besides ballet.  My summers turned into pursuits of mastering SCUBA diving, trying out elaborate vegetarian recipes and wracking my brain with multiple college courses.

The last few weeks of layoff always seemed to creep up on me, along with a sense of anxiousness and anticipation.  I always looked forward to the fresh start of a new season with new repertoire, but I knew the hump my body was going to endure to get back into the swing of things.  It would mean sore muscles and lots and lots of Epsom Salts.  In the final few weeks, I’d force myself to get up a little earlier each day and come to MCB studios to take a class.  I’d begin to sew the ribbons and elastics on my pointe shoes, coax my feet into them, and then proceed to do everything around my apartment to break them in.  Despite getting prepared, eating healthy, doing some additional elliptical workouts, and taking daily ballet class, that little voice in my head would always be asking, “Am I ready?” “Do I look fat?”.

Ultimately, nothing can really get you totally ready for the season.  It’s a shock to the system to be back in the studio on your feet all day.  The first day back was always the best.  I’d walk into company class, to be greeted by smiling, refreshed, tanned, and joking co-workers and friends.  We’d either have to laugh together or cry because of how out of shape we felt.  Most dancers opt for laughing together.

I caught up with a few dancers – Sara Esty, Stephen Satterfield and Zoe Zien – who talked to me about what their first week back has been like.

Patrick Corbin Stages Company B

Patrick Corbin — Artistic Director for CorbinDances and celebrated former dancer with The Paul Taylor Dance Company – is here casting and rehearsing the dancers for Company B.  This signature Taylor work, performed to contagious hits by the Andrews Sisters (“Rum and Coca-Cola,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” etc.), is part of Program I.

We sat down with Patrick to discuss Company B and his experience staging the work for MCB.

Countdown ’til the Dancers Return!

The Dancers return on Monday, August 10,  for the 09-10 Season.

We caught up with a few of them over the summer to find out how they spent their time away from the Ballet:

Jennifer Kronenberg:

Carlos Guerra:

Renato Penteado:

Patricia Delgado:

Callie Manning & Didier Bramaz:

Ashley Knox:

Allynne Noelle:

Kristin D’Addario:

Bradley Dunlap:

Jeanette Delgado, Patricia Delgado and Ballet Mistress Crista Villella:

More from Vail…

Nice review in The Denver Post: Keeping Balanchine legacy alive, kicking

Video of Jeanette Delgado and Alex Wong on Plum Vail

Images from UpClose: Edward Villella yesterday


Vail International Dance Festival Update

The festival has been a success so far. MCB has received great coverage in the press including stories in the Denver Post and Vail Daily ( 7/16, 7/29, 7/30, 8/2).

Check out the beautiful photos by Erin Baiano & Kyle Froman Photography  that were posted on Vail Valley Foundation’s Blog and Flickr photostream.


The Four Temperaments


How did the dancers deal with the high altitude and chilly temperatures?  What went on backstage and on the bus? We look forward to dancer Leigh Esty’s Vail recap on MCB Blog this week.