LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

MCB Shares the Art of Costume Creation

Last Friday Miami City Ballet headed to NSU’s Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale to spend some time with students at the Auto Nation Academy of Art + Design Creative Summer Art Academy.

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Our Costume Designer & Director, Haydee Morales, along with Costume Artist Maria Morales, who also happens to be her sister, took a group of approximately 60 students (ages 5-18) on a creative journey of costume and wardrobe design. From inception to execution, Haydee and Maria described the many different sides of costume design, from how long it can take to create wardrobe for a ballet, to where they get their materials—even noting the Wardrobe team’s frequent trips to New York City since supplies can be hard to find locally.

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When describing her creative process, Haydee, who has been a part of the Miami City Ballet family since 1986, explained that in costume design, all an artist has to rely on is his or her mind and hands.

After the demonstration, it was time to get hands-on. The young artists got up close to various finished pieces from past MCB performances, excitedly examining several intricate costumes, headpieces and masks. Later, the kids even shared some of their own original creations made during their time at the summer art academy.

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A big thank you to Bonnie Clearwater &  NSU’s Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale for hosting us. We hope to visit again soon!

The Life of a Miami City Ballet Student: Gustavo Pacheco

Our 5-week Summer Intensive is quickly coming to a close. It’s hard to believe that just five weeks ago, Miami City Ballet School welcomed over 200 students—some coming from as far as Brazil, Italy and even Poland. Nerves were high for many of our first-timers during the first week, but it wasn’t long before you could see confidence building, friendships forming and, of course, a whole lot of dancing.

Over the past week, our school faculty has been evaluating student hopefuls for the opportunity to attend Miami City Ballet School’s Pre-Professional School Year Program. We decided to catch up Gustavo Pacheco, one of our Summer Intensive students who also attends School Year program, to get an insider’s look at what life is like at Miami City School.

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MCB: How long have you been attending Miami City Ballet School?
GP: I started as a student in Miami City Ballet School in September of last year.

MCB: What were your first days here like?
GP: For me, the experience was very different from what I was used to in Brazil. Besides being in a different place, the training here was different too. For example, in Brazil, I had many female teachers, so I hadn’t really had a chance to learn male technique from a male dancer. When I came to Miami City Ballet School, I began learning from male dancers, which was very helpful, but also very challenging. Here, the boys get to work on male technique every day. This wasn’t something I was used to.

MCB: What type of classes do you take at Miami City Ballet School?
GP: Now during the summer, the boys take a Men’s Technique class in the mornings. After that, everyone takes a Variations class. After lunch, we usually take classes like Jazz, Modern, Floor Barre and, for the boys, Weight Training. Then after that we have rehearsal, of course.

MCB: What is your favorite class?
GP: Out of all the classes, I think my favorite class is the Men’s Technique class. Here, I feel like I get a chance to do the most of what I love, which is classic ballet. This class makes me feel good.

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MCB: How many hours do you train?
GP: We dance from 9:30AM to 4:30PM with a one-hour lunch break, so about 6 hours a day, Monday through Saturday.

MCB: Do you have any daily rituals, either before or after dancing?
GP: Before class I usually eat something small like cereal. I don’t really like eating too much in the morning, but I’ll have something so I don’t dance on an empty stomach. Before class I also like to warm up, massaging my legs and anywhere on my body that feels tight.

After class, I usually go to the gym and ice my legs, then put them in hot water to relax them. This was recommended to me because I had an injury not too long ago. It helps prevent my muscles from staying tight, and gets me ready for the next day.

MCB: What do you like to do after class?
GP: I like to hang out with my friends, but I also love to just be in my apartment and watch TV or movies. I am sometimes too tired to go out, so getting to be home is great.

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MCB: What is your favorite part of being a student at Miami City Ballet School? What is the most challenging part?
GP: My favorite part is that I’ve been able to receive a lot of training in male technique. I think this type of training is very helpful because I eventually want to dance as a professional. At the same time, learning more male technique has also been the most challenging part because I’m learning how to do new things with my body.

