Anyone who attended opening night at the Arsht Center last Friday can agree that the energy and excitement was at an all-time high for the opening of our 2013-2014 Season! We can’t wait to do it all again at the Broward Center for the opening of Program I: First Ventures on October 25-27. While the PAPARAZZI will be snapping shots of our glamorous audience members on the red carpet, dancer Leigh-Ann Esty will be behind-the-scenes capturing the backstage action on opening night and throughout the weekend on Instagram. Find out why she is excited for our opening program at the Broward Center and follow her at #LeighMCBphotos!
I’m excited for this weekends performance because there will be three different casts dancing! I can’t wait to see various people explore different roles!
GET YOUR TICKETS to Program I: First Ventures at the Broward Center to begin your journey with Miami City Ballet. If you can’t make it this weekend, join us at the Kravis Center from November 15-17 for our season opening there!
Check out some of the backstage shots caught by dancer Adrienne Carter on Instagram from our opening at the Arsht Center:
Pointe shoe prep before Balanchine’s ‘Ballo della Regina.’
Kleber Rebello and Sara Esty in Wheeldon’s ‘Polyphonia.’
We are keeping the Opening Night stories coming right up until the curtain rises tomorrow evening at the Arsht Center! Next, corps de ballet dancer Jovani Furlan brings us his most memorable story from Opening Night.
One of my favorite opening nights with Miami City Ballet was during Program II of our 2011-2012 season, when we performed Viscera, Ballet Imperial and In The Night. That night was really special because my best friend from Brazil, Amanda Gomes, who was supposed to join MCB with me was in the audience watching. I just felt so happy to know that she was there cheering for me. I also really enjoyed performing the world premiere of Liam Scarlett’s Viscera! It felt great on my body and I found myself playing with the steps. I had also just been promoted to company apprentice — so everything summed up to a very special opening night!
Jovani’s good friend Amanda snapped this shot of him performing Viscera!
We are only THREE DAYS AWAY from opening night, so get your tickets soon! The countdown continues with another exciting Opening Night story from corps de ballet dancer Suzanne Limbrunner.
The energy and excitement backstage was electric. We were focused and ready to perform but the anticipation of our Paris debut made this opening night exceptional. We were 16 girls all dressed in white leotards, pink tights and pointe shoes, making a perfect diagonal line across the stage. The curtain went up and I heard the audience take a deep breath from the beautiful opening image of Balanchine’s Symphony In Three Movements. No one moved, all eyes were on our conductor Gary Sheldon. He lifted his baton and dropped it down for the first note of music and we began to dance. It felt like we were one unit moving together in perfect grace and harmony. This was an opening night I will remember and cherish forever!
The evening that we have been waiting for all summer long is finally only 4 DAYS AWAY! Our dancers have trained countless hours, renowned Répétiteurs have put the final touches on each ballet, our costume department has sewn every last sequin and bedazzled each delicate hairpiece, the musicians have fine-tuned their instruments and are getting ready for their rehearsal in the pit, and the production team has their lighting, sound and stage cues down to a science so that Miami City Ballet can bring YOU an evening of ballet that you will never forget. We can’t wait for you to begin your journey with us during Program I: First Ventures and hope that you will join us for all of the extraordinary ballets we have planned this season.
To make sure that you don’t miss a beat during our opening program of the 2013-2014 Season, dancer Adrienne Carter will be taking us behind-the-scenes on Instagram! Make sure to follow her at #AdrienneMCBPhotos. Hear about what ballet Adrienne is most excited to perform in Program I: First Ventures.GET YOUR SEAT NOW!
I’m really excited to perform Serenade! It’s such an iconic Balanchine ballet and has always been one of my favorites!
See Program I: First Venturesat any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17
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!
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!
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.
Our next Story from Opening Night comes from corps de ballet dancer Christina Spigner!
My most memorable opening night experience was performing Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements with the company on opening night of the tour in Chicago when I was a student apprentice . It was special for so many reasons — first, because of course this was my very first performance with a professional company and secondly, being able to be apart of opening night is always a privilege. What also made it special was that this was the first time MCB toured to Chicago, so we got to debut and expose the Chicago audience to Miami’s dancing and talent in the company. The response we got after performing was so enthusiastic and positive — it was amazing . Lastly, what made it so special was that my extended family lives in Chicago and most of them had never seen me dance or had even gone to the ballet before. So, for them to see me in my first company performance, as well as it being their first performance, was awesome. It really touched me to have all of that support for such a big opening night for me:-) And now they are huge ballet fans !
Christina in Symphony in Three Movements
Opening night is so special because it is the night that all your work comes to fruition. It is our reward to perform onstage after all the long hours of sweat, work and rehearsals we have put in. It is the time to enjoy and give back to the audience, for the first time, in that particular ballet . It is one of the most exciting nights — you have lots of adrenaline and energy, and even the audience members have a similar anticipation and excitement — making the theater come alive with that electric energy that everyone present can sense. Opening night is a reward for us dancers and something we look forward to with excitement and anticipation
We are less than TWO WEEKS away from opening night of our 2013-2014 Season! Next up on our ‘Stories from Opening Night’ countdown is corps de ballet dancer Ariel Rose. Get your tickets to Program I: First Ventures before they go!
My scariest but also most memorable opening night experience was during my first lead in Alicia Alonso’s full-length ballet Coppélia with the Ballet Municipal de Lima. I just had a rushing moment of not believing that I was about to perform a three act ballet in an opera house in front of more than 1000 people. In the wings I started thinking about when I started ballet and all the difficult years of training, pushing myself and how far I had come from my beginnings in dance. My entire family, including those who live in Peru, who up to this point had never had the opportunity to see me dance, let alone dance in their home country and in the national theater, were in the audience (they also never truly embraced my career as a professional dancer either). It was quite overwhelming! Yet, I told myself to conquer and live in the moment (as I often do when I am nervous). Seeing my Peruvian family after the show — some in tears — was so gratifying because not only did they finally see why I had been working so hard in ballet for all these years, but also because I finally felt like I had truly begun my career as a professional dancer and artist.
Ariel performing Coppelia
Opening night is special because it represents the transition from rehearsal to performance. There are virtually always little hiccups here and there, but it is very exciting for the audience because they know they are the very first people to see that specific production. It is also exciting for the dancers because after weeks and weeks of rehearsing, repeating and polishing something we’ve practiced 50+ times, we get to show it to people for the very first time. Seeing their reaction and appreciation after a performance is incredibly gratifying.
Our next opening night story comes from corps de ballet dancer Nicole Stalker, sharing her scariest, but most memorable opening night!
I danced my very first Square Dance corps performance on opening night in Paris!! Square Dance is one of the most notoriously difficult Balanchine ballets in terms of both technique and stamina. I was so incredibly nervous, as I was the only one in the cast who had never performed the ballet before. I was worried about making it through the ballet while still maintaining good technique and stage presence. I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling I had when the curtain went up and we waited in silence for that first violin note! Although I was terrified, I also consider it one of my most memorable performance experiences. We were all together in one of the most amazing cities in the world getting to do what we love! It is a memory I will cherish forever!
The next story up on our opening night countdown comes from soloist Sara Esty!
I think one of my most memorable opening nights was for Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic. It was not only a world premiere, but it was my first opening night in a principal role that I originated. Standing next to Liam for the bow was an incredible moment that i’ll never forget. He is such a good friend and I’m so proud of all he has accomplished! We both had tears in our eyes. Luckily someone captured the moment…
Sara Esty with Liam Scarlett right after performing the world premiere of Euphotic.