LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Showcasing the world class athleticism of Ballet and Basketball!

For those of you who didn’t make it to the Miami HEAT vs. L.A. Lakers game last night, we picked up a copy of TIPOFF — the official in-game program book for the MiamiHEAT!

Patricia Delgado with Dywane Wade on the cover of TIPOFF. Jeanette Delgado and LeBron James also made the inside cover!

Read the full story inside TIPOFF here!

Becoming Dr. Coppélius

One of the best parts of performing a story ballet, such as Coppélia, is getting into character with the help of scenery, costumes, and makeup! Since we don’t have anyone in the company who’s quite the age of Dr. Coppélius, we count on the expertise of our makeup guru, Carol. She transforms our dancers!

Get a sneak peek of Carol working her magic on principal soloist Didier Bramaz.

Zoe Zien in Dance Magazine

Corps de ballet member Zoe Zien is featured in the style section of
Dance Magazine (April 2012), where she shares all her must-haves!

Dressing Viscera

Liam Scarlett not only choreographed Viscera, but he also designed the costumes for the World Premiere! Haydee Morales, MCB’s Costume Designer and Director, worked closely with Liam to bring his vision to the stage.

Haydee had a chat with us about Liam and the Viscera costumes.

Five Positions

It’s been a bright day at MCB to say the least! There was paint everywhere; the lobby was full of onlookers; cameras were flashing — all this for a special treat!

Jordan Schaps and Benjamin Martin, two New York based multimedia artist, worked with MCB School student Ella Titus on a photography project for the Company. Jordan, former creative director of New York Magazine, where he produced other 800 covers and has developed stories for Sports Illustrated, GQ, and InStyle, stepped back into creative director shoes for this exciting project. Benjamin, who has exhibited photographic works in group and solo exhibitions (and plays in a rock band), worked side by side with Jordan. The two painted Ella’s legs and photographed her in each of the five positions. The photos will be part of an oversized banner to be placed on the Miami City Ballet building at 2200 Liberty Avenue, Miami Beach.

Stay tuned for the reveal date. In the meantime, take a look at today’s happenings!

A Conversation with Gary Sheldon – Part 2

Our conversation continues with principal conductor Gary Sheldon as he reveals his summer plans and talks to us about the Company’s upcoming Paris tour.

A Conversation with Principal Conductor Gary Sheldon – Part 1

As we wrap up our 25th Anniversary Season, we are so grateful for such a wonderful year and all the things that came along with it — including the grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Knight Arts Challenge that made having live music possible once again. With live music came principal conductor Gary Sheldon! We recently chatted with Gary about his move down to sunny Miami Beach and his time here with MCB.

Check out the first of this two part series.

From Studio to Theater

If you’ve attended our Open Barre Dance Series, you may have wondered how we convert Studios 1 and 2 into our studio theater. Well, we have an amazing production team that completes the transformation in about two hours with a staff of nine people. Studio 3, which is right next door, is used as a crossover space by the dancers during Open Barre.

Check out this transformation video for a quick view on how we go from studio to theater!

‘Tis the Season!

Holiday lights and mistletoe are being hung. Christmas trees are going up and tonight the first candle on the menorah will be lit. This is the time of year when over-eating and over-spending is OK! But the best part of the holiday season is that the Nutman returns to MCB and the company performs George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ ! You may remember how hard the Nutman works from his training video we posted last November, and this season is no different! He made his first appearance in our Miami Beach building last week and everyone was very excited to see him.

Stay tuned to see what the Nutman has up his sleeve this season!

Don’t miss him onstage with Miami City Ballet this weekend at Kravis Center, December 10-12 at Broward Center, and December 17-19 & 21-23 at Adrienne Arsht Center.

Following Fanfare – Meet Maestro Gary Sheldon

Post by Rebecca King, Corps de Ballet

It is Miami City Ballet’s 25th anniversary and what better way to start this season than by bringing the orchestra back!  If you have attended any of our performances so far this season, you have experienced the delight of Opus One Orchestra.  However, there has been a change in the pit; our Artistic Director, Edward Villella, recruited a new conductor to lead the musicians – Maestro Gary Sheldon.  And Mr. Sheldon knows what he is doing! It’s obvious to the dancers as we interact with him, but his resume proves it.

Gary Sheldon is a native of Bay Shore, New York and a Julliard School alum. He was a conducting fellow for the Aspen Music Festival, Berkshire Music Center, and International Music Seminar.  Mr. Sheldon has been the principal conductor for the Opera Theater of Syracuse and Ballet Met, and principal guest conductor of the Columbus Symphony and San Francisco Ballet.

In 1988, Mr. Sheldon founded the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, which won The American Prize in Orchestral Performance. In 2010, he won The American Prize in Conducting in the professional orchestra division.  (To learn more about Gary Sheldon, click here.)

As we continue to celebrate the orchestra’s return throughout our run of Program I and Fanfare, I asked Mr. Sheldon if he would answer a few questions to enlighten readers about his role and his work with the dancers of Miami City Ballet.

You have worked with many ballet companies, including San Francisco Ballet and Ballet Met.  Has your experience thus far with Miami City Ballet been different than these other companies?

In some ways, working with different companies is quite similar.  Much of the repertoire is the same and the tireless commitment dancers must make to their art inspires me everywhere I go.  That said, the difference between companies can be great.  What repertoire does vary, and is usually very different, and dancer types and personalities will differ, both reflecting the preferences and repertoire predilections of the artistic director.

One striking observation I will make however is the remarkable connection I feel to the spirit and genius of George Balanchine working with Edward and our excellent ballet mistresses.  Even having conducted Balanchine with other fine companies for nearly 30 years, there is something extra special in the air here. In just one month with the company, I’ve seen some truly outstanding performances of Mr B’s work.

How is conducting for the ballet different than conducting a performance for a symphony?  What are the unique challenges that you encounter?

Conducting for ballet could not be more different than conducting for opera or symphony.  It all begins with an understanding of dance technique, which is something no conducting class or school in the world offers.  So one must find other ways to learn – like attend classes, competitions, apprentice with an established ballet conductor and ultimately, just jump in and “do it” if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity.

As we were in the final stages of rehearsing for Program I before opening at Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami in October, you attended many of our in-studio rehearsals.  What did you gain from this time in our studios on South Beach?

I especially enjoy every opportunity I get to see the dancers rehearse in the studio. Doing so allows me to become familiar with the choreography which is helpful in several ways.  Learning the tempo of the music is critical to what a conductor does.  While one could simply listen to a recording to replicate the preferred tempos of the choreographer, going to studio rehearsals and becoming familiar with the choreography illuminates what prompted the choregrapher to pick those tempos.

Attending studio rehearsals also helps me become familiar with the individual dancers.  When there are casting changes, it’s necessary to become familiar with the varying interpretations and tempos that different dancers might require.

On average, how much time did it take for each musician to prepare for Program I? How much of that time is on their own, and how much is the entire orchestra together?

The Opus One Orchestra usually has four rehearsals per program, including two rehearsals with the dancers.  Prior to rehearsing with the orchestra, musicians practice countless hours on their own.


A special thanks to Mr. Sheldon for giving me a moment of his time for this interview.

If you still haven’t heard the orchestra play, you have one more opportunity to see Program I: Fanfare, Bugaku, and Theme and Variations at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.  Come Friday, Nov. 19 at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 20 at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m., or Sunday, Nov. 21 at 1:00 p.m.