LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

A Retiring Reverie

Post by Principal Dancer Deanna Seay

Deanna

As a ballet student, you never think that the day will actually come when your career as a dancer might become a thing of the past. Caught up with the rigorous challenges of training, you are more anxiously conscious of wanting your career to begin. Then, you find yourself in a company, dancing every night, waking early to take class and rehearse, and time goes by. In the middle of it all, another ten years seem to be so much time to enjoy what you love to do, and with all the work to accomplish- the ballets to learn, the performances to prepare for, the endless strings of Nutcrackers, it doesn’t seem possible as you dance through your twenties and into your thirties that a career could ever end. Suddenly, though, the day comes when you realize it is time to move on, and you are left with years of memories, and the realization that time and careers do pass.

This is where I find myself at this moment, part way through my twenty-first season here with Miami City Ballet. I decided, a few months ago, that I would retire from the stage at the end of this season. I have spent the dancer’s equivalent of a lifetime here; indeed, I feel that, here, as an artist, I was “born,” grew up, matured, and am now facing what feels like the death of my life as a ballet dancer. Somewhere I read that dancers experience two deaths: the “death” of their careers and then their true death – and now I understand. Maybe death is a strong word, but for me, it acknowledges the completion of a journey and the chance to move on.

What can I say after two decades of dance? I have had an amazing time. I have been lucky to enjoy the career I have had- I am not sure it would have been this way anywhere else. I have been allowed to dance to the divine strains of Tchaikovsky more than my fair share, I think, as well as those of Stravinsky, Mozart, Delibes, Prokofiev, Ravel, Faure, Chopin and countless others. The music that moves our souls- I was granted the chance to dance to that- to live- to exist.

All of the ballets I will dance this year hold special meaning for me, and to be able to visit them again before I leave the stage is a special gift. And so I am looking forward to a season of little private moments of goodbye. Dancing my last performances of Company B and Allegro Brillante during the Kravis weekend, words such as,”…and this is the last time…” would float through my head, and the lump in my throat would start to swell. Each moment became a private goodbye to that part of my on-stage world. Bittersweet though it is, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Deanna Seay in “Diamonds”. Photo by Steven Caras

Meet The Nutcracker

The Nutman and the Mouse King come head to head on December 11-13 at Broward Center and December 18-20, 22-23 at Adrienne Arsht Center. For tickets to MCB’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ click here or call (877) 929-7010.

Meet Christina Spigner

Christina is one of the students at MCB School who has been performing with the Company this Season. She moved to Miami just to attend the School and was presented with the opportunity to take the stage with our super human dancers!

Christina chatted with us about what is was like to relocate and how it feels to dance with Miami City Ballet.

On Pointe!

The first-floor dancer lounge was buzzing with excitement as young ballerinas waited for their Freed of London pointe shoe fitting. “She was counting down the days,” said one of the ballet mothers. This is such an important time in a dancer’s life. After so many years in ballet slippers, students finally get into pointe shoes! Although the fitting itself may take extra time and effort with Freed’s careful attention to detail, it’s all worth it in the end. Soon these young dancers will be experts on pointe!

Miami City Ballet Trivia Corner

Company dancers Ezra Hurwitz and Michael Breeden bring you this new MCB blog feature! Michael seems to know everything about ballet, so they set out to see who could match his skills.

See In the Night, Black Swan Pas de Deux and The Four Temperaments at Open Barre this weekend.

Performances:
Friday, November 13, 2009 – Reception 6:30 p.m. Performance 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 14, 2009 – Reception 2:00 p.m. Performance 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 14, 2009 – Reception 6:30 p.m. Performance 7:00 p.m. with after party at Aero Bar.

Tricia’s take on Open Barre

Post by Tricia Albertson

The ballet dancers you see on stage have spent most of their lives training to make the barely possible seem effortless. Because there’s such a big gap between appearance and reality, it comforts me in our regular theater performances to imagine that because I can’t see the audience, the audience can’t see me. Of course I know this is not true, but when I look out into the darkness, I can imagine dancing for anyone. Definitely, I imagine dancing for my (less critical) friends. It’s a nice illusion, and it helps me to be calm.

In our studio theater, this is an illusion I can’t rely on. Every time we do a series in our studio theater, I get a bad case of nerves. It’s easy to feel vulnerable. The audience is so close. I imagine being put under a microscope. Every step, every effort, every expression is visible; it feels like there is no room for error. So, I start out a little anxious. Then, the first show comes to an end and I hear the audience applaud, and I realize that I’m not under a microscope. I’m at home!

The studio is where I spend at least 35 hours each week. These studio theater shows may be our most appreciative audience; certainly, in the studio, I feel that our closest friends and family have come over for a special showing, a showing at which I’ll have the chance to share a piece of myself. Here, in person, is the audience I have so often imagined watching in our regular season. In the end, I value our studio theater shows as an opportunity to perform in an intimate setting that allows me to more directly connect to the audience.

