LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Stories from Opening Night – Ariel Rose

We are less than TWO WEEKS away from opening night of our 2013-2014 Season! Next up on our ‘Stories from Opening Night’ countdown is corps de ballet dancer Ariel Rose. Get your tickets to Program I: First Ventures before they go!

Ariel Rose

Ariel Rose

My scariest but also most memorable opening night experience was during my first lead in Alicia Alonso’s full-length ballet Coppélia with the Ballet Municipal de Lima. I just had a rushing moment of not believing that I was about to perform a three act ballet in an opera house in front of more than 1000 people. In the wings I started thinking about when I started ballet and all the difficult years of training, pushing myself and how far I had come from my beginnings in dance. My entire family, including those who live in Peru, who up to this point had never had the opportunity to see me dance, let alone dance in their  home country and in the national theater, were in the audience (they also never truly embraced my career as a professional dancer either). It was quite overwhelming! Yet, I told myself to conquer and live in the moment (as I often do when I am nervous). Seeing my Peruvian family after the show — some in tears — was so gratifying because not only did they finally see why I had been working so hard in ballet for all these years, but also because I finally felt like I had truly begun my career as a professional dancer and artist.

Ariel performing Coppelia

Ariel performing Coppelia

Opening night is special because it represents the transition from rehearsal to performance. There are virtually always little hiccups here and there, but it is very exciting for the audience because they know they are the very first people to see that specific production. It is also exciting for the dancers because after weeks and weeks of rehearsing, repeating and polishing something we’ve practiced 50+ times, we get to show it to people for the very first time. Seeing their reaction and appreciation after a performance is incredibly gratifying.

 

Create your own Opening Night story by joining us on October 18 for Program I: First Ventures , and begin your journey with the ballet this season! GET TICKETS NOW!

See Program I: First Ventures at any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

Headshot – Photo © Daniel Azoulay.

Stories from Opening Night – Nicole Stalker

Our next opening night story comes from corps de ballet dancer Nicole Stalker, sharing her scariest, but most memorable opening night!

Nicole Stalker

Nicole Stalker

I danced my very first Square Dance corps performance on opening night in Paris!! Square Dance is one of the most notoriously difficult Balanchine ballets in terms of both technique and stamina. I was so incredibly nervous, as I was the only one in the cast who had never performed the ballet before. I was worried about making it through the ballet while still maintaining good technique and stage presence. I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling I had when the curtain went up and we waited in silence for that first violin note! Although I was terrified, I also consider it one of my most memorable performance experiences. We were all together in one of the most amazing cities in the world getting to do what we love! It is a memory I will cherish forever!

Nicole Stalker with former dancer Ezra Hurwitz

Nicole Stalker with former dancer Ezra Hurwitz

Create your own Opening Night story by joining us on October 18 for Program I: First Ventures , and begin your journey with the ballet this season! GET TICKETS NOW!

See Program I: First Ventures at any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

Headshot – Photo © Gio Alma.
Stage shot – Photo © Leigh-Ann Esty.

The Man Behind ‘Polyphonia’

A very important guest is paying MCB a visit! He happens to be the artistic genius behind one of the ballets that is making its company premiere during Program I: First Ventures.  You guessed it! The mastermind behind Polyphonia – Christopher Wheeldon!

Christopher Wheeldon via timeout.com

Christopher Wheeldon via timeout.com

Polyphonia was Christopher Wheeldon’s first ballet that he choreographed after retiring from a successful dance career with New York City Ballet to become the company’s first-ever Artist in Residence. Keeping in line with our theme of “firsts” for First VenturesPolyphonia was also Wheeldon’s first breakthrough work, propelling him into the choreographic spotlight. Wheeldon has now choreographed countless ballets for companies across the country and around the world, including The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet, New York City Ballet and several others. He also co-founded the New York-based dance company Morphoses with our very own Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez  in 2007. Currently he is the Artistic Associate at The Royal Ballet. Critics have deemed Wheeldon as one of the principle, 21st century choreographers actively defining the future of ballet — and we CAN’T WAIT to see what that looks like!

While only time will tell what the future of ballet looks like, we are so fortunate to have Wheeldon here for two days to work with our dancers and witness this progression take place. Capturing it all on Instagram is Rebecca King!

Rebecca King

Rebecca King

We asked Rebecca to share her excitement about having Wheeldon in our studios to work on Polyphonia and here is what she had to say:

Having Christopher Wheeldon in studio with us this week is an absolute honor.  We began rehearsing ‘Polyphonia’ in August and have been working on it regularly since.  Now that we are so familiar with the steps and the music, it will be an amazing and special experience to have the ballet’s creator come in to coach us.  We will be able to hear about the intentions of the steps and the purpose of the work as a whole, which will bring a very special perspective to Miami City Ballet’s interpretation of ‘Polyphonia.’  We can’t wait to see what is in store for us! Stay tuned for sneak peaks into the rehearsal process.

See Rebecca and the rest of the company perform this milestone work during Program I: First Ventures! Get your tickets now!

Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

Headshot © Rebecca King.

Stories from Opening Night – Sara Esty

The next story up on our opening night countdown comes from soloist Sara Esty!

Sara Esty

Sara Esty

I think one of my most memorable opening nights was for Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic. It was not only a world premiere, but it was my first opening night in a principal role that I originated. Standing next to Liam for the bow was an incredible moment that i’ll never forget. He is such a good friend and I’m so proud of all he has accomplished! We both had tears in our eyes. Luckily someone captured the moment…

Sara Esty with Liam Scarlett right after performing the world premiere of Euphotic.

Sara Esty with Liam Scarlett right after performing the world premiere of Euphotic.

Join us on Opening Night, October 18, for Program I: First Ventures to create more lasting memories and begin your journey with the ballet this season! GET TICKETS NOW!

See Program I: First Ventures at any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

Stories from Opening Night – Jennifer Kronenberg

As we count down the days to opening night of the 2013-2014 Season, dancers are sharing their favorite stories from past opening nights and explaining why performing on this particular night is so special. To kick-off the series is principal dancer Jennifer Kronenberg! Don’t forget to get your tickets!

Jennifer Kronenberg

Jennifer Kronenberg

Opening Romeo & Juliet was probably my most exciting and memorable opening night. It is such a romantic and monumental ballet — one that I had looked forward to dancing for so long. Then, to be lucky enough to dance it with my husband Carlos, and have it be for MCB’s 25th Anniversary, made it all the more special!

Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra in Romeo and Juliet.

Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra in Romeo and Juliet.

Opening nights are particularly significant because there is always a unique sense of anticipation leading up to them. As we dancers are performing a role or ballet for the first time, the audience will most likely be experiencing it for the first time as well. That fleeting parallel and common ground with the audience is an experience that, for me, always sets opening nights apart from other performances.

Join us on Opening Night, October 18, for Program I: First Ventures to create more lasting memories and begin your journey with the ballet this season!

See Program I: First Ventures at any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

Headshot © Gio Alma.
Performance shot © Kyle Froman.