Becoming a Triple Threat: SING

Not only did our dancers have to sharpen their acting skills for the premiere of West Side Story Suite, but they also had to learn SING! Yes, ballerinas singing! Watch the latest video in our Triple Threat series to find out if our dancers can actually carry a tune.

Catch Program III: Triple Threat at the Broward Center (Feb. 21-23) or Kravis Center (Feb. 28-Mar. 2).

Becoming a Triple Threat – ACT

The process of preparing for West Side Story Suite has been entirely unique, presenting a several new challenges for our dancers. Not only must they master the jazzy, Broadway style of Jerome Robbins’ choreography, but they also must learn to act and sing in front of a live audience! Each week before the Company opens in a new theater, look out for a new video featuring our dancers’ pursuit to become true Triple Threats!

Read more about our West Side Story Suite premiere in The Miami Herald and learn about Balanchine’s Episodes — another new work in Program III — in our blog post from dancer Jovani Furlan.

For more information and tickets on on Program III: Triple Threat click here!

From Our Dancers to YOU!

We can’t believe that its already our final program of the 2012-2013 Season!  While we feel like the year has just flown by, many of us have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Program IV: Broadway and Balletespecially our dancers who can’t wait to get onstage.  Find out why!

Emily Bromberg

Emily Bromberg, Corps de Ballet, on Program IV: Broadway and Ballet – I’ve been looking forward to Program IV since last July [2012] when we started rehearsing for both ballets!  I was overjoyed when I saw that I would be learning the “mauve” girl in Dances at a Gathering.  For me, this part has a lot of meaning. From what I understand, her character is portrayed as a bit internal and full of thought.  Finding my own way of portraying this has been my favorite part of the rehearsal process because everyday I get to go into the studio and experiment with how I want to feel, while dancing each movement.  This experimentation along with the personal molding of each of the difficult, but liberating steps is such a fulfilling process.  I couldn’t look more forward to performing such a role!  Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is so much fun to perform with the audience! We use their energy, applause and reactions to fuel our every step!  I’m happy to get the chance to be a part of it!

Bradley Dunlap

Bradley Dunlap, Corps de Ballet, on George Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue –  For the first time I am performing a pre-dominantly, comically-driven “character” role.  This new experience has given me a chance to take a break from my technique and just have fun. Without Slaughter I wouldn’t have realized the satisfaction of an audience responding to my work with laughter.

Callie Manning

Callie Manning, Principal Soloist, on Program IV: Broadway and Ballet – Personally, this program is like visiting old friends.  I’ve performed in both Dances at a Gathering and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue before and have very fond memories of both.  They are roles I love and can’t wait to dance them again. The part I do in Dances, “Green Girl”, is a really special part to me.  She’s a little cooky, flirtatious, reminiscent and quite complex.  I love diving into her character and discovering new things about her.  Every performance I do brings out something different.  Slaughter satisfies me in a completely different way.  Don’t tell anyone, but I always secretly wanted to be a Fosse dancer on Broadway.  The “Strip Tease Girl” in Slaughter, is the epitome of Broadway — high kicks, jazz hands and all!

Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg

Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg, Principal, on Program IV: Broadway and BalletSlaughter on Tenth Avenue and Dances at a Gathering are ballets that are very dear to me since I’ve had the great opportunity to “grow into” my roles in both — having danced them since the company premiered them years ago.  The “Striptease Girl” in Slaughter is such fun to dance onstage.  I learned it back when it was staged for us by Susan Hendl, and it was very different than anything I had yet danced with MCB – almost more Broadway than ballet!  It was a great chance to let go, have fun and even show a little of my wild side in the jazzy, upbeat second pas de deux.  It was especially fun to dance years later with Carlos [Guerra] as the “Hoofer”!

Dances is another ballet that I learned from Ms. Hendl back when she staged it for the company.  I was originally cast, fittingly, as the “Mauve” girl – a role that seems, to me, much like the older sister.  She is a bit more serious, pensive and mature than the pink, blue and yellow girls.  After dancing that role for years, it seems natural to now move on and transition into the role of the “Green” girl, who has an unusual cameo sort of part in the ballet.  Her solo, originally choreographed for Violette Verdy, is one that portrays an older, nostalgic, maybe even retired dancer reflecting on the joys of her career as a great ballerina.  Though I’m not not yet retired (I’m confident I have more than a few good dancing years left in me), I’m certainly at a point in my career where I can identify with the idea of “reflection”.  With each step of the solo I can really bring myself back to a special moment I had onstage — engaging the audience or getting lost in the steps, the music, the lights and the special perfume of a  ballet. With a flick of the foot, the solo ends with the “Green” girl simply walking offstage with a unique satisfaction.  She seems very proud of what she has accomplished …. not necessarily in that specific moment, but in general throughout her career.  That is something I can definitely relate to.

See Emily, Bradley, Callie and Jennifer  in our final program of the season Program IV: Broadway and Ballet!

