LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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. 

Making it on Jeopardy!

Not many people can say that they’ve been on “America’s Favorite Quiz Show” Jeopardy! But, our very own Grants Associate Leah Blumenfeld can! We asked Leah to give us the inside scoop on this unique, once in a lifetime experience!

See how Leah does on Jeopardy! Tune-in Monday, May 19th at 7:30pm!

Jeopardy

MCB Grants Associate Leah Blumenfeld with Alex Trebek on the set of Jeopardy!

Getting to be a contestant on Jeopardy! is a long process. You could say it took me about ten years. I really started making the effort as soon as they began using the online test as part of the process. It’s about 30 questions and takes roughly five minutes and then that’s it. You wait and hope you did well enough to go into the contestant pool, and if you’re really lucky, you become one of the 2,000-3,000 hopefuls who get called for an in-person audition.

After taking the online test in January 2013, I got an email offering me an in-person audition in Tampa in March. I got up really early to make the drive to Tampa, where 15 other contestants and I were given a written test of 60 questions and then called-up three at a time to play a mock game. During the mock game, you get to use the signaling device and the staff people ask you questions to get an idea of your personality for the show — do you speak well? do you have interesting things to share in an interview with Alex? and so on.  The people who qualify for the in-person tryouts then go into the contestant pool for the next 18 months — but only about 400 are actually called for taping each season.  

Several months passed after my in-person audition.  I had just arrived at the Arsht Center to work at the ballet’s lobby table on opening night of Program II when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but thought it might be one of the ballet’s volunteers so I answered. It was a Jeopardy contestant coordinator asking if I would be available for a taping during the first week of February. I immediately said yes!  

I had just four weeks to get ready to go to California to play.  How does one prepare to be a contestant on Jeopardy? I don’t know! How do you study everything? I would say I’d been preparing my whole life! I’ve always liked trivia and I’ve been watching Jeopardy for all of its 30 seasons. I did decide it would be a good idea to review facts that seemed to be covered on the show — like world and state capitals or the presidents.  I asked my friends to quiz me on trivia questions on Facebook or whenever they saw me. Mostly I just tried to read and pay attention to the news and pop culture, while trying to remain calm.

Jeopardy

Leah arriving at the Jeopardy! studios with a bus full of other hopefuls.

Now that I’ve been on Jeopardy!, there are certain things about being a contestant that I would say you really can’t prepare for.  Being at the studio, in front of the cameras, playing with other contestants — this can’t be replicated at home!  While I can’t disclose the outcome, I also can’t remember all of the details. They tape five shows per day, two days a week. The contestants go through a briefing and a rehearsal on stage, but the pace of the actual game is extremely fast.  You not only have to recall the information quickly, but also ring-in first (and not too soon either), keep track of your score and remember where to look, and not let the cameras or the audience get to you!  The breaks between rounds are much faster than the commercials you see during the broadcast.  It literally flew by!

I’m really looking forward to seeing myself on TV and recalling how it all played out. Having actually been through the entire Jeopardy process, I have a greater appreciation not only for the people who are long-term champions, but also for those who seemingly crash and burn.  It’s a lot harder than it looks!

See how Leah does on Jeopardy! when her episode airs on Monday, May 19th at 7:30pm!

Welcome to Miami Jordan Matter!

Anyone recognize this photo?

Jordan Matter's 'Dancers Among Us'

Jordan Matter’s ‘Dancers Among Us’

If you know and love this image, along with several other awe-inspiring dance photos, than you have probably heard of photographer Jordan Matter and his New York Times bestseller Dancers Among Us. This week, Jordan takes his talents to the Magic City to exhibit his work at Spectrum Miami and Select Fair, both running December 4-8th in Midtown and South Beach respectively. During his visit, Jordan will also partake in two live photo shoots with Miami City Ballet dancers Renan Cerdeiro, Jovani Furlan and Emily Bromberg!

The first shoot will take place during the Opening Preview of Spectrum Miami on Wednesday, December 4, from 6-10pm (come before 8pm to make sure you catch the shoot). This will be a rare opportunity to preview Jordan’s exhibit and see how he works with the dancers to capture these extraordinary shots.

The fun continues on Thursday, December 5, when Jordan and MCB dancers hit up South Beach for a live photo shoot on Ocean Drive! Follow us on Twitter #JordanShootsMCB to find our exact location and times to come out and watch the photo shoot!

