Dreams of Sugar Plums have been dancing in the heads of ballerinas everywhere — and for many more nights than just the night be for Christmas;-) Whether it’s the moment a little girl puts on her first pair of ballet slippers, or sees the Sugar Plum Fairy work her magic onstage, a little spark ignites, fueling aspirations of one day dancing this quintessential ballerina role. This dream is swiftly becoming a reality for Soloists Sara Esty and Jennifer Lauren, as they make their debut performances as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™. Here, they share their excitement about performing this milestone role!
At eight years old, I performed as a polichinelle in my first Nutcracker and loved every minute of it! As I grew, I continued to perform in every Nutcracker and danced many different characters. The role of the Sugar Plum Fairy was always something I dreamed of dancing. It was the first principal ballerina role I had ever seen, and the only consistent role that came back each year. The first time I was cast to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy was with the Alabama Ballet. It was among the first principal roles I had danced. I was so in love with this role. The répétiteur for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, Darla Hoover, gave me my own special wand. I enjoyed dancing with it for six wonderful seasons. Fast forward to today, and for the first time in six years at Miami City Ballet, I am dancing the role that I have loved since I was a wide-eyed little polichinelle! The familiarity of this role brings happy memories of all the amazing Nutcrackers I have attended and performed. I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with Lourdes Lopez and Kleber Rebello as my Cavalier. Lourdes has been encouraging and insightful in our rehearsals and the wealth of knowledge she has for this role inspires me. I can’t wait to perform the Sugar Plum Fairy with Miami City Ballet and create new memories with my wand!
Jennifer Lauren as the Sugar Plum Fairy with Alabama Ballet.
As I write, I am watching a few of my friends in New York City ballet do the kids show of The Nutcracker. I’m in Lincoln Center and am reminded of how magical the show can be… There are so many happy children here! I can’t believe I am getting the chance to perform Sugar Plum this year. I have danced it just once before in my career (at home when I was a senior in high school), so I am very much looking forward to giving it another go with Miami City Ballet. It is one of the many coveted Balanchine roles, and to be able to have reached this goal is an amazing feeling. She is the quintessential ballerina, and queen of the land of sweets – who wouldn’t want to be her? Hopefully I will inspire the little girls around me, as the Sugar Plum Fairies did when I was growing up!
Sara Esty rehearsing the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux with her Cavalier Jovani Furlan.
If you know and love this image, along with several other awe-inspiring dance photos, than you have probably heard of photographer Jordan Matter and his New York Times bestseller Dancers Among Us. This week, Jordan takes his talents to the Magic City to exhibit his work at Spectrum Miami and Select Fair, both running December 4-8th in Midtown and South Beach respectively. During his visit, Jordan will also partake in two live photo shoots with Miami City Ballet dancers Renan Cerdeiro, Jovani Furlan and Emily Bromberg!
The first shoot will take place during the Opening Preview of Spectrum Miami on Wednesday, December 4, from 6-10pm (come before 8pm to make sure you catch the shoot). This will be a rare opportunity to preview Jordan’s exhibit and see how he works with the dancers to capture these extraordinary shots.
The fun continues on Thursday, December 5, when Jordan and MCB dancers hit up South Beach for a live photo shoot on Ocean Drive! Follow us on Twitter #JordanShootsMCB to find our exact location and times to come out and watch the photo shoot!
Jordan already has some experience shooting MCB dancers — here’s a shot of former MCB dancer and ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ contestant Alex Wong!
While most of you are digging your nose deep into cookbooks and fighting the crowds at the local grocery store, we are preparing for Thanksgiving with rehearsals of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™!This weekend, we head to Naples for our first Nutcracker performance of the season!Dancer Rebecca King will be capturing the magic of this holiday classic on our Instagram feed and shares how The Nutcracker has become an annual Thanksgiving tradition in its own right below. Follow Rebecca #RebeccaMCBphotos!
We have heard that in the rest of the country the seasons are changing. Yet, here in Miami, the only thing we have noticed is a slight drop in the humidity. (We are really roughing it here in the tropics). So, for Miami City Ballet dancers, the truest indicator of the change in seasons is performing The Nutcracker in Naples. For the past seven years that I have been with MCB, Thanksgiving and Naples have always gone hand-in-hand. Most years we spend Thanksgiving together on the gulf coast in anticipation of the Nutcracker’s kickoff the next day. Being together for Thanksgiving is something that has become a tradition for all of us — creating wonderful memories of spending a very special holiday together as a family.
Nutcracker casting is up on the board in the studios, we are packing our theater cases, and drawing names for Secret Santa — the holidays are officially here in Miami.
MCB Thanksgiving 2012 in Naples!
Experience the magic of the The Nutcracker at any of our home venues located in South Florida! GET TICKETS NOW!
Adrienne Arsht Center: December 19-24
Kravis Center: December 27-30
Broward Center: January 3-5
Nothing brings in the holidays better than Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™! With Thanksgiving just days away, here’s a special preview of the magic we’ll be making onstage to officially kickoff the holiday season. Enjoy!
Thanks to the generosity of YOU and The Miami Foundation, we raised $3,175 on Give Miami Day. MCB School student Capriana shares how your support of MCB School scholarships will continue to provide opportunities for she and other students to pursue their dreams!