Kravis Center: April 5-7
Broward Center: April 26-27
Adrienne Arsht Center: May 3-5

A Look Back at 2011 With Bradley Dunlap

Post by Bradley Dunlap, Corps de Ballet

It has been wonderful to be a dancer with Miami City Ballet in 2011.  We have had so much to enjoy.  From the premiere of Romeo and Juliet to working with choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, working at MCB has been very fulfilling.  The moments that stood out most to me this year were dancing in Paris and on national television.

Dancing with Miami City Ballet in Paris is an experience that I will always remember.  From the responsive, appreciative audiences to the tremendous reviews, it continued to give.  MCB had the honor of performing a three week season for Les Etés de la Danse summer dance festival in the historic Théâtre du Châtelet.  I danced in seven ballets and the company brought thirteen!!  That is equivalent to our seasons here in Miami.  It was a task that I believe Miami City Ballet only achieved through cooperation and hard work.

The airing of “Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp,” on PBS was icing on the cake.  After a week of some of the hardest work I have put forth in my career, and a year in anticipation, it was great to see the final result.  And that result was great!  We had a performance that evening, so our fantastic crew hooked us up with a big screen TV backstage and we all took our breaks to sneak a peak.  A special treat of this being nationally broadcast was that my family in Cleveland (some who haven’t seen me dance in eight years) got to enjoy it.

After 2011, it is hard to imagine 2012 could get better, but with world premieres from Liam Scarlett and Alexei Ratmansky, and dancing with the world renowned Cleveland Orchestra, I feel it is just a new beginning to another extraordinary year.

A Special Relationship

Dancers have often expressed how amazing it is to have live music during performances again! There’s a special relationship that develops between the dancers and the orchestra that makes a world of difference, not only for the performers but for the audience as well. It changes everything. Some of the dancers shared with us some tidbits on this special relationship.

This was all made possible by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Knight Arts Challenge. The 2011 challenge is already underway. You too can see your ideas come to life. The Knight Arts Challenge is accepting applications from organizations or individuals! Click here to apply. Hurry, the deadline is tomorrow, March 2.

Meet the Dancers – Bradley Dunlap

Preparing for The Neighborhood Ballroom with the Esty twins.

Brad’s summer update

Since the dancers went on layoff at the beginning of May, it’s been pretty quiet here at 2200 Liberty Avenue. Luckily, some of them will be blogging and keeping us updated on their whereabouts throughout the summer. The troupe will be back in June for a brief rehearsal period, but have had plenty of time for fun and relaxing before returning to the studios.

First at bat – Brad fills us in on what he’s been up to during his time off.

Post by Bradley Dunlap

Over the past couple of years I have on-again off-again taken yoga classes. The practice offers great relief to an overworked body. As ballet dancers we spend a lot of time over-rotating our hips and yoga helps to alleviate a lot of that stress. After taking yoga, I would come in to work the next day feeling free, powerful, and ready for anything. I noticed a stronger breath and looseness, especially in my above average tight hips. It was awesome. I was looking forward to a break from dancing so I could spend some time to further my education in the practice. And here it is! It has been wonderful. I spend my time at Miami Yogashala, which is only a few steps from the ballet’s home. Great teachers have gotten me into positions I never knew were possible and I am pushing my body to new boundaries. Along with my yoga, I have been taking Gyrotonic classes from our ballet mistress Crista Villella. Her effort in the class to bring me new awareness is marvelous. I have also been rolfing, which is an intense form of massage to help realign the body. My IT bands [iliotibial bands] did not want to be messed with but David, my rolfer, had no mercy. The effects have been wonderful.

Along with taking time to work on preparing my body for the next season, I also think it is important to relax. To achieve that…..Disney World!!!! Besides one quick day trip, I have never experienced the Disney experience. Dreams really do come true! I felt like a kid and it was great. My biggest worry was which ride was next and deciding if I wanted a corn dog or pizza. I have to say, Epcot was my favorite park with Hollywood Studios in at a very close second. I spent it with my lovely lady Leigh, her sister Sara and my best friend. MCB dancers Callie, Didier, Stephen, and our friend Alan were also in attendance. The trip was perfect — even down to the weather. With three weeks left of vacation and no excuse to procrastinate, I hope to get some stuff done around the apartment like painting and putting pictures on the walls. However Roland Garros (Tennis French Open) does start in 5 days so we will see…

Love Series – Leigh-Ann and Bradley

Leigh and Brad, sitting in a tree! In our second installment of the Love Series, Leigh-Ann Esty and Bradley Dunlap, both corps de ballet members, talk about life outside of the Company and play our question game. Will they get them all right?

Cupid’s aim was on the money when he hit Kristin D’Addario, corps de ballet member, and Peter Doll, former MCB dancer and current Assistant Stage Manager. They are another young, fun couple who met and fell in love at Miami City Ballet.