LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Suzette Logue gets behind the lens!

We are back in performance mode this week, as we prepare for our Season Opening at the Kravis Center this weekend! First Ventures has been the perfect way to start the new season. From George Balanchine’s Serenade — the first ballet he created in America — to Christopher Wheeldon’s “edgy and electrifying Polyphonia“, as described by the Miami Herald, and Balanchine’s  joyful, virtuoso Ballo della Regina, each ballet inspires a sense of excitement and anticipation for the rest of the season. To create lasting memories and capture our final performances of Program I: First Ventures on Instagram is corps de ballet dancer Suzette Logue!

Suzette Logue

Suzette Logue

We asked Suzette what ballets she is most excited to perform this weekend. Here’s what she said!

‘Ballo Della Regina’ and ‘Serenade’ are two of my favorite ballets to perform. There is such great energy in Ballo and Serenade has a soft but commanding presence that captures you from the moment the curtain goes up!

Look for Suzette onstage this weekend!

Suzette and Adrianne Carter having a 'merde' moment before 'Serenade' backstage.

Suzette and Adrianne Carter having a ‘merde’ moment before ‘Serenade’ backstage.

For a sneak peek at the ballets we are performing this weekend, check out the following blog posts!

Catch Program I: First Ventures at the Kravis Center this weekend, Friday, November 15 – Sunday, November 17! GET TICKETS NOW!

Headshot © Gio Alma.

 

 

 

Stories from Opening Night – Patricia Delgado

The night we have been waiting for is finally here and we not only have one, but TWO stories from Principal dancer Patricia Delgado to wrap up the Opening Night countdown. We hope that you have enjoyed the series and that tonight, when the curtain rises on Program I: First Ventures, you and our dancers will make new memories together through a shared experience in the beauty of the ballet.

Patricia Delgado

Patricia Delgado

I have two very special opening night memories that I will never forget! The first one was during one of my first years in the company. It is one of my favorite All Balanchine Programs – Ballo de la Regina, Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Stars and Stripes. Ballo de la Regina and Stravinsky Violin Concerto were company premieres, which always adds an extra sense of excitement to the evening. However, what made it so special for me was having the opportunity to dance one of my first solos in Ballo de la Regina and receiving my first bouquet of flowers on stage. I wasn’t expecting it! The surprise gave me so much energy to get back out on stage for Stravinsky Violin Concerto and then finish off in Stars and Stripes. Here I am that night when I got home from the theater still so happy and excited about it!

Patricia with her Opening Night flowers.

Patricia with her first bouquet of Opening Night flowers.

The other memory is from a couple of years ago when we brought back George Balanchine’s Who Cares? and I had the opportunity to dance one of my dream roles. I had grown up watching my favorite dancers perform this part, especially Jennifer Kronenberg, and it always seemed so glamorous and untouchable! I remember feeling so nervous before the curtain went up even after months of rehearsals! But once I got out on stage and the music and energy of opening night filled me, it was an incredibly fulfilling and unforgettable experience!

Patricia Delgado in Balanchine's 'Who Cares.'

Patricia Delgado in Balanchine’s ‘Who Cares.’

Create your own Opening Night story by joining us TONIGHT 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: Patricia Delgado in Who Cares?. Choreography by George Balanchine. © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Alexandre Dufaur.

Stories from Opening Night – Michael Breeden

With T minus FOUR DAYS until the opening of our 2013-2014 Season, we are continuing our countdown with even more amazing Opening Night stories from our dancers! You are in for a treat with our next story from corps de ballet dancer Michael Breeden!  GET YOUR SEAT TODAY!

Michael Breeden

Michael Breeden

Opening night is the moment all of the work and passion we’ve put into the ballets finally gets a chance to breathe. We’ve agonized over trouble steps, rehearsed religiously and gone over the counts endless times. The reason we put ourselves through such grueling work is for the moment when the curtain rises on opening night. The cold air rushes in and the orchestra sounds its first notes. We are no longer people in a studio, but dancers making art, immersing ourselves in the music and contributing to something greater than ourselves.

My most memorable opening night remains the first night we performed in Paris. We were on the brink of an unprecedented tour, with the most demanding repertoire and performing schedule we had ever had. We had no idea what the Parisian audience would think of us, being that they were used to watching a completely different balletic ideal and aesthetic. Yet, all of these seeming challenges merely made the determination all the greater, and then, the success all the more satisfying.

Michael at the historic Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

Michael at the historic Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

The ballets we performed were in our bones and we showed the Parisians every detail, every thought and care we had added to them over the years. They responded with the most rapturous reception we had ever received. Symphony in Three Movements shocked them with its full-out energy and shifting formations, and they applauded after every movement of Square Dance as if it was its own mini-ballet, deserving of a loud and full applause. The magic of opening night was never so apparent as it was in Paris, but each opening night provides its own pleasures and surprises, and this year’s opening night will prove no exception.

Michael with Zoe Zien after Symphony in Three Movements

Michael with Zoe Zien after Symphony in Three Movements

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

 

INSIGHTS: George Balanchine’s ‘Serenade’

Why did Balanchine choreograph a girl falling to the floor in Serenade? And, why did he call this entrancing work “a dance in the moonlight?” Find out the answers to these questions and more in our new INSIGHTS video series! In our first video, corps de ballet dancers Leigh-Ann Esty and Zoe Zien divulge the secrets behind this mesmerizing and iconic ballet. Make sure to see it performed lived during Program I: First Ventures!

