LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

This Week at MCB—YoungArts Salon Series & Justin Peck in Studio

It’s been an exciting week at Miami City Ballet. Our dancers are wrapping up an intense few weeks in the studio rehearsing with choreographer Justin Peck, where they’ve been learning a brand-new ballet that will premiere during the final program of the 2014-2015 Season in March.

Justin and Sufjan on stage at the YoungArts Salon Series. Photo via Miami City Ballet Instagram.

Justin and Sufjan on stage at the YoungArts Salon Series. Photo via @miamicityballet on Instagram.

After getting a sneak peek into yesterday’s rehearsal, our team headed over to watch Justin speak at the YoungArts Salon Series in downtown Miami. During the discussion, titled, “The Art of Collaboration,” Justin, along with singer-songwriter and musician Sufjan Stevens, talked about their most recent partnership on the ballet, Everywhere We Go, which premiered earlier this year at New York City Ballet and featured a nine-movement orchestral score.

The discussion was an insightful look into what inspires Justin as an artist. He credits everyday life as one of his biggest muses; his love for experimenting with and mixing different art forms; and locally by the street art throughout Miami’s Wynwood and downtown neighborhoods.

In fact, the new work he’s choreographing on our dancers—Justin’s second with the Company—will showcase art design by the popular street artist Shepard Fairey – best known for his work on the Obama Hope poster and his large murals adorning local streets and establishments such as the Wynwood Walls and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar.

MCB Dancers in studio with Justin. Photo via @bexking on Instagram.

MCB Dancers in studio with Justin. Photo via @bexking on Instagram.

In a recent post on the MCB blog, dancer Michael Breedan notes, The company has developed a passion for new choreography in the past years, with choreographers like Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett making works on us. Justin’s new work promises to fulfill its dancers and audiences in the same way those great choreographers did. His ballets abound with fresh, exciting and innovative use of the corps and so many visually striking dance images that repeated viewings are practically a must. He has a musical response that actually enhances the score, rather than uses it for effect. Each step in his works unfolds naturally, with fluidity, grace and style.”

Our dancers wrap up rehearsal with Justin today, and we must say, we can’t wait for the finished product! 

Learn more about choreographer Justin Peck here.

And make sure to follow us on Instagram for exclusive looks into rehearsal with our dancers!

 

 

Dancers Are Back!

Our dancers have returned to the studios after their 5-week break to start learning a brand new ballet by choreographer Justin Peck. This is Justin’s second ballet for MCB, which will premiere during our final program of the 2014-2015 Season in March. His new work calls for a large cast of dancers and scenery by the popular street artist Shepard Fairey – best known for his work on the Obama Hope poster and also for his large murals adorning local streets and establishments such as the Wynwood Walls and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. To capture the creation process behind his new work on our Instagram feed is corps de ballet dancer Emily Bromberg! Follow her at #EmilyMCBphotos to get an intimate look at Justin making choreographic magic!

Dancer

Emily Bromberg

Since the end of our 2013-2014 Season I have kept myself busy by guest performing in Rhode Island, Virginia and New York.  With all of these great guest performing opportunities the last two months, I am ready to start our 2014-2015 Season!

Tinker Bell

Miami City Ballet dancer Emily Bromberg as ‘Tinker Bell’ in Festival Ballet Providence’s production of Jorden Morris’s ‘Peter Pan.’ Photo by A. Cemal Ekin/keptlight.com.

I will be taking over Miami City Ballet’s Instagram feed to share some sneak peaks of Justin Peck’s new ballet, set specifically on MCB dancers! I knew I liked Justin’s work when I first saw Chutes and Ladders,’ but I knew I loved his work when I attended our ‘Open Barre’ performances this Spring. His calm demeanor and insistence on portraying a specific idea using not only the bodies of his dancers, but also the psychological and emotional tools we all carry, inspired me a great deal! I look forward to the next few weeks to watching him create a new piece that I’m sure will be a must see for all of our audiences! – Emily


SEE ALSO: 

Get to Know Choreographer Justin Peck! 

More photos by A. Cemal Ekin: keptlight.com

(Under)Water Ballet!

Not only have our dancers been getting back in shape for three weeks of rehearsals ahead with choreographer Justin Peck starting on Monday, but they have also been learning how to hold their breath! Why? For tomorrow’s underwater photo shoot with Fort Lauderdale’s new glossy, high-society magazine Venice!

Interestingly, one of our dancers has a leg up over the others! Corps de ballet dancer Chase Swatosh tells us about his life before dance as a semi-professional swimmer and diver below!

Dancer

Chase Swatosh

I began swimming when I was a baby and was on a competitive club swim team from the age of 8 to 15, when I transferred to diving on my high school dive team. In swimming, I qualified for and competed in many junior olympics swim meets (usually two per year).  One year, two of the relay teams I was on made the top 16 times in the nation — one of which was second in the nation. For the two seasons I dove, I competed in CIF (California Interscholastic Federation – state championship). The latter season I qualified for All American but didn’t quite make the cut. 

I loved both swimming and diving although they’re different. Swimming is probably the most physically challenging type of exercise I’ve ever done (besides dance) which makes it great for conditioning and cross training. It teaches you to have amazing breathing control and to be mentally disciplined to finish races strong, even when your body wants to give up. This, of course, is very applicable to dance, among other things in life as well.

Balanchine

Dubbed as Balanchine’s ‘underwater ballet,’ ‘Ballo della Regina’ appears to take place in a beautiful grotto. Photo by Daniel Azoulay.

Diving is a different story; it is dynamically physically demanding but not nearly as intensive as swimming or dance. Having also been something of a gymnast (mostly tumbling) diving was a natural progression for me. Flexibility and body awareness from dance and gymnastics helped me a lot in diving. It’s  probably the most fun activity I’ve ever done. 

My philosophy about cross training is that anytime you learn a new sport or activity, you are learning to use your body in a new way. I think dance — or ballet specifically — is the pinnacle of physical activities where body awareness is absolutely crucial. So anytime I learn a different way to use my body, even if it’s totally contrary to ballet technique, that information becomes extremely helpful and in some way applicable to dance. – Chase

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for some fun behind-the-scenes shots of tomorrow’s underwater photo shoot! 

SEE ALSO:
Principal dancer Patricia Delgado’s summer cross training tips!

Mr’ “B’s” Underwater Ballet – Ballo della Regina