Christina Spigner guests on Instagram!

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!

Alexei Ratmansky Returns

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.

Symphonic Dances Rehearsal

We are just days away from the World Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances with The Cleveland Orchestra in the pit! Jeanette Delgado has recently given us an insight on rehearsals for the new ballet, now check out these images to see the extraordinary choreographer working with the Company.

The new work will grace the Adrienne Arsht Center stage on Thursday, March 1, 2012 for a one-night-only event! Click here for more information.

Inside Alexei Ratmansky’s Rehearsals

Post by Jeanette Delgado, Principal Dancer

“If it’s not about the port de bras, then it doesn’t make sense.” -Alexei Ratmansky.

As dancers we speak with our bodies. At times we get so consumed with how our legs and feet are working that we lose sight of the significance of our upper body. Alexei Ratmansky has reminded us of the importance of each gesture and has helped me visualize movement in a completely new way. He offers fresh concepts, things I’ve never really thought of before and it has expanded my creativity and hopefully my dancing!

Symphonic Dances is very balletic but there are so many unique qualities to each movement. Ratmansky is so specific about exactly how your body should move and what your intention should be that it looks and feels like a completely different style of dance.

In an interview with Dance Magazine, Ratmansky says that “every movement could be done in a hundred different ways.” Here are some of the challenging and exciting intricacies of movement he has shared with us! Of course, our artform is visual and it’s tough describing movement with words, but I will do my best…

- Improvise with your coordination. For instance, making the transition of our port de bras slower than the legs; soft with our arms while quick with the legs and finishing the movement with the arms still reaching softly. Or moving our head and shoulders last, after our feet, hips, and body move to create suspense.

-Paint lines in the air with your hands to make movement more interesting!

-Before running somewhere, feel your upper body falling out, out, out… Reach forward longer than your legs & the last thing to finally fall forward is the leg that’s behind you. This is where the impulse to run forward comes from.

- Play with the shifting of your weight and when to do it. This is one of my favorite things and also the hardest! An example is in a jump called a pas de chat, where he asked us to begin the jump traveling forward and then midway through travel backwards. Normally the jump would  continue moving forward. You also continue reaching forward with your arms as you would normally, another contrast between upper and lower body coordination!

-Think of your legs starting from higher up, from the waist to make your line longer. Also keep your hips croisé more, in other words, never let your body get too flat to the front. This helps to keep a three dimensional quality which is very important on stage.

Keep an eye out for these individual qualities in Symphonic Dances! Hopefully it will be as interesting and exciting to watch as it has been to learn and to dance!

A Conversation with Alexei Ratmansky

On March 1, 2012,  Miami City Ballet will present the World Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances, in collaboration with The Cleveland Orchestra. Set to music by Sergei Rachmaninoff of the same name, the new ballet will premiere at Adrienne Arsht Center for a one-night-only event. Alexei has been trotting the globe choreographing for top-notch companies this season, but took the time to talk with us about Symphonic Dances.

As part of the program, the Company will also perform George Balanchine’s La Valse, and TCO will kick off the evening with Carnival Overture. Tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime performance start at just $25 and are on sale now at miamicityballet.org.

Working with Alexei Ratmansky

Alexei Ratmansky has been commissioned to create an original ballet for the Company, which will have its world premiere in March 2012 – with live music by The Cleveland Orchestra (TCO). This one-time MCB/TCO performance and gala will take place at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. The new Ratmansky ballet – Symphonic Dances – then will become part of Miami City Ballet’s repertoire during the 2012-2013 Season.

Post by Jeanette Delgado, Principal Dancer

Last summer I saw New York City Ballet dance a new work by Alexei Ratmansky and I was blown away! It was everything new and fresh about dancing but still true to ballet and musicality. I still have visions of this ballet and I am so moved by them. Never did I dream that we would get the chance to work with such an incredible artist!

The two weeks we recently spent working with Mr. Ratmansky felt like a glimpse into what the dancers who worked for George Balanchine must have felt! To be a part of someone’s creative process has been amazing! He pushed us to move in ways we’ve never moved nor ever thought of moving before. It is super challenging but he knows exactly how to ask for what he wants and shows it in the most inspiring way! It is a lot of work to really grasp the movement but it’s work that I can’t wait to continue!

Alexei Ratmansky working with MCB dancers.