Catch the live performance of Serenade during  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

 

Stories from Opening Night – Lexie Overholt

Our next Opening Night Stories comes from corps de ballet dancer Lexie Overholt, who will also be taking over Miami City Ballet’s Instagram feed this week! Make sure to follow all of the action from now until Saturday, when the company performs a preview of George Balanchine’s Serenade at Fairchild Tropical Gardens during their Bird Festival.  The 2:30pm performance is FREE with paid admission to the gardens. We hope you can make it, but if you can’t, follow Lexie at #LexieMCBphotos on Instagram! Also, catch Serenade during Program I: First Ventures. And now for Lexie’s incredible story from opening night!

Lexie Overholt

My most memorable opening night was also my scariest. My junior year of high school, our studio’s Spring Show was a “mixed bill” of sorts and the variation I performed was Kitri from Don Quixote. Kitri’s solo in the first act has always been my favorite, one I have dreamed of performing. The time was finally here. The music started, the curtain rose, and within the first eight counts, in the middle of a pirouette, I was down. I tried to get up again, but could not.

Lexie performing Kitri in Don Quixote AFTER her fall!

The crew lowered the curtain and I looked down to see that my left knee cap had dislocated. I was in a lot of pain, but I knew I had to dance this role. My best friend Megan helped me gently move my knee cap back into place and we wrapped it tightly. In the mean time, the show continued until I told them I was ready. My director hesitated but agreed to let me go. I got back on that stage and performed with sheer adrenaline and tears in my eyes, but I did it! I felt like I performed better than I ever had. When the curtain went down, I  went directly to my orthopedic doctor and found I had severely stretched my MCL and dislocated my knee cap, with bone bruises surrounding my knee. But I had performed my dream role, and I had never felt more exhilaration. It is still the best opening night for me.

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.

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 – 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.

Discover ‘First Ventures’ with Lourdes Lopez

Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez shares the meaning behind First Ventures and why the first program of our 2013-2014 Season is not to be missed!

Begin your journey with Miami City Ballet by joining us for Program I: First Ventures!

Adrienne Arsht Center: Oct. 18-20
Broward Center: Oct. 25-27
Kravis Center: Nov. 15-17

Passing It On

Legendary Balanchine ballerina, Merrill Ashley, recently visited Miami City Ballet to teach our dancers the ballet that propelled her into stardom.  For 10 days, she worked with the company on Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina – a work that he created on Ms. Ashley, herself. Principal dancer Tricia Albertson trained intensely with Merrill Ashely during her visit and shares her experience working with this Balanchine great here on our Blog!

Tricia Albertson

Merrill Ashley was the most virtuosic, technically precise ballerina of her time, if not ever.  George Balanchine was inspired to choreograph Ballo della Regina on Merrill, and created steps to highlight her strengths: precise, razor sharp, lightning-fast footwork, musicality, and hops on pointe.  Merrill was not an amazing technician by chance; she worked and analyzed every moment and every step to become that dancer.  To have Ballo della Regina passed on to me by Merrill Ashley has been both an amazing and frightening highlight of my career.

Merrill Ashley in Ballo della Regina.

Merrill Ashley in Ballo della Regina.

Merrill pushed herself to the limit as a dancer and asked that of all of us.  Working with her, I did not just learn the steps of Ballo della Regina, I learned precisely how to approach each step to make it sparkle.  Now, the challenge is to get myself to actually do it!  Merrill doesn’t let anyone cut a single corner, and being the perfectionist that I am, I was grateful to be pushed beyond what I thought my body could do (though, I will admit that I did get frustrated. I tend to want to get things right immediately, and that simply wasn’t possible).

Merrill Ashley coaches principal dancers Tricia Albertson and Renato Penteado.

Merrill Ashley coaches principal dancers Tricia Albertson and Renato Penteado.

Ballo is Merrill’s.  She loves this ballet, takes pride in this ballet, and has passed that pride down to us.  In a rehearsal, Merrill said that Ballo was a diamond of a ballet, but without the details and precision, it doesn’t sparkle. Those details make it brilliant.  Now that she has left (until she returns on opening night), I will have time to process and work on what she taught me and also to make it my own.  Perhaps there is no one that can make Ballo della Regina shine as Merrill did, but I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to try.

See Tricia Albertson perform this special role during Program I: First Ventures!

Adrienne Arsht Center: Oct. 18-20

Broward Center: Oct. 25-27

Kravis Center: Nov. 15-17

Photo credits:
Headshot © Gio Alma.
Merrill Ashley in Ballo della Regina. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Martha Swope.

Meet Our New Dancers!

You have now met dancers Brianna, Ariel, Sarah, Christina, Nieser, Eric and Damian. Our last new dancer, but certainly not the least, joins the MCB family as a company apprentice. Meet the final new face of the bunch — Leanna Rinaldi!

Leanna Rinaldi

MCB: Where are you from?

Leanna: Frisco, Texas.

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

Leanna: Miami City Ballet School.

Leanna performing Balanchine's 'Allegro Brillante' during the 2013 MCB School Student Workshop Performance.

MCB: Describe your perfect day.

Leanna: A day without stress.

MCB: Proudest moment?

Leanna: Joining Miami City Ballet!

Leanna rehearsing Balanchine's 'Serenade' with the company.

MCB: Wildest dream?

Leanna: To travel the world!

MCB: Indulgence?

Leanna: Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream and The Bachelorette.

MCB: Inspiration?

Leanna: Music and the dancers I have the privilege to dance with!

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

Leanna: My faith in Jesus Christ, my family, friends and ice cream.

Leanna with her brother and dogs.

MCB: Most unforgettable onstage moment?

Leanna: Being called upon last minute to perform Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances with MCB.

MCB: Dream role?

Leanna: Anita in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite, Principal in Balanchine’s Who Cares? and Duo Concertant.

MCB: Why Miami City Ballet?

Leanna: It is such a warm and welcoming environment and all the dancers inspire me to work hard every day! And it doesn’t hurt that it’s on the beach.

See Leanna along with our other new dancers make their debut during Program I: First Ventures!