Jordan already has some experience shooting MCB dancers -- here's a shot of former MCB dancer and 'Dancing with the Stars' contestant Alex Wong!

Jordan already has some experience shooting MCB dancers — here’s a shot of former MCB dancer and ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ contestant Alex Wong!

Meet our new dancers!

As we prepare for the opening of the 2013-2014 Season, Miami City Ballet welcomes several new faces to the company! Over the next few weeks, we are getting up close and personal with our “newbies” on our blog before they take the stage in October. So without further ado, we introduce you to MCB corps de ballet member Brianna Abruzzo!

Brianna Abruzzo

MCB: Where are you from?

Brianna: New York, NY

MCB: At which dance schools did you train before coming to MCB?

Brianna: School of American Ballet (11 years), San Francisco Ballet Summer Program, MCB Summer Program, Pacific Northwest Ballet Summer Program, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, and the Chautauqua Festival.

MCB: What companies have you trained professionally with?

Brianna: As a student, I trained with New York City Ballet.

MCB: Describe your perfect day.

Brianna: Meet some friends at a local café for brunch, pamper myself with a mani/pedi (I’m a real girly girl). Take a walk around Central Park (I could never get tired of exploring the park). End the day with going to the movies.

Brianna in Central Park

MCB: Proudest moment?

Brianna: When I got offered a position in MCB. I said to myself “I did it!” I couldn’t believe it.

MCB: Wildest dream?

Brianna: Living, dancing, singing, acting and baking in Paris.

MCB: Indulgence?

Brianna: Mac and Cheese.

MCB: Inspiration?

Brianna: Misty Copeland and Tiler Peck inspire me because they are impeccable dancers who continue to improve daily. Wendy Whelan also inspires me because she is world renowned, yet she is still down to earth and genuine.

MCB: Name one thing you couldn’t live without.

Brianna: My cat Armani. He is the most affectionate cat I’ve ever met. People who normally dislike cats like Armani.

MCB: Most unforgettable onstage moment?

Brianna: Performing at the Costume Gala in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art surrounded by water in the Egyptian exhibit. It was such a glamorous night and the beautifully dressed celebrities treated us dancers as if we were the celebrities.

Brianna rehearsing with her choreographer for the SAB Student Choreography Workshop

MCB: Dream role?

Brianna: Titania from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (I cry every time).

MCB: Why Miami City Ballet?

Brianna: MCB has a bit of everything; the amazing Balanchine rep that I couldn’t live without and contemporary ballets. MCB also has choreographers coming and staging new ballets quite often. I love that process and it was an important factor for me in choosing a dance company. MCB is also not too far from home, it’s a city (a fun one too), I have relatives close by, and who can say no to days off relaxing on the beach? Everyone in the company was immediately nice and welcoming. This made it one of the easiest decisions for me.

Brianna leaped at the opportunity to join MCB:-)

2013-2014 Season Preview!

Check out our latest video to discover what exciting dance masterworks Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez has in store for Miami City Ballet’s 2013-2014 Season. What ballet(s) are you most excited to see next season?

Subscription packages and single tickets are on sale now! Visit miamicityballet.org or call 305.929.7010 for more information and tickets.

Exclusive Interview with Dwyane Wade!

Between photo shoots, basketball practice and  beating the L.A. Lakers last Sunday, Miami HEAT superstar Dywane Wade was able to catch up with us to discuss his experience working with MCB principal dancers Patricia Delgado and Jeanette Delgado.  Here is what he had to say!

Dwyane Wade and Patricia Delgado

Q:  Professional ballet dancers consider themselves artists first and athletes second. As top professional athlete at the top of your game, do you consider yourself an artist?

No. I don’t, but I could see where athletes can be artistic.  We both have to be very creative and we share something especially with our moves. The motion of us jumping in the air is of the same nature, so I can see why that comparison can be made.

Dwyane Wade and Jeanette Delgado

Q:  Professional ballet dancers must be strong, fast, possess great stamina, have great balance, be flexible, have quick reflexes, sometimes perform while injured, have the ability to jump high – all within a thin body type – and do this before huge live audiences. How do you relate to what ballet dancers go through?

We share a lot of the same traits. Obviously for us, it’s the same thing. We have to be strong and very flexible to prevent injury. There are a lot of similar things when it comes to the motion of how we are in the air. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I remember hearing about Dr. J. possibly doing ballet in the off-season, because it helps with the things that he did on the court.  I wish I had asked him about it.

