Legendary Balanchine ballerina Merrill Ashley discusses the ballet that made her a star! Discover what makes Ballo della Regina “sparkle” in our latest INSIGHTS video and see it at the Broward Center during Program I: First Ventures this weekend! Get your ticket now!
A special thanks to the Ballo della Regina Committee for helping Miami City Ballet make this timeless work possible!
Michele Herbert, Merrill Ashley, Jacqueline Kott, and Claudia Perles (left to right) after the opening performance of ‘Ballo della Regina.’
Anyone who attended opening night at the Arsht Center last Friday can agree that the energy and excitement was at an all-time high for the opening of our 2013-2014 Season! We can’t wait to do it all again at the Broward Center for the opening of Program I: First Ventures on October 25-27. While the PAPARAZZI will be snapping shots of our glamorous audience members on the red carpet, dancer Leigh-Ann Esty will be behind-the-scenes capturing the backstage action on opening night and throughout the weekend on Instagram. Find out why she is excited for our opening program at the Broward Center and follow her at #LeighMCBphotos!
I’m excited for this weekends performance because there will be three different casts dancing! I can’t wait to see various people explore different roles!
GET YOUR TICKETS to Program I: First Ventures at the Broward Center to begin your journey with Miami City Ballet. If you can’t make it this weekend, join us at the Kravis Center from November 15-17 for our season opening there!
Check out some of the backstage shots caught by dancer Adrienne Carter on Instagram from our opening at the Arsht Center:
Pointe shoe prep before Balanchine’s ‘Ballo della Regina.’
Kleber Rebello and Sara Esty in Wheeldon’s ‘Polyphonia.’
The night we have been waiting for is finally here and we not only have one, but TWO stories from Principal dancer Patricia Delgado to wrap up the Opening Night countdown. We hope that you have enjoyed the series and that tonight, when the curtain rises on Program I: First Ventures, you and our dancers will make new memories together through a shared experience in the beauty of the ballet.
I have two very special opening night memories that I will never forget! The first one was during one of my first years in the company. It is one of my favorite All Balanchine Programs – Ballo de la Regina, Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Stars and Stripes. Ballo de la Regina and Stravinsky Violin Concerto were company premieres, which always adds an extra sense of excitement to the evening. However, what made it so special for me was having the opportunity to dance one of my first solos in Ballo de la Regina and receivingmy first bouquet of flowers on stage. I wasn’t expecting it! The surprise gave me so much energy to get back out on stage for Stravinsky Violin Concerto and then finish off in Stars and Stripes. Here I am that night when I got home from the theater still so happy and excited about it!
Patricia with her first bouquet of Opening Night flowers.
The other memory is from a couple of years ago when we brought back George Balanchine’s Who Cares? and I had the opportunity to dance one of my dream roles. I had grown up watching my favorite dancers perform this part, especially Jennifer Kronenberg, and it always seemed so glamorous and untouchable! I remember feeling so nervous before the curtain went up even after months of rehearsals! But once I got out on stage and the music and energy of opening night filled me, it was an incredibly fulfilling and unforgettable experience!
We are keeping the Opening Night stories coming right up until the curtain rises tomorrow evening at the Arsht Center! Next, corps de ballet dancer Jovani Furlan brings us his most memorable story from Opening Night.
One of my favorite opening nights with Miami City Ballet was during Program II of our 2011-2012 season, when we performed Viscera, Ballet Imperial and In The Night. That night was really special because my best friend from Brazil, Amanda Gomes, who was supposed to join MCB with me was in the audience watching. I just felt so happy to know that she was there cheering for me. I also really enjoyed performing the world premiere of Liam Scarlett’s Viscera! It felt great on my body and I found myself playing with the steps. I had also just been promoted to company apprentice — so everything summed up to a very special opening night!
Jovani’s good friend Amanda snapped this shot of him performing Viscera!
We are only THREE DAYS AWAY from opening night, so get your tickets soon! The countdown continues with another exciting Opening Night story from corps de ballet dancer Suzanne Limbrunner.
The energy and excitement backstage was electric. We were focused and ready to perform but the anticipation of our Paris debut made this opening night exceptional. We were 16 girls all dressed in white leotards, pink tights and pointe shoes, making a perfect diagonal line across the stage. The curtain went up and I heard the audience take a deep breath from the beautiful opening image of Balanchine’s Symphony In Three Movements. No one moved, all eyes were on our conductor Gary Sheldon. He lifted his baton and dropped it down for the first note of music and we began to dance. It felt like we were one unit moving together in perfect grace and harmony. This was an opening night I will remember and cherish forever!
With T minus FOUR DAYS until the opening of our 2013-2014 Season, we are continuing our countdown with even more amazing Opening Night stories from our dancers! You are in for a treat with our next story from corps de ballet dancer Michael Breeden! GET YOUR SEAT TODAY!
Opening night is the moment all of the work and passion we’ve put into the ballets finally gets a chance to breathe. We’ve agonized over trouble steps, rehearsed religiously and gone over the counts endless times. The reason we put ourselves through such grueling work is for the moment when the curtain rises on opening night. The cold air rushes in and the orchestra sounds its first notes. We are no longer people in a studio, but dancers making art, immersing ourselves in the music and contributing to something greater than ourselves.
