Our dancers kicked off their pointe shoes and slipped into sneakers and heels for the premiere of West Side Story Suite. Watch how they learned Jerome Robbins’ big, Broadway dance moves in our final video of the ‘Triple Threat’ series. There is only one more chance to catch West Side Story Suite during Program III: Triple Threat at the Kravis Center (Palm Beach) this weekend – Feb. 28-Mar. 2.
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!
Not many apprentices get the opportunity to perform a leading role in their first year with a professional ballet company. However, during Program II: See the Music, one of MCB’s newest members had that chance! Leanna Rinaldi writes about her experience learning and performing Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat below.
Having the opportunity to perform Jardí Tancat, choreographed by Nacho Duato, is an absolute honor. As an apprentice, the first few days of rehearsals were a little intimidating, being around such amazing dancers. To be quite frank, learning and executing the choreography for Jardí Tancatwas the most challenging thing I’ve ever done mentally, emotionally and physically. Luckily, we had répétituer Kevin Irving patiently teaching us and showing us how each meticulous movement should be executed. The steps in Jardí Tancat are unlike what we usually do at the ballet. In most ballets we almost always have to pull ourselves up and think of being weightless, while in Jardí Tancat we have to be grounded deep into the floor and be heavy with our movements. I’ve always loved this style of dance and I had a lot of modern training when I was younger, so it was refreshing to kick off those pointe shoes and have the opportunity to dance this wonderful piece. The first time I performed it onstage was very surreal. It felt like I had a deep relationship with each dancer onstage and could feel everyone’s energy and emotion. There are no wings, so there are no distractions coming from offstage. We just have each other and the music. We were so proud of what we had accomplished together. Dancing Jardí Tancat was so exhilarating that when it came time for bows, I asked myself, “What just happened?” It was truly an amazing experience and I feel like it has pushed me as a dancer and helped with other areas of my dancing. Jardí Tancat is an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my career! – Leanna
Leanna rehearsing with Shimon Ito. Photo by Daniel Azoulay.
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!
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!
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.
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 back in performance mode this week, as we prepare for our Season Opening at the Kravis Center this weekend! First Ventures has been the perfect way to start the new season. From George Balanchine’s Serenade — the first ballet he created in America — to Christopher Wheeldon’s “edgy and electrifying Polyphonia“, as described by the Miami Herald, and Balanchine’s joyful, virtuoso Ballo della Regina, each ballet inspires a sense of excitement and anticipation for the rest of the season. To create lasting memories and capture our final performances of Program I: First Ventures on Instagram is corps de ballet dancer Suzette Logue!
We asked Suzette what ballets she is most excited to perform this weekend. Here’s what she said!
‘Ballo Della Regina’ and ‘Serenade’ are two of my favorite ballets to perform. There is such great energy in Ballo and Serenade has a soft but commanding presence that captures you from the moment the curtain goes up!
Look for Suzette onstage this weekend!
Suzette and Adrianne Carter having a ‘merde’ moment before ‘Serenade’ backstage.
For a sneak peek at the ballets we are performing this weekend, check out the following blog posts!
Tonight, the worlds of Broadway and ballet literally collide during our first Open Barreof the 2013-2014 Season. The original Anita from the Broadway production of West Side Story, Chita Rivera joins us onstage to discuss working with Jerome Robbins, while the company gives a sneak peek of the “triple threat” premiere of West Side Story Suite. This will be the first time that our dancers test their signing talents in front of a live audience….and to capture it all on Instagram is dancer Jovani Furlan!
Jovani will not only be taking you behind-the-scenes of Open Barre this weekend, but will also be documenting the exciting work happening in our studios next week with Répétiteur and Artistic Director of Oregon Ballet Theatre Kevin Irving. Kevin is here to set Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat – the profoundly Spanish, lyrical work that allows our dancers to kickoff their pointe shoes and dance barefoot! As the former ballet master and head of the artistic department with Nacho Duato’s Compañia Nacional de Danza in Spain, Kevin has intimate knowledge of Duato’s choreography that he will instill in our dancers before we bring Jardí Tancat to the stage during Program II: See the Music.
Jeanette Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro in Jardi Tancat.
Sneak peek of the action on Instagram!
Make sure to follow Jovani on Instagram #JovaniMCBphotos to catch all of the exciting happenings here at the ballet!
Want more on Chita Rivera? Check out our Pinterest Board to see more legendary roles performed by one of Broadway’s leading ladies!
Legendary Balanchine ballerina Merrill Ashley discusses the ballet that made her a star! Discover what makes Ballo della Regina “sparkle” in our latest INSIGHTS video and see it at the Broward Center during Program I: First Ventures this weekend! Get your ticket now!
A special thanks to the Ballo della Regina Committee for helping Miami City Ballet make this timeless work possible!
Michele Herbert, Merrill Ashley, Jacqueline Kott, and Claudia Perles (left to right) after the opening performance of ‘Ballo della Regina.’