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had a passion for dance! Since I was nine, I would dance every summer. Last year, I decided to enroll in the Miami City Ballet School 2013 summer intensive — it was love at first sight! I loved my teachers, classmates, and not to mention, the training! This particular summer intensive exposed me to many different technique styles and instructors. I especially loved that all my teachers took the time and effort to work with everyone individually. I also enjoyed that it offered such a culturally diverse group of people. I made many new friends that I’ll always keep in touch with. After my wonderful experience, I just knew I had to attend year round program! When Mrs. Callaghan told me that I was accepted into the year round program, I was ecstatic! Immediately after I found out the great news I called my mom to let her know! The best part though, was when I discovered that I had also received a partial scholarship. The scholarship support enabled me to be taught the best training offered in Miami. Going here has made my dream become a reality!
My name is Michael Holden and I am from Falmouth Maine, which is a small suburb of Portland, Maine. I started dancing at the age of 3 in a little ballet/tap “combo” class. I worked my way up through the school into the attached company — the Maine State Ballet. I had heard of Miami City Ballet from two Maine State Ballet alumni — the Esty twins. I wanted to experience a larger school with new teachers and a different atmosphere to work and enhance my technique. My mom and I came down to Miami to audition to see everything in person — it was awe-inspiring. Right before I boarded the plane to return to Maine, I checked my email one more time. I was accepted to the school and could not have been happier. Along with receiving the acceptance, I also received a scholarship, which made it all the more exciting. Having a scholarship means the world to me because ballet is my world! Without a scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to further the art and fulfill my passion. When Donors invest in us dancers, we are able to dedicate ourselves fully to training in the school. We then as professional dancers in the company are able to give back by performing, showing culture, and most importantly, doing what we love.
Michael taking company class with Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez. Follow Michael on Instagram @obviouslyme.
We are days away from Give Miami Day! This year, we are raising money to support scholarships at MCB School. Below, MCB School student Victoria Huaroto shares how scholarship support has fueled her ambitions to become a professional ballet dancer.
Victoria rehearsing ‘Sleeping Beauty’ at MCB School.
Joining a ballet company has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl, and now training at the Miami City Ballet is enabling me to reach my dreams. I remember watching Miami City Ballet perform George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ in Naples, FL, where I have lived since I was one. I told my parents that one day, that would be me up on stage dancing. The next year, I auditioned for The Nutcracker with MCB and have performed in their Nutcracker for the past seven years. During this time, I fell in love with this company; the dancers, their repertoire and the directors. I have participated in the MCB School summer intensive for the past two years, and this past summer I was invited to stay year-round at the prestigious school.
I remember trying to contain my excitement upon hearing the news, and also discovering that I had received partial scholarship was exhilarating. I could not give up this amazing opportunity to learn from some of the most incredible teachers and work in such an enjoyable atmosphere. Training at MCB School isn’t just about perfecting our technique, but learning how to have stage presence as well as stage craft. I can’t imagine not dancing with MCB School, and due to the scholarship support, I have been able to get one step closer to making my dream a reality.
Victoria performing at the Youth American Grand Prix competition before she joined MCB School.
Your gift can make the difference in helping several young dancers achieve their dreams!
Last week, répétiteur and Artistic Director of Oregon Ballet TheatreKevin Irving visited our studios to teach our dancers Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat. This profoundly Spanish, soulful work challenged our dancers to move differently, breaking free from their typical ballet vocabulary. Dancer Chase Swatosh describes his experience learning Duato’s unique choreography below!
Rehearsing Jardí Tancat and trying to learn Nacho Duato’s distinctive movement vocabulary was an awesome experience. I feel like every time I learn a new dance style, a new technique, or a new physical activity I gain a deeper knowledge about my own physicality and the amazing multitude of ways in which our bodies can move. There were many challenges for me in learning this new style of movement that is so different from classical technique. The movement in Jardí Tancat is characterized by parallel positions, a low center of gravity, fluidity, and gestures of sowing seeds, harvesting, and yearning for raindrops (Jardí Tancat means “enclosed garden” in Catalan). The movement has a heaviness to it, requiring the dancers to stay low to the ground and use the momentum of their body weight and head to link steps together, instead of maintaining an upright center the whole time. This can be disorienting to the dancer in certain moments, but perfectly necessary in order to achieve the right movement quality that creates the atmosphere of Jardí Tancat. We were fortunate to have the ins and outs of this piece taught to us patiently and articulately by répétiteur Kevin Irving. He was a pleasure to work with and really gave us a sense of the spirit of Jardí Tancat and the purpose behind the movement. I can’t wait to perform this piece and share it with our audience as part of an incredible Program II. I hope that you will get as much out of it as I do!
Chase getting partnering tips from Kevin Irving
Renan Cerdeiro and Jeanette Delgado in Jardi Tancat.
We are officially ONE WEEK AWAY from Give Miami Day! Give Miami Day is a unique, 24-hour online giving event that allows individuals in our community an opportunity to build a greater Miami by making a charitable gift to a local nonprofit. Every donation between $25 and $10,000 received through GiveMiamiDay.org on Give Miami Day will have a percentage of it matched by The Miami Foundation.