LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Ashley Knox Guests on Instagram!

After a 5-week summer hiatus, the dancers have returned to our studios for 2-weeks of West Side Story Suite rehearsals. Lucky for us, dancer Ashley Knox will be capturing all of the dancing, SINGING and maybe even a rumble on Instagram! As an added perk, répétiteur Jean-Pierre Frohlich from the Robbins Rights Trust will be working with the dancers to make sure they do not miss a beat.  Having worked with Jerome Robbins, himself, Jean-Pierre will help ensure that our production of this timeless, crowd-favorite will be performed as originally intended by Mr. Robbins. We will also be sneaking in a few rehearsals of Balanchine’s Serenade and Concerto Barocco, this week, so follow Ashley on Instagram #AshleyMCBphotos for an exclusive sneak peek!

Ashley Knox

SUMMER DANCER UPDATE: We caught up with Ashely to see how she has been keeping busy during her 5-week summer break. Check out the fun pics from her trips!

Ashley enjoyed spending time in the mountains in Boise, Idaho with former MCB dancer Elizabeth Keller.

Next, she got to see Elizabeth Smedley, who is also a former dancer with MCB, in Phoenix, Arizona during a bittersweet flight layover :-)

Finally, she spent two weeks at home in Michigan with her family and friends.

In Michigan, Ashley celebrated her nephew's first birthday and saw him take his first steps!!

Getting to Work at Miami City Ballet!

Having a dance studio located in the heart of Miami Beach offers several perks — from walking across the street to dig your feet in the sand and gaze at the ocean, to being able to utilize various modes of transportation to get to work. From bicycles, to scooters, to simply strolling down the sidewalk, MCB dancers get to their ballet classes in a unique, South Beach style!

A ‘Model’ Day!

You may have seen sisters Leigh-Ann and Sara Esty gracing the pages of various dance magazines this season. Why? Earlier this year, they became the official spokesmodels for Suffolk Pointe’s new leotard line! We caught up with Leigh-Ann to hear about their amazing experience. Here is what she had to say!

Leigh-Ann Esty

When my sister and I received an email from our PR manager about being the new Suffolk Pointe leotard models, we went absolutely nuts! To model for the company that makes our pointe shoes would be the coolest thing ever. After a few weeks of planning, we found ourselves in a stretch limo to the airport after one of our shows in West Palm Beach. Talk about movie star treatment! We flew out at about 5pm to Dallas.

Welcome to Texas!

When we arrived, Keri Suffolk (married to Marc Suffolk, creator of Suffolk pointe shoes) and her assistant Deb greeted us with excitement. We drove over to Spotlight Dance wear, Keri’s store, where we tried on a multitude of Suffolk shoes for the photo shoot.

A girl can't have enough shoes!

By this time, it was 11:00 at night! After being dropped off at our hotel, Sara and I got a quick six hours of sleep. The make-up and hair stylist knocked on our door at 6:30 am! Thankfully, Keri came with Starbucks, so we were all set!

Two hours later, and as glamorous as could be, we drove over to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum. This location was chosen due to the retro 40′s theme of the leotard line. What a cool place! There were airplanes in the museum that were actual WWII fighters, and one of only three left in the world.

Cavanaugh Flight Museum

Sara and I each had about 10 looks to model. I felt like a superstar...the team was so attentive and supportive of what we were doing. I had never modeled before, so I was a little nervous. After each picture, we got to see the preview on the computer, and fix what we didn’t like. It was a lot of work, but so much fun!

Striking a pose

The whole day of shooting took about seven hours. A highlight was meeting Marc ….he was so nice! He actually got to look at our feet and suggested different shoes for us. It was an honor to meet the brains behind it all. Without his creativity, dancing would be very difficult!

We finished the day with a nice dinner with the Suffolks before heading back to the airport. We arrived in Miami at midnight. It was a whirlwind 24 hours! The experience was a gratifying one, and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

Official ad from Suffolk Pointe's catalog

Baseball All-Star Mike Piazza becomes the Gangster!

Former MLB catcher Mike Piazza visited our studios yesterday for a quick costume fitting and round of rehearsals in preparation for his cameo appearance as the Gangster in George Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.  Channeling his Italian heritage and adding a mafiosa twist, Mike turned out to be a natural fit for the role.  Check out his impressive acting skills in this sneak peek video!

Don’t miss Mike Piazza’s ONE NIGHT ONLY performance during Program IV: Broadway and Ballet on Friday, May 3, at the Adrienne Arsht Center!