Q: Describe how it was doing a photo shoot with Miami City Ballet principal dancers Jeanette Delgado and Patricia Delgado?

I don’t know how they do some of the things they do. It’s amazing! I respect everyone’s talents, because we all have different talents. I respect it. It was different, but definitely not a bad different for us.

Q:  Have you ever studied dance – or enjoy going out dancing?

No. Unfortunately I didn’t get that gene.

For more on our campaign with the Miami HEAT visit miamiballetandbasketball.com!

Patricia Delgado Gets Behind The Instagram Lens

Principal dancer Patricia Delgado takes over our Instagram feed this week! The Company does not perform this weekend, but there is no rest for the weary. Alexei Ratmansky is back in town working on Symphonic Dances! Patricia will give us the inside scoop through the magic of images!

© Gio Alma

Fun fact about Patricia: she loves to bake! It’s not uncommon to see treats in the dancers’ lounge with a sweet note from Patricia.

Kiwi coconut muffins made by Patricia on her day off.

Anne-Camille Hersh Takes Over Instagram

The Company is back from a well deserved free day after a spectacular opening weekend at Adrienne Arsht Center!
This week, company manager Anne-Camille Hersh takes over our Instagram feed!  Her images will be from a perspective we rarely get to see — we’re excited for what’s to come!

Anne-Camille on her wedding day!

Fun fact about Anne-Camille: she comes from a circus family! Anne-Camille’s great-uncle founded a circus school in the 80′s. Her cousin became a juggler in that school and started his own circus! Anne-Camille worked with her cousin and his siblings, who are the set designer and manager, while she lived in France (where she grew up)! That was her start in arts management – lucky for us, she ran away with the ballet instead of the circus!

Project Pointe

Principal dancer Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg has certainly kept busy during her pregnancy.  Not only is she a soon-to-be-mom, but she is also staying active, taking ballet classes and raising money for Miami City Ballet’s Toe Shoe Fund.  With the help of Haute Couture fashion designer Ozcar G. and friends, she created the fashionable cause and opening night event Project Pointe.  The chic affair will raise money through a silent auction, which features exclusive, one-of-a-kind items including an original Ozcar G. Couture evening gown, hand decorated and embellished pointe shoes by Ozcar G., himself, original art work and photography, and jewelry.

All proceeds will support the Toe Shoe Fund and help Jennifer achieve her goal.

© YOBE Photography

“Pointe shoes are singularly the most significant tool that dancers rely on to perform at our best.  They are deceivingly fragile and no two pairs are exactly the same.  Miami City Ballet’s Toe Shoe Fund initiative raises critical funds to ensure that our dancers are equipped with a shoe supply abundant enough to match the ever increasing demands of our rehearsal and performance schedules.  Since we each wear our pointe shoes out differently, pointe shoes inevitably become a part of a dancer’s unique “footprint.” Every “dead” pair has served a ballerina in its own special way, and has helped to create countless inspiring moments.  There is no better way to make a ballerina smile than to give her a brand new pair of shoes — crafted to her own specifications, helping to keep her feet protected, supported and injury free. Please help to keep us smiling and on our toes!  Your support of MCB’s Toe Shoe Fund is personally appreciated by each and every one of us.”

Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg
Principal Dancer

Project Pointe takes place at Adrienne Arsht Center’s Peacock Rehearsal Studio on Friday, October 19, 2012 — opening night of the 2012-2013 Season.  Those who place bids will be invited back to the Peacock Rehearsal Studio for a VIP cocktail and dessert reception after the performance, to make their final bids and claim their prizes. Click here to see the auction items.

Guest Photographers on Instagram!

The dancers are taking over MCB’s Instagram account for our guest photographer series! They will be posting lots of dancer activity,
so follow us and don’t miss a beat!

First up is corps dancer Leigh-Ann Esty!
Leigh will be controlling our Instagram account starting Monday, August 13th for one week
(which also happens to be choreographer Liam Scarlett’s first day back with the Company)!

Leigh-Ann Esty © Gio Alma

Fun fact about Leigh: she loves photography and often takes photos of the Company (such as these gorgeous shots).
Plus, she was published in National Geographic Traveler, when she won their 2008 World In Focus contest with this image of the Eiffel Tower.