My most memorable opening night remains the first night we performed in Paris. We were on the brink of an unprecedented tour, with the most demanding repertoire and performing schedule we had ever had. We had no idea what the Parisian audience would think of us, being that they were used to watching a completely different balletic ideal and aesthetic. Yet, all of these seeming challenges merely made the determination all the greater, and then, the success all the more satisfying.
Michael at the historic Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
The ballets we performed were in our bones and we showed the Parisians every detail, every thought and care we had added to them over the years. They responded with the most rapturous reception we had ever received. Symphony in Three Movements shocked them with its full-out energy and shifting formations, and they applauded after every movement of Square Dance as if it was its own mini-ballet, deserving of a loud and full applause. The magic of opening night was never so apparent as it was in Paris, but each opening night provides its own pleasures and surprises, and this year’s opening night will prove no exception.
Michael with Zoe Zien after Symphony in Three Movements
The evening that we have been waiting for all summer long is finally only 4 DAYS AWAY! Our dancers have trained countless hours, renowned Répétiteurs have put the final touches on each ballet, our costume department has sewn every last sequin and bedazzled each delicate hairpiece, the musicians have fine-tuned their instruments and are getting ready for their rehearsal in the pit, and the production team has their lighting, sound and stage cues down to a science so that Miami City Ballet can bring YOU an evening of ballet that you will never forget. We can’t wait for you to begin your journey with us during Program I: First Ventures and hope that you will join us for all of the extraordinary ballets we have planned this season.
To make sure that you don’t miss a beat during our opening program of the 2013-2014 Season, dancer Adrienne Carter will be taking us behind-the-scenes on Instagram! Make sure to follow her at #AdrienneMCBPhotos. Hear about what ballet Adrienne is most excited to perform in Program I: First Ventures.GET YOUR SEAT NOW!
I’m really excited to perform Serenade! It’s such an iconic Balanchine ballet and has always been one of my favorites!
See Program I: First Venturesat any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17
Why did Balanchine choreograph a girl falling to the floor in Serenade? And, why did he call this entrancing work “a dance in the moonlight?” Find out the answers to these questions and more in our new INSIGHTS video series! In our first video, corps de ballet dancers Leigh-Ann Esty and Zoe Zien divulge the secrets behind this mesmerizing and iconic ballet. Make sure to see it performed lived during Program I: First Ventures!
Our next Opening Night Stories comes from corps de ballet dancer Lexie Overholt, who will also be taking over Miami City Ballet’s Instagram feed this week! Make sure to follow all of the action from now until Saturday, when the company performs a preview of George Balanchine’s Serenade at Fairchild Tropical Gardens during their Bird Festival. The 2:30pm performance is FREE with paid admission to the gardens. We hope you can make it, but if you can’t, follow Lexie at #LexieMCBphotos on Instagram! Also, catch Serenade during Program I: First Ventures. And now for Lexie’s incredible story from opening night!
My most memorable opening night was also my scariest. My junior year of high school, our studio’s Spring Show was a “mixed bill” of sorts and the variation I performed was Kitri from Don Quixote. Kitri’s solo in the first act has always been my favorite, one I have dreamed of performing. The time was finally here. The music started, the curtain rose, and within the first eight counts, in the middle of a pirouette, I was down. I tried to get up again, but could not.
Lexie performing Kitri in Don Quixote AFTER her fall!
The crew lowered the curtain and I looked down to see that my left knee cap had dislocated. I was in a lot of pain, but I knew I had to dance this role. My best friend Megan helped me gently move my knee cap back into place and we wrapped it tightly. In the mean time, the show continued until I told them I was ready. My director hesitated but agreed to let me go. I got back on that stage and performed with sheer adrenaline and tears in my eyes, but I did it! I felt like I performed better than I ever had. When the curtain went down, I went directly to my orthopedic doctor and found I had severely stretched my MCL and dislocated my knee cap, with bone bruises surrounding my knee. But I had performed my dream role, and I had never felt more exhilaration. It is still the best opening night for me.
Our next Story from Opening Night comes from corps de ballet dancer Christina Spigner!
My most memorable opening night experience was performing Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements with the company on opening night of the tour in Chicago when I was a student apprentice . It was special for so many reasons — first, because of course this was my very first performance with a professional company and secondly, being able to be apart of opening night is always a privilege. What also made it special was that this was the first time MCB toured to Chicago, so we got to debut and expose the Chicago audience to Miami’s dancing and talent in the company. The response we got after performing was so enthusiastic and positive — it was amazing . Lastly, what made it so special was that my extended family lives in Chicago and most of them had never seen me dance or had even gone to the ballet before. So, for them to see me in my first company performance, as well as it being their first performance, was awesome. It really touched me to have all of that support for such a big opening night for me:-) And now they are huge ballet fans !
Christina in Symphony in Three Movements
Opening night is so special because it is the night that all your work comes to fruition. It is our reward to perform onstage after all the long hours of sweat, work and rehearsals we have put in. It is the time to enjoy and give back to the audience, for the first time, in that particular ballet . It is one of the most exciting nights — you have lots of adrenaline and energy, and even the audience members have a similar anticipation and excitement — making the theater come alive with that electric energy that everyone present can sense. Opening night is a reward for us dancers and something we look forward to with excitement and anticipation