MCB reaches out to the community with free performances for children

We think everyone should be able to enjoy ballet! Therefore MCB does everything in its power to make this art form accessible to families who otherwise wouldn’t make it to the theater – hence, Ballet for Young People (BFYP). The tickets to these performances are free and provide the opportunity for children and their loved ones to attend MCB performances. This season brings two BFYP performances: Carnival of the Animals – The Swansong (performed by MCB School) and Coppélia (performed by the Company). The programs chosen for this special series are ballets that are relatable to children and families, and are an excellent introduction to ballet.

Carnival of the AnimalsThe Swansong was performed by Miami City Ballet School advanced students at Adrienne Arsht Center on Saturday, February 18. It is a story that teaches us about the importance of respecting and living in harmony with nature. The plot was carefully designed to engage young audiences using relatable characters, colorful costumes and dynamic choreography. Children in the audience were marveled by the show and the MCB School students had a wonderful time performing the piece!

This family scored great seats! Photo by Eileen Soler.

These MCB fans brought special guests with them! Photo by Eileen Soler.

Almost show time! Photo by Eileen Soler.

MCB School's production of Carnival of the Animals - The Swansong. Photo by Gaston Cardenas.

MCB School's production of Carnival of the Animals - The Swansong. Photo by Gaston Cardenas.

MCB School's production of Carnival of the Animals - The Swansong. Photo by Gaston Cardenas.

MCB School's production of Carnival of the Animals - The Swansong. Photo by Gaston Cardenas.

MCB School's production of Carnival of the Animals - The Swansong. Photo by Gaston Cardenas.

MCB School's production of Carnival of the Animals - The Swansong. Photo by Gaston Cardenas.

MCB School's production of Carnival of the Animals - The Swansong. Photo by Gaston Cardenas.

MCB School's production of Carnival of the Animals - The Swansong. Photo by Gaston Cardenas.

On Saturday, March 31 at 2pm, ballet lovers of all ages will enjoy excerpts from comedic and charming Coppélia, as part of Adrienne Arsht Center’s Family Fest series. This performance is already sold out; however, the Company will also perform the full-length version on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m.

MCB thanks the following supporters of Ballet for Young People: The Rockefeller Foundation, Peacock Foundation, Nordstrom, The Rundgren Foundation and Citizens Interested in Arts.

Saying Goodbye to Ashley and Erick

The five-week Summer Intensive Program is over and Ashley and Erick have moved on to other ventures. We miss them already! It seems like just yesterday we were halfway through the program. Before they left, we chatted with them one final time!

Halfway Through The Summer Intensive

Remember Ashley and Erick? We touched base with them recently to see how it feels to be at the halfway mark of the Summer Intensive Program. Ashley and Erick share with us what they’ve been learning and what works they’ve been rehearsing for the presentation at the end of the summer.

This is my DANCE BAG!

The Summer Intensive students spend lots of time in the studios during the program, so they have to bring tons of stuff with them in their dance bags. We’ve been so curious as to what they carry around all day that we just had to ask!

Meet Ashley and Erick – MCBS Students

The 2011 Summer Intensive Program is in full swing! The students have adapted to the schedule and their new teachers, and are feeling at home in sunny South Beach!

Meet Ashley and Erick, two of the Advanced students in the program. They will be checking back with us again through the end of the Summer Intensive to share their thoughts on their training and time here at Miami City Ballet School. Stay tuned!

Lexie Overholt’s Company Experience

Miami City Ballet School student Lexie Overholt has recently had the opportunity to dance with the Company. We had a chat with Lexie about the time she’s spent dancing with MCB and how she got here.

Don’t miss Lexie this weekend at Open Barre in Symphony in Three Movements. She’ll be dressed in white!

Open Classes – Fun for All

Have you thought about getting back into dancing…or trying it for the first time? Miami City Ballet School gives you the opportunity to do so in the same studios the Company dances in! MCB School is not just for children. The School offers open ballet and jazz classes for adults.

We sat down with Kyra Homeres, former MCB dancer and the ballet teacher for open classes, to chat a little about the classes.

Click here for more information.

MCB School’s little bright stars

Miami City Ballet School runs year round – we never stop! Friday will mark the end of the two-week summer program (a program for dancers who are still too young for our five-week intensive program). A presentation will take place on that day to showcase what these little bright stars have learned over the past couple weeks. Rafi Maldonado, the head of our jazz department, recently chatted with us about the program and the kids.

My Inner Ballerina

Post by Toby Lerner Ansin, Founder of Miami City Ballet

Since the age of 6, when I put my hand on the ballet barre and did my first plié, I have had a passion for the art form.  I studied seriously until the age of 12, when I realized I had neither the talent nor technique for a professional dance career and decided I had better start thinking about going to college!

But even after I earned my bachelor’s degree, dance remained in my heart and I continued to study ballet and take class for my own enjoyment until the age of 40.  Although I no longer don pointe shoes, I still feel a special connection to all students who work hard every day to express themselves–and touch the hearts of others–through the medium of dance.  Ballet was, and always will be, one of the greatest loves of my life.  In my soul, I am a ballerina.

It gives me such pleasure to provide an opportunity for young people who share my passion for dance, and possess both talent and a good work ethic, to train with a world-class ballet school like Miami City Ballet School.

My greatest joy is watching the dancers with the School become members of the Company, like Jeannette and Patricia Delgado. I remember when they started at the school I said to myself, “keep an eye on those two, they are going to be special!”

Now, they are principals with the Company. Jeannette’s performance at City Center was named by The New Yorker as one of the top ten cultural events of 2009 and they have been photographed by Bruce Weber for W Magazine.  I want to be a part of making sure that others with talent like theirs have the means to reach their goals and make their dreams come true. My inner ballerina will continue to dance through the students.

My family knows me very well, and they gave me the most wonderful gift by creating this scholarship to honor me.  Nothing could have made me happier! The entire Ansin family is especially proud to follow the rising careers of Miami City Ballet School’s talented dancers.

I also want to give a special shout out to Andrei Chagas, the first Toby Lerner Ansin Scholarship recipient. Congratulations and keep up the great work!  I look forward to watching you on stage.  Bravo!

From students to pros

“A wealth of fresh talent is emerging… Numerous dancers who made impressions in solo roles included several who have graduated (from the company’s school and then its apprentice ranks) into the corps de ballet.” The New York Times, 2010

It’s that time of the year again when parents and friends from all over the world visit our studio theater to watch their favorite students in the Miami City Ballet School Student Showcase. With a program that includes George Balanchine’s Serenade and The Four Temperaments, the School is buzzing with excitement about the performances!

Dancers, who are now members of the Company, remember feeling the same rush as they prepared to dance in the Showcase.  Here are some faces you may recognize from our stage  — check them out in their MCB School days!

Rebecca King, Corps de Ballet

Ashley Knox, Corps de Ballet

Sara and Leigh-Ann Esty, Corps de Ballet

Elizabeth Smedley, Corps de Ballet, with MCBS faculty member Geta Constantinescu

Nicole Stalker, Corps de Ballet

Patricia Delgado, Principal Dancer

Jeanette Delgado, Principal Dancer

Bradley Dunlap, Corps de Ballet, with Sara Esty

Zoe Zien, Corps de Ballet