Meet the Dancers – Mary Carmen Catoya

Tarantella. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Joe Gato.

Catching up with Kleber

If you’ve already seen Program II, you may have watched newly promoted corps de ballet member Kleber Rebello in Diana and Actaeon with principal dancer Mary Carmen Catoya. You may have also seen him behind the mask of the Harlequin in La Sonnambula — both huge roles for this young, Brazilian dancer. We recently chatted with Kleber about his promotion and his roles in Program II of our 25th Anniversary Season.

You still have a chance to see Kleber in action this weekend at Kravis Center. Click here for tickets.

Meet the Dancers – Rebecca King

That's me in the middle with my friends and fellow dancers Sara Esty, Jennifer Lauren, Leigh Esty, and Jennifer Kronenberg.

Jennifer Lauren: First-Time Sleepwalker

Newly promoted soloist Jennifer Lauren will be dancing the role of The Sleepwalker in George Balanchine’s La Sonnambula for the first time this weekend at Broward Center. We asked her a few questions about the role and also threw in a some about what she’s dancing in Western Symphony.

MCB: Congratulations on your recent promotion to Soloist! In what way does it feel different to be at a higher rank?

Jennifer: I see being promoted as a wonderful acknowledgment of my dedication, artistry and hard work. I have enjoyed the past three and a half years the same as I do now. My rank doesn’t make me feel like a better dancer. Ultimately my performances enrich me most as a ballerina.

MCB: You will be dancing The Sleepwalker in George Balanchine’s La Sonnambula this weekend.  What do you think will be the most enjoyable part of this role?

Jennifer: Finally getting to perform it onstage with all the scenery, lights and especially the nightgown. With all these elements coming together, I can truly embrace the role and let myself become The Sleepwalker.

MCB: Will you mentally prepare differently to go on stage for this role as compared to others?

Jennifer: Yes. I will try to feel as if I cannot see with my eyes, but with my body.  It is a completely different way of dancing than I am used to.

MCB: The Sleepwalker wears her hair down.  Does this offer you a sense of freedom or a new challenge?

Jennifer: I have a lot of hair, so dancing with it down at first was a little overwhelming. After several rehearsals I began to feel naked with out my hair down. The hair adds so much to the flowing movements in the choreography.

MCB: You stay “on pointe,” gliding around stage on the tips of your toes for much of the role.  Is it hard to be in this constant position for so long?

Jennifer: Yes it is hard when you first start to rehearse the role. After a few painful rehearsals my toes went numb.  But the hard part is when we wouldn’t rehearse for a while and then come back to it. Or even just a week of no rehearsals would soften my toes again. Prior the show I walk around on pointe to prepare my toes.

MCB: At the end of the ballet, you carry the dead Poet off stage in your arms walking slowly backwards.  Carrying a limp man must be hard enough let alone while walking backwards.  Did this take a lot of practice or is it not that hard?

Jennifer: This did not take a lot of practice. You either can carry your partner or you can’t. I just had to do it! I also go up a slight ramp walking backwards with the Poet in my arms. This is something I never imagined myself doing but am proud to say that I can.

MCB: You will also be dancing the second movement of George Balanchine’s Western Symphony.  In your opinion, why are you the only girl in the whole ballet who wears pink tights (although you later put black ones on)?

Jennifer: I’m new to the role, but I think she appears in pinks tights because she needs to be a beautiful vision to lure the man into falling for her. She is a pure ballerina in the man’s mind.

MCB: What do you like about this role?

Jennifer: I like how she mimics quite a few gestures from classical ballets such as Swan Lake and Giselle, which I have performed. It is also a comical piece that is fun to dance with my partner. It’s an Adagio with some cute moments, but also some very dramatic moments.

MCB: When you are dancing special roles, do any of your friends or family come to watch?

Jennifer: My parents have always been there for every step of my career. My husband has always been just as supportive.

MCB: Does it make you more or less nervous knowing they are in the audience?

Jennifer: They are always there when possible, so I am not nervous at all. I enjoy sharing the end result of my hard work and dedication with those who have been instrumental in helping me get to this “pointe.”