See Tricia perform this weekend at Open Barre.

Rose Miniaci’s Sentimental Journey

Rose Miniaci photo

The 1940s were a nostalgic time in American history that brought us D-Day, Betty Grable, WACs and the Andrews Sisters. For Fort Lauderdale philanthropist Rose Miniaci they are a Sentimental Journey.

Rose met, dated and fell head-over-heels for her late husband Alfred Miniaci. Sacrifices were made by many and when duty called, dating was put on hold. Listening to swing music allowed young women like Rose to pass the time while eagerly awaiting the return of their loved ones who were fighting overseas.

To pay tribute to those days of young love, big band sounds, and victory gardens, Rose Miniaci has generously underwritten Miami City Ballet’s production of Company B. The Paul Taylor masterwork is performed to carefree World War II hits by the Andrews Sisters contrasted with the melancholy realities of soldiers at war.

“I have such fond memories of those bygone days, as a young woman in love dancing the night away with Alfred in the dance halls and night clubs of New York City to the sounds of big bands and the Andrews Sisters. The music and beauty of Company B takes me back to those times.”

A pillar in philanthropic and social circles, Rose’s charitable heart is legendary. Her financial assistance runs the gamut from charitable and educational organizations to individuals, medical and philanthropic institutions, museums for the preservation of our history, countless charitable organizations, cultural charities, hospitals, religious, educational and scientific research, music and the arts. The scholarships she awards each year help students of all ages to excel and achieve success in what many thought was an impossible dream. Her generous donation to Nova Southeastern University contributed to funding the school’s Library Research and Information Technology Center and the Alfred & Rose Miniaci Performing Arts Auditorium.

“Rose has helped so many organizations in South Florida and we are so grateful for her support of Miami City Ballet and our season opener,” says Ana Codina Barlick, president of MCB’s Board of Trustees. “Her commitment, dedication and passion have made an enormous impact on MCB and our community.”

Miami City Ballet will perform Company B during Program I at Broward Center on November 6-8 and at Kravis Center November 20-22.

Kristin D’Addario: Back in the Theater

Post by Kristin D’Addario

There is something special about being in the theater for a dancer. The energy changes throughout the company when we’re there. The moment you set up your spot in the dressing room, there’s almost a sigh of relief…”We’re finally here.” I feel like I’ve just arrived at home. Well, that’s probably because I bring my whole life to the theater! I pack up like I’m going away for the weekend bringing snacks, tea, a coffee mug, a towel, a good book or two, a candle (I’d bring incense if I could, but that might just bother the other girls!), and of course all of my makeup, hair supplies, and shoes. Needless to say, the morning we actually arrived at the Arsht Center, I realized how long it took me to get ready and was almost late! I forgot how much it entails to prepare and I’ll have to break myself into performance season again.

Our weekend of shows at the Arsht Center marked the beginning of the season for me. Even though we’ve been working and rehearsing for two months, I feel like we’ve officially started now. This is what we’ve been working for after all. Being onstage is a completely different feeling. Even in class I feel like a different person. The seats may be empty, but I still feel like I’m performing. There are no mirrors in front of me to dissect every little detail visually. Onstage, I have no choice but to feel everything. I have to approach class differently than I would in the studio. Everyday feels like a fresh start because even though I may look the same, my body feels completely different from one day to the next and I have no mirror telling me that I have the same arabesque I did yesterday. I love it because it’s a clean slate. Every class, every rehearsal, and of course every show.

The shows were awesome that weekend. Everyone looked beautiful and genuinely happy to be performing again. I particularly enjoyed watching Company B come together. MCB has done Company B before, but I wasn’t here for it and seeing the piece as a whole in the theater was definitely exciting. It’s great in rehearsal, but with the white marly, the lights, and of course costumes and makeup, it added a whole other element! Seeing the first cast perform it put a huge smile on my face and I couldn’t wait to do it myself the next day. I had the privilege of dancing this Paul Taylor work on Sunday afternoon and I enjoyed every minute of it. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to perform it again when we go to Broward this weekend.

After a nice weekend off, I am ready for another weekend in the theater. The Broward Center holds a special place in my heart because I’ve had a few firsts in this theater. Broward is the place that I’ve performed some of my favorite parts for the first time, including Rubies, In the Upper Room, and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker. I’ve always called Broward Center “my theater” so I’m looking forward to being back and also visiting my favorite sushi place across the street.

See Kristin perform at “her theater” – Broward Center – this weekend November 6-8. The Company will perform Allegro Brillante, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Company B and Symphony in Three Movements. Click here to get your tickets.

Kristin D'Addario
Photo by MCB Dancer Leigh-Ann Esty