When emerging choreographer and New York City Ballet dancer Justin Peck received a call from Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez to create a new work on Miami City Ballet, he jumped at the opportunity. After choreographing several works for New York City Ballet, the young artist was eager to experience a new company, or as Justin described, “work with new paint.” For nearly two weeks, Justin immersed himself in music, dance and creation at our studios to choreograph his newest work Chutes and Ladders. Learn about Justin’s experience working with our dancers and how this exciting project came to be in the video below!
Principal Soloist Callie Manning is not only practicing her tendus and pliés this week, but she is also getting ready to strut her stuff down the catwalk during Miami Fashion Week! Lucky for us, she will be bringing us all of the action on Instagram as this week’s guest photographer! #CallieMCBPhotos
Callie, along with dancers Suzanne Limbrunner and Adriana Pierce will be transformed into professional fashionistas, when they hit the catwalk for designer Robin Fleming’s fashion show. They will model the ballet inspired DUCHESA Couture line for Fleming’s closing collection on Friday, March 22, at 10:00 p.m., at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Work it ladies!
Patricia also told us why she can’t wait to get onstage to perform BOTH of the ballets featured in Program IV: Broadway and Ballet.
Dances at a Gathering and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue are such different ballets on so many levels — for the dancers and for the audience. Dances is very human and has an enormous amount of subtle details to pay attention to, which makes performing the ballet extra special. Slaughter is a big broadway number that calls for a lot of energy and fun! I love being able to channel such different parts of myself artistically and technically all in one evening!
Patricia Delgado in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering
Corps dancer Zoe Zien is taking her second run at photography as this week’s Instagram guest. Zoe will be capturing our final moments of Program III: The Masters during our closing run at the Adrienne Arsht Center this weekend. Although we will be bidding farewell to some truly momentous ballets, Zoe will help capture the memories to share with you on Instagram. Follow Zoe #ZoeMCBPhotos!
La Valse has a great vintage and decadent style to it. I love when a Balanchine ballet has some what of a story because it is within the movement he has created that you find your character. There is no need to over interpret.
In Symphonic Dances I am continuously discovering new things on stage and it always feels very personal. I can change my intention each time while continuing to push the extended movement of Ratmansky’s work to the limits. It’s demanding in the best way!
Both ballets create different fantastical worlds to get lost in.
Alexei Ratmansky is widely seen as one of the most original and important choreographers in ballet, an artist who is moving the genre forward while remaining deeply rooted in its classical origins. When Miami City Ballet commissioned him last season to create Symphonic Dances, set to a Rachmaninoff score of the same name, it was a milestone for the company.
-The Miami Herald
Dancers Jeanette Delgado and Nathalia Arja explain Ratmansky’s process of bringing Symphonic Dances to the stage in Part Two of Behind the Ballet.
…No matter what, every morning you go to the barre and you need to serve the god, the goddess of dance. It’s a religion. It’s not about you or your ego. The beauty of ballet is the result of centuries. You think of all the amazing choreographers who contributed to it, and it now lives in us. Because all the steps we do were invented by someone, and we can feel their impulse when we do the step.
After its one-night-only world premiere in Miami last season, Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances returns to the stage during Program III: The Masters. Through interviews with the acclaimed choreographer, himself, and with two leading ladies from the ballet, we are breaking down this beautiful, yet complex masterwork in the following two part mini-series.
Watch this video to find out what the dancers had to say!
During his last visit to our studios in November 2012, The Miami Herald interviewed Alexei Ratmansky. Here is what he had to say!
Q. When I first saw Symphonic Dances, I thought it had a story, but I can’t say what it was.
That’s good. There is a story but you don’t need to put it in words. The music [also] tells a story but how can you translate it? What’s great about ballet is you don’t need to put things into words. You can’t really have the words for everything in life. There is a good saying in Russian, if you express your thought clearly, it’s already alive. Meaning that not everything can be put in words. I like that. The great strength of ballet is its mystique or symbolism. This art can touch a kind of universal harmony without explaining it.
Q. There were strong characters in Symphonic Dances that surprised me. I saw a side of [MCB dancer] Kleber Rebello I had never seen. Nathalia [Arja] had always seemed like a very sweet girl, and suddenly she was so passionate.
I wouldn’t call them characters. They create tensions. And in order to create tension you have to have some kind of motivation. Nathalia, we called her the war girl. There is a painting by Henri Rousseau, the French primitive painter, of a girl in a white short dress on a horse, called The War. She is a horrifying figure. But it’s just a little inspiration.
The structure of the piece, which is quite complex, took place after I observed [MCB company] classes. I wanted to use particular dancers. Each person had certain characteristics. Maybe in everyday life they are very different. But there is something in their physique, in the expression of their face, the line of the neck, the gestures, that tells you about their inner character. They might fight it. Maybe they don’t like it. But as Martha Graham says, the body never lies. The body tells the truth about a person. So I was trying to sense who these dancers are, and they led me to certain story developments.
Q. So what did you get from Kleber?
A person in difficult circumstances, some inner suffering that was hidden. He was — I’m not sure this is the right word — vulnerable?
Q. And Nathalia?
She’s a force. It’s not necessarily that she brings something bad. It’s an extreme situation that she brings. But it also can bring glory.
Stay tuned for more on Symphonic Dances during next week’s Behind the Ballet Part Two.
Corps dancer Ashley Knox will be “running the show” (in terms of our Instagram feed) for the opening of Program III: The Mastersat the Kravis Center. She will be documenting the best of ballet with works by George Balanchine and the in-demand choreographer from Russia, Alexei Ratmansky. Check out her pictures #AshleyMCBPhotos.
Fun Fact about Ashley: She LOVES taking photos and is very happy to be able to share her pictures from her perspective with our MCB followers!