Leigh’s View of Program II

Post by Leigh-Ann Esty, Corps de Ballet

I am so thrilled to be sharing more photos with the MCB family! It has been such a pleasure taking photos of Program II. I love how each new ballet presents new challenges to me as a photographer. It is neat to be able to dance the ballets and then shoot them with my camera. I hope you enjoy the latest photos I have taken!

The first two pictures are of La Sonnambula. I love this ballet. I really enjoyed taking photographs of it because of the lighting. The set is darker than a usual Balanchine ballet, so there were a lot of shadows cast on the dancers. It made for an artsy feel to the photographs, not to mention a little creepy!

Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra dance La Sonnambula. I love this moment because it is the first time we see the sleepwalker. Her presence is haunting and mysterious. I love how she floats like a ghost and captures your attention for the entirety of her dance.

Callie Manning and Carlos Guerra in La Sonnambula. Callie plays the intriguing character of the Coquette. I would love to dance this role someday! The music and flirtatious choreography would be a fun challenge.

The next photo is of Diana and Actaeon. Mary Carmen Catoya and Kleber Rebello star in this beautiful pas de duex that Edward Villella once danced himself. It was so nice to see one of our most prized principal ladies (Catoya) paired with an up and coming young talent (Rebello). Their chemistry was delightful! I liked taking photos of this because both of these dancers have such beautiful lines and make such gorgeous positions that they like to balance in. It is such a joy for the photographer when this happens, because it makes for a more exciting and beautiful picture!

The next few pictures are of the company premier Baker’s Dozen by Twyla Tharp. This is one of the most enjoyable pieces I have watched our company do. I love how it is chill and jazzy. I actually have the pleasure of dancing this piece as well! It is so fun for me to take pictures of a piece that I also dance in, because I know the exact timing of a good picture. It feels like I am cheating sometimes when people ask, “How did you know when to take that picture?” It is pretty sweet having an insider’s look at the piece, learning it well, then being able to capture it on film. I love it!

Patricia Delgado and Renato Penteado dance as the 4th couple in Baker's Dozen. Their duet is fun and spunky, always playing around with each other like old buddies.

Bradley Dunlap tosses Sara Esty into the air for an exciting suspension in Baker's Dozen. I loved capturing this moment!

Yang Zou, Jennifer Kronenberg, Carlos Guerra, Haiyan Wu, and Renato Penteado in Baker's Dozen. This group has some fun energy between them, throwing inside jokes around between steps. This happens a lot in this piece, which makes it so fun to watch for details.

Isanusi Garcia Rodriguez leans on Bradley Dunlap as he jumps into the air, forming a perfect diagonal all the way down to Sara Esty's finger tips. I LOVE this photo! It has such appealing aspects to it. It's neat to see shapes being formed through movement.

The last few photos are of George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, a huge crowd pleaser! I love this ballet! It is so fun to dance, especially the finale where everyone is turning at once. It creates such an exciting atmosphere for the audience.

The corps of Miami City Ballet in the first movement of Western Symphony. This is one of my favorite movements!

Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra lead the first movement.

It's so cute to see a married couple dance together. The chemistry is fun to watch!

Well, that about sums up my favorite photos. I find myself super lucky to have opportunities to take pictures of such beautiful artists. This program is quite enjoyable to watch. There is such a mix of different choreography that I find it pleasing for all sorts of audiences.

Meet the Dancers – Skyler Lubin

That's me on the far left with my friends.


Congratulations to our newly promoted dancers!

Promoted to Soloist:

Jennifer Lauren (Photo by Leigh-Ann Esty)

Renan Cerdeiro (Photo by Kyle Froman)

Promoted to Corps de Ballet:

Adrienne Carter (not pictured)

Nathalia Arja

Alexandre Ferreira

Skyler Lubin

Kleber Rebello

Promoted to Company Apprentice:

Andrei Chagas

Meet the Dancers – Yann Trividic

Western Symphony. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Kyle Froman.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2011! It’s a new year and a fresh start! The first few days of the year is about the time when most of us are starting on our New Year’s resolutions…and the MCB dancers are no different. Principal dancer Jennifer Kronenberg ventured into the theater with the Flip camera to find out what the rest of the dancers’ New Year’s resolutions are!

Happy New Year! And good luck with those resolutions!

Meet the Dancers – Adrienne Carter

With my brothers Aaron and Austin