Zoe’s Paris Tour Coverage

In just 24 hours the Company will be boarding a plane to Paris! There has been so much excitement about this tour and it doesn’t end here. Zoe Zien, corps dancer and our Paris correspondent, will be bringing us all the Parisian happenings through iPhone videos, photos, and blog entries.

Zoe began her Paris coverage recently in the studios with some pre-tour action.

Stay tuned for more!

Production in Paris

A three-week tour to Paris is oh-so glamorous — but it is also a huge behind-the-secenes undertaking! We took a couple minutes from Production and Lighting Director John Hall’s busy schedule for a Q&A on the Paris tour.

MCB: What will Production be taking on the Paris tour?

John: We are carrying all the costumes, scenery, props, dance floor, music, and supplies we need to perform the 14 ballets in the repertory for the three weeks in Paris. Due to the difference in electrical power between the United States and Europe, our lighting system is not compatible and will stay home.

MCB: How are you getting it all there?

John: All the equipment was previously loaded into two 40’ cargo containers at our warehouse. It was taken to the Port of Miami on June 1st and loaded on an ocean freighter that sailed to Le Havre, France. From there it cleared customs and was placed onto a tractor trailer to be taken by truck to Paris. The ocean part of the trip is about 20 days. The rest will be trucking. It will arrive at Le Théâtre du Châtelet on July 2 for our load-in. The return trip is the same.

MCB: What is Le Théâtre du Châtelet like?

John: The theatre was built in 1862 and it’s right on the Seine. My impressions after the February scouting trip I took to Paris is that Le Châtelet is a well run professional facility that is well equipped to handle MCB. The performance space will be comparable to the Broward Center, while the auditorium seats approximately 2,000 people. The theater got a renovation in 1999.

MCB: How will it be different working in a foreign theater?

John: The first difference will be language, of course. There was a lot of English spoken when I went in February, but I’m sure there will be a lot of finger pointing and head nodding! We are learning the basic theatrical terms in French to try to help the process; we are in their country after all! After that there are work rule differences and different departments have different responsibilities. For example, in the U.S., our props department is responsible for the orchestra pit setup among many other things. At Le Châtelet, the props department only handles actual performer used props. There is a separate department for the orchestra pit.

MCB: How many people from Production will be traveling to Paris?

John: We have seven members of the Production team coming along: myself, our stage manager, carpenter, head props, head electrician, electrician, and head sound. Two members of the Wardrobe department will travel with us as well: the costume designer/director and the wardrobe master.

Packing for Paris

Post by Jennifer Lauren, Soloist

Celebrating MCB’s 25th anniversary this past season was very exciting.  Amongst all the wonderful performances, we had something in the back of our minds: PARIS! I was thrilled to find out we would be performing there for three weeks.  The next question I had in my mind was, how am I going to pack for this long stay? How many pointe shoes should I bring? Do I really need five different kinds of eyeshadow and lipstick?  I’ve never really been outside the country, much less actually lived and worked in Paris for three weeks.

It’s been a little overwhelming to prepare for this trip, but thanks to our wonderful MCB production/wardrobe staff, we were given a great advantage. We were able to ship our pointe shoes/ballet slippers and one theater case on the boat headed to Paris last week. Some of you may be asking what a theater case is. For me, it’s a suitcase devoted only to items needed for a long weekend, or tour, of performances. Most of us have one that we haul around from theater to theater all season long. To keep up with everything I’m taking in my theater case, I wrote it all down. We were told whatever came to Paris on the boat had to come back on the boat. Even our used pointe shoes. We were also told we wouldn’t see our cases for a whole month after the tour.

Here is my list:

-My trusty MCB Company Dancer jacket and sweat pants. :)

-A picture of my husband that he printed for me to take to all theaters. (It says “Grow old with me. The best is yet to be!”)

-A small bookmark with me and my best friend, Kyle, dancing together in Alabama.

-A fortune from a fortune cookie.

-Two formal dresses and a pair of high heels that I will wear to any MCB related events.

-My blue down booties.

-Hairspray, hair pins, hair nets and two brushes.

-Five pairs of fake eyelashes and eyelash glue.

-Liquid eyeliner, white and brown eyeliner and a pencil sharpener.

-Studio fix (pressed powder) and concealer.

-My palette of all my eye shadows.

-I could’t put my lipsticks in my case because of the heat on the boat, but I really can make due with just one good color for all the shows.

-Five pairs of tights, two skirts, three pairs of leg warmers, eight leotards and one pair of ballet slippers — all for company class that my boss, Edward Villella teaches.

-A packet of corn cushions and toe nail clippers. (Both very important to have on hand at all times.)

Last but definitely not least, 14 pairs of pionte shoes, (with the elastic and ribbon already sewn) to get me through one of the best experiences of my life!

Brushing up on our French

With the Paris tour just a hop, skip, and a jump away, everyone is doing all they can to prepare — including brushing up on their French!

MCB will perform in Paris during the popular dance festival Les Etés de la Danse at Théâtre du Châtelet July 6-23, 2011.

Working with Alexei Ratmansky

Alexei Ratmansky has been commissioned to create an original ballet for the Company, which will have its world premiere in March 2012 – with live music by The Cleveland Orchestra (TCO). This one-time MCB/TCO performance and gala will take place at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. The new Ratmansky ballet – Symphonic Dances – then will become part of Miami City Ballet’s repertoire during the 2012-2013 Season.

Post by Jeanette Delgado, Principal Dancer

Last summer I saw New York City Ballet dance a new work by Alexei Ratmansky and I was blown away! It was everything new and fresh about dancing but still true to ballet and musicality. I still have visions of this ballet and I am so moved by them. Never did I dream that we would get the chance to work with such an incredible artist!

The two weeks we recently spent working with Mr. Ratmansky felt like a glimpse into what the dancers who worked for George Balanchine must have felt! To be a part of someone’s creative process has been amazing! He pushed us to move in ways we’ve never moved nor ever thought of moving before. It is super challenging but he knows exactly how to ask for what he wants and shows it in the most inspiring way! It is a lot of work to really grasp the movement but it’s work that I can’t wait to continue!

Alexei Ratmansky working with MCB dancers.