For more on this baseball all-star and his ballet debut, check out this story by the Associated Press!

Here are some fun pics too!

Mike Piazza got a surprise ballet lesson from principal dancer Patricia Delgado.

Costume Designer & Director Haydee Morales takes down Mike Piazza's measurements.

Our costume/wardrobe team with Mike Piazza and Philip Neal, Répétiteur for George Balanchine Trust (on right).

Rebecca King is back on Instagram!

Corps dancer Rebecca King will be snapping pics around the studios as this week’s guest photographer on Instagram.  Follow her #RebeccaMCBphotos to catch dancers Jeanette Delgado and Kleber Rebello preparing for the world premiere of Justin Peck’s new work Chutes and Ladders, which will debut at the New World Center on April 20. Also, stay tuned for a sneak peek at our 2013/14 Season as the dancers already begin rehearsals for Balanchine’s dreamlike masterpiece Serenade.

Rebecca King

FUN FACT: You might already know Rebecca from her blog Tendus Under a Palm Tree. Now, she has created her very own blog logo wear! Check it out!

MCB dancer Jennifer Lauren. Photo by Leigh Esty.

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

Behind the Scenes of our 2013-2014 Photo Shoot

Come behind the scenes of our 2013-2014 season photo shoot in this fun video.  See how Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, MCB dancers, creative director John Oberlander and photographer Gio Alma created our campaign images for FOUR COMPANY PREMIERES that will make their debut on our stage next year!

Subscribe today by calling our box office at 305.929.7010. Discover more at miamicityballet.org.

Callie Manning captures Miami Fashion Week on Instagram!

Principal Soloist Callie Manning is not only practicing her tendus and pliés this week, but she is also getting ready to strut her stuff down the catwalk during Miami Fashion Week!  Lucky for us, she will be bringing us all of the action on Instagram as this week’s guest photographer! #CallieMCBPhotos

Callie Manning

Callie, along with dancers Suzanne Limbrunner and Adriana Pierce will be transformed into professional fashionistas, when they hit the catwalk for designer Robin Fleming’s fashion show.  They will model the ballet inspired DUCHESA Couture line for Fleming’s closing collection on Friday, March 22, at 10:00 p.m., at the Miami Beach Convention Center.  Work it ladies!

Headshot © Gio Alma


Exclusive Interview with Dwyane Wade!

Between photo shoots, basketball practice and  beating the L.A. Lakers last Sunday, Miami HEAT superstar Dywane Wade was able to catch up with us to discuss his experience working with MCB principal dancers Patricia Delgado and Jeanette Delgado.  Here is what he had to say!

Dwyane Wade and Patricia Delgado

Q:  Professional ballet dancers consider themselves artists first and athletes second. As top professional athlete at the top of your game, do you consider yourself an artist?

No. I don’t, but I could see where athletes can be artistic.  We both have to be very creative and we share something especially with our moves. The motion of us jumping in the air is of the same nature, so I can see why that comparison can be made.

Dwyane Wade and Jeanette Delgado

Q:  Professional ballet dancers must be strong, fast, possess great stamina, have great balance, be flexible, have quick reflexes, sometimes perform while injured, have the ability to jump high – all within a thin body type – and do this before huge live audiences. How do you relate to what ballet dancers go through?

We share a lot of the same traits. Obviously for us, it’s the same thing. We have to be strong and very flexible to prevent injury. There are a lot of similar things when it comes to the motion of how we are in the air. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I remember hearing about Dr. J. possibly doing ballet in the off-season, because it helps with the things that he did on the court.  I wish I had asked him about it.

Q: Describe how it was doing a photo shoot with Miami City Ballet principal dancers Jeanette Delgado and Patricia Delgado?

I don’t know how they do some of the things they do. It’s amazing! I respect everyone’s talents, because we all have different talents. I respect it. It was different, but definitely not a bad different for us.

Q:  Have you ever studied dance – or enjoy going out dancing?

No. Unfortunately I didn’t get that gene.

For more on our campaign with the Miami HEAT visit miamiballetandbasketball.com!

Jovani Furlan takes a trip down memory lane on Instagram!

Corps dancer Jovani Furlan is back to take over our Instagram feed as this week’s guest photographer! Jovani will be snapping shots of the dancers hard at work rehearsing for Program III: The Masters and Program IV: Broadway and Ballet.

Jovani Furlan

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.

Photo: Headshot © Gio Alma.