MCB: What advice would you give for students just starting out at MCBS?
GP: I think that as a new student it’s important to remember to be respectful to everyone around you, both teachers and students. Your first impression is what everyone will remember about you. New students should also come here mentally and physically ready because it’s very hard work.

MCB: What are you looking most forward to this year?
GP: I am excited to be working as a student apprentice with the Miami City Ballet dancers. I just found out a few days ago that I would be taking on this role. I cannot wait to get a chance to work with the company.

MCB Dancers Take Italy

It’s been a couple of weeks since our dancers wrapped up rehearsals with choreographer Justin Peck. Since then, they’ve all been enjoying some additional time off this summer, getting plenty of much-needed rest and relaxation. But as we’ve learned quite well, it’s rarely all play and no work for our dancers. In fact, we recently caught up with principal dancers Tricia Albertson and Renan Cerdeiro, who, earlier this month, performed at the Florence Dance Festival at the National Museum of Bargello in Italy–the same museum that houses Donatello’s famous Statue of David.

The show, titled Stars of American Ballet, featured Tricia and Renan, along with principal couples from New York City Ballet and Boston Ballet.

National Museum of Bargello in Italy. Photo courtesy of Tricia Albertson & Renan Cerdeiro.

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Principal dancers Tricia Albertson and Renan Cerdeiro.

“It was set up in an outside courtyard with sculptures surrounding–so beautiful,” Tricia told us. “Renan and I performed excerpts from ApolloChutes and Ladders, and Who Cares?.” After the performance, the two took some time to take in the sights of Italy, along with fellow MCB dancer Jovani Furlan. Check out these gorgeous photos.

Tricia, Jovani and Renan enjoy a gondola ride.

Tricia, Renan and Jovani pose for a photo.

Thank you to Tricia, Renan and Jovani for sharing your experience with us!

Miami City Ballet Tickets on Sale Next Week!

Our 2014-2015 of season of dance is quickly approaching! That means single tickets for our full season, as well as the holiday favorite, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,  officially go on sale July 14th.

Marking our 29th season, we’re offering one of the most exciting ones yet, blending some classic ballet favorites with several company premieres, including a world premiere created specifically for MCB dancers by one of today’s most sought after choreographers, Justin Peck.

Check out the full 2014-2015 Season Preview below. 

Summer at Miami City Ballet School

Summer is in full swing at Miami City Ballet; and while our company dancers may be off for the next five weeks, our school is abuzz with activity, from summer intensives to a full lineup of community classes.

It’s All About Summer Intensive
Last week we kicked off our 5-week Summer Intensive, welcoming over 200 students. The program, which will conclude with a Summer Repertory Performance on Friday, July 25th, is designed for serious dancers ages 12-19. Students here take classes such as Ballet Technique, Pointe, Pas de Deux, Floor Barre, Jazz and others, and are taught by Miami City Ballet School faculty, Miami City Ballet artistic staff, including Ballet Masters and Lourdes Lopez, Artistic Director, and Company dancers.

Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez teaching students during a Summer Intensive class.

Meanwhile, the school’s Brazilian Summer Intensive, led by Alice Arja, our international relations liaison, kicked off yesterday with 70 students in attendance for the summer.

What’s most exciting, each year select students from the summer intensive will be chosen and invited to attend Miami City Ballet School’s Pre-Professional Year-Round Program, considered to be one of the most prestigious ballet training programs in America. This program prepares advanced students for a career in dance, with a focus on technique, artistry and expanding dance styles and repertoire. More than half of the dancers on Miami City Ballet’s current roster started as students in the pre-professional division.

Dance, Fitness and Fun
You don’t have to be an aspiring professional to enjoy Miami City Ballet School. This summer, we are offering a wide variety of workshops and classes for everyone—from children to adults, first-timers to more experienced dancers—in a relaxed and welcoming environment.  Our ongoing summer schedule includes classes such as Ballet 101, Pilates, Broadway Jazz and Floor-Barre®.

Want to learn more? Visit our www.miamicityballet.org/school for class schedules and pricing. You can also find out more about our upcoming Open House here.