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!
Jovani shared a new fun fact (along with some pictures) for his second stint at Instagram! Fun Fact: In 2007, Jovani performed the pas de trois of the Russian version of The Nutcracker for Mikhail Baryshnikov at his ballet school in Brazil. Baryshnikov LOVED the performance !
Jovani Furlan with Mikhail Baryshnikov in 2007
Last season, Jovani was able to reunite with Baryshnikov, when he made a surprise visit to our studios during rehearsals of
Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances.
Jovani Furlan with Mikhail Baryshnikov
Check out Jovani’s photos this week by following us on Instagram #JovaniMCBphotos. See them brought to life onstage at the Kravis Center, February 22-24, for the opening of Program III: The Masters.
After a busy, yet highly successful run of Program II, the dancers are back in the studios getting ready for Program III: The Masters. This week, Principal Soloist Renan Cerdeiro is taking over our Instagram feed to show our dancers hard at work. You may remember Renan’s stunning performance in Balanchine’s Apollo and Duo Concertant from earlier this season, when he danced the male lead in both ballets. Get ready for a sneak peek at Renan’s performance in Program III, as the company rehearses works by ballet’s best — George Balanchine and Alexei Ratmansky. #RenanMCBPhotos
Fun fact about Renan: He is obsessed with Broadway musicals and Disney movies!
Alexei Ratmansky, has arrived to revitalize ballet.”
—The New York Times
It was a rigorous but rewarding week at Miami City Ballet’s studios. The renowned choreographer from Russia Alexei Ratmansky visited the company to prepare his work Symphonic Dances for its return to the stage in Program III: The Masters. During his first visit to Miami last season, Ratmansky set out to create a new ballet — using the dancers as instruments that through various movements, formations, musical cues, and emotions would bring his artistic vision to life. After a three whirlwind weeks of artistic creation, Ratmansky gave us Symphonic Dances, which enjoyed a one-night only gala premiere at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.
When Ratmansky returned this past week, his mission was entirely different. He was here to fine-tune and perfect his creation, shaping it into the masterpiece he envisioned. ”This time, he is paying attention to the all of the smallest details,” said corps dancer Nathalia Arja who landed a leading role in the ballet. Principal Jeanette Delgado seconded Arja saying that our dancers are being “pushed out of their comfort-zones.” Ratmansky changed dancers’ roles, experimented with different casts, and persistently demanded more out of each unique dancer.
Principal Ballet Mistress Roma Sosenko and Ballet Mistress Joan Latham observed rehearsals and shared the following comments on their experience, “We love having Alexei back in Miami working on Symphonic Dances. He is so committed to the work and we love watching his quality of movement. He is so generous and giving and his coaching is as expansive as his heart.”
We are sure that our dancers’ hard work will pay off when the curtain rises on Symphonic Dances during Program III: The Masters, opening February 22 at Kravis Center, March 1 at Broward Center and March 8 at Adrienne Arsht Center.
Alexei Ratamansky’s Symphonic Dances is made possible in part by the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge.
Below are some photos of our dancers rehearsing Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances.
Company Apprentice Christina Spigner is eager to get behind the lens for our Instagram feed this week, as the in-demand choreographer from Russia, Alexei Ratmanksy, will be in our studios! This will be Christina’s first time working with the critically-acclaimed artist, as he prepares our dancers for their performance of Symphonic Dances in Program III. We can’t wait to see all of the action caught on camera!
(c) Daniel Azoulay
Fun fact about Christina: Not only does Christina dance, but she also plays piano. When she was younger, she played a piano double in a small film!
Following the one-night-only world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s commission in March 2012, Symphonic Dances now enters our repertory in Program III. We talked to Alexei about his dramatic, face-paced work when he was here earlier this year creating the piece. Now he’s back to continue working with the Company on Symphonic Dances.