Following the world premiere of Euphotic, we caught up with “the man of the hour,” Liam Scarlett, to capture his thoughts on the debut of his newest work. Here are some of the proud choreographer’s words from his speech given during MCB’s Artist’s Circle Reception on the opening night of Euphotic.
We hope to see more collaborations with Liam in the future!
When the young choreographer of London’s The Royal Ballet, Liam Scarlett, arrived at our Miami Beach studios to choreograph his first work for MCB last season, he was warmly welcomed by the smiling face of Principal Jeanette Delgado. From day one, Jeanette and Liam hit it off as great friends; which, lucky for us and our audiences, transpired into an extraordinary artistic collaboration. After watching Jeanette’s performance of Liam’s first work for MCB, Viscera, The New York Times named her “one of the world’s most marvelous ballerinas.” When we learned that Liam would be returning to MCB to create a second world premiere this year, we caught up with Jeanette to capture her excitement about once again working with the internationally acclaimed choreographer and close friend Liam Scarlett.
Jeanette Delgado and Kleber Rebello in Liam Scarlett's Euphotic
“Working with Liam on two ballets now has been en entirely different experience for the company and me. Having a ballet created on us is so essential to our artistic development and makes us feel a part of the choreographic process. Normally, learning a ballet involves working with a répétiteur or watching a video of past performances. When working with a choreographer on an original work, you have no point of reference for how the movement should appear. The choreographer has a vision, but they have never seen it on bodies. The process becomes more of a collaboration, which is very rewarding in the sense that you feel more like an artist, not just a dancer. Liam made such a wonderful impression on all the dancers in and outside of the studios. As a former dancer for The Royal Ballet, he relates to us so easily. He is a beautiful human being and his talent is immense! Euphotic is an entirely different ballet than Viscera. Most of us were already familiar with Liam’s movement and fluid port de bras so he could use the company on a greater scale and go even further with his ideas! It is so exciting to be an inspiration for new works that dance companies may be performing for years to come.”
Corps dancer Adriana Pierce is taking over our Instagram feed in the midst of a very busy week for Miami City Ballet. Right now, the dancers are battling reptiles as they make their way across Alligator Alley for the opening of our repertory season in Naples. After two days in Naples, the company will venture east to Palm Beach for the closing of Program II: Tradition and Innovation. Adriana will capture the final performances of Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic, two Balanchine favorites, and the popular Don Quixote Pas De Deux, wrapping up a sensational second program of our 27th season. #AdrianaMCBphotos
Fun Fact about Adriana: Her most prized possession is a framed, signed photo of Liza Minnelli!
Fun fact about Lauren: She comes from a family of artists! Before dancing with MCB, Lauren’s mother made many of her costumes, including the tutu below from Alabama Ballet’s production of Swan Lake. Her father also photographed almost every performance.
When asked what ballet she was most excited about performing this season, Principal Patricia Delgado knew right away that it was George Balanchine’s Duo Concertant.
Patricia recounts, “I remember seeing the ballet when I was a student at Miami City Ballet School, and thinking, ‘I have never seen anything like this!’ The dancers simply stand and listen to the music onstage, admiring and respecting it, which sets the mood of the piece so beautifully. It is unlike any of Balanchine’s other ballets. The spotlighting effects and stylized choreography evoke drama and love, making the piece completely mesmerizing. Although I have been with Miami City Ballet for 12 years, I have never had the opportunity to perform the ballet, until now. I always thought it would be a dream to dance that pas de deux, so when I saw it selected for Program II, I thought, ‘I can’t wait!’ Knowing Duo Concertant was in the programming inspired me to get me through my injury last season.”
Patricia also explained the significant role that a répétiteur — someone who teaches a ballet’s steps and interpretation of roles — plays to the process of bringing specific works to the stage. “Répétiteurs often have personal experience working with a ballet’s original choreographer and are charged with keeping the ballets alive. The Balanchine Foundation sent répétiteur Ben Huys to stage Duo Concertant and perfect our movement so that it reflects the original intent of “Mr. B” himself. It’s the most rewarding process for the dancers to work with the répétiteur because we get all of the backstage stories and details of the choreography. Then you can do the ballet justice onstage and make it your own.”
Ben Huys checking Patricia's costume before performing Duo Concertant at the Arsht Center
We are thrilled for tonight’s opening of Program II: Tradition and Innovation. We caught up with some of the dancers before the curtain so that they could share their excitement about the ballets they are performing with you!
Michael Breeden, Corps de Ballet,on George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 — “Dancing to Mozart is what I love most about Divertimento No. 15. Balanchine rarely choreographed to Mozart, but the marriage of these two geniuses in the ballet provides a wonderful experience for audience and dancer alike.”
Tricia Albertson, Principal, on George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 — “I love dancing Divertimento No. 15 because there are so many opportunities to interact with my friends and colleagues. I have at least one special moment with each principal!”
Patricia Delgado,Principal,on George Balanchine’s Duo Concertant — “To be able to share the stage so intimately not only with my wonderful partner Renan, but with with our incredible Pianist and Violinist is what I look forward to most tonight. It is a dream for me to be able to dance this ballet and I can’t wait!”
Renato Penteado, Principal,on Don Quixote Pas de Deux after Marius Petipa — “What I like most about dancing this ballet is that Don Q is a very strong male character with a lot of powerful moments like jumps and turns that are very exciting.”
Jeanette Delgado, Principal, on Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic — “Dancing Euphotic feels like an intimate journey. The movement Liam has created along with the mesmerizing music has taken on a life of its own. I am so excited to share this special work with the audience!”
Sara Esty, Soloist, on Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic — “I cannot believe opening night is here! I thought this day would never come and I can’t wait to show the world our hard work. Being apart of this ballet means the world to me and I’ve loved watching it grow into a masterpiece. Working with Liam has been a dream come true. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as we enjoy dancing it!! I’m so excited!”
This week’s guest photographer on Instagram is no other than corps dancer Rebecca King! Rebecca will be capturing an important piece of dance history as Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic makes its world premiere debut on Friday, January 11. From rehearsals in our studios, to the dressing rooms, to the stage, Rebecca will make sure that no one misses out on the exciting action this week!
Liam Scarlett of London’s The Royal Ballet gives us the inside scoop on Euphotic — his second world premiere for Miami City Ballet to debut on January 11 at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, FL, as part of Program II: Tradition and Innovation.
Soloist Sara Esty returns from the holidays to take over our Instagram feed this week! As one of the leading ladies in Liam Scarlett’s new work Euphotic, Sara will catch Liam making his final preparations on the ballet when he returns to Miami tomorrow before his big world premiere on January 11 at the Arsht Center.
This week, corps dancer Lexie Overhold gets behind the lens of our Instagram feed, snapping shots of the company preparing for another round of Nutcracker performances at the Arsht Center. While Lexie will be capturing the Nutcracker magic during the weekend, she will also be documenting all of the action occurring at our studios in Miami Beach. The company is working hard in rehearsals for Program II: Tradition and Innovation, which opens at the Arsht Center in the New Year! Look out for some fabulous photos of dancers in Liam Scarlett’s newworld premiere, Balanchine’s Duo Concertant and Divertimento No. 15, and the popular Don Quixote Pas de Deux!
Fun fact about Lexie: She has her own non-profit organization! It is a scholarship and community outreach based organization for dancers by dancers, and is in the process of receiving its 501(c)(3) status. Stay tuned!