LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Meet our New Dancers!

We have only two more new dancers to introduce to everyone! This next new dancer joins the “MCB Family” and also an immediate family member — his uncle, principal dancer Reyneris Reyes. We are pleased to introduce you to corps de ballet dancer Nieser Zambrana!

Nieser Zambrana

MCB: Where are you from?

Nieser: Pinar del Rio, Cuba.

MCB: At which dance schools did you train before coming to MCB?

Nieser: Raul Sanchez Arts School, with Alejo Carpentier and The National School of the Arts in Havana.

MCB: What companies did you dance with before coming to MCB?

Nieser: National Ballet of Cuba and Orlando Ballet.

Nieser Zambrana

MCB: Describe your perfect day.

Nieser: My birthday.

MCB: Proudest moment?

Nieser: The day I was coached by the greatest ballet master, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

MCB: Wildest dream?

Nieser: To live in the desert.

MCB: Indulgence?

Nieser: Dance.

Nieser Zambrana

MCB: Inspiration?

Nieser: To see my uncle’s performances.

MCB: Name one thing you couldn’t live without.

Nieser: My mom.

MCB: Most unforgettable onstage moment?

Nieser: My first ballet competition when I was 13 years old.

MCB: Dream role?

Nieser: Giselle.

MCB: Why Miami City Ballet?

Nieser: Because it’s a big company, great dancers, and I love the city.

Nieser Zambrana

See Nieser onstage during Program I: First Ventures!

Meet our new dancers!

Today, we introduce another recent graduate from Miami City Ballet School who is joining us as new member of the corps de ballet this season. Meet Damian Zamorano!

Damian Zamorano

MCB: Where are you from?

Damian: La Habana, Cuba.

MCB: At which dance schools did you train before coming to MCB?

Damian: Escuela Nacional de Ballet Alejo Carpentier (in Cuba), Escuela Nacional De Danza Clásica Y Contemporánea (in Mexico), and Miami City Ballet School.

MCB: What companies have you danced with professionally?

Damian: Compañia Nacional De Danza in Mexico City.

MCB: Describe your perfect day:

Damian: I don’t have a preference. I find something very special and unique in every day I’m blessed to live.

MCB: Proudest moment?

Damian: One of my proudest moments was when I received the invitation to join the company [MCB]. I always dreamed about being part of a big professional company and seeing my dream become a reality overwhelmed me with joy.

MCB: Wildest dream?

Damian: Flying!

MCB: Indulgence?

Damian: I am a big technology fan. I love to see and own new gadgets. Whenever possible, maybe on a yearly basis, I indulge in the latest updates of either cell, tablet, computer or any other new electric device.

Trying out another gadget:-)

MCB: Inspiration?

Damian: Both my parents, who are also professional dancers, are my true inspiration and pride. They have always been there and readily available, helping me and guiding me to do my best. In addition, I enjoy learning from watching videos of my idols performing like Leonid Sarafanov, Ronaldo Sarabia (former dancer with MCB), Carlos Acosta, Baryshnikov, Fernando Bujones, and many more.

MCB: Name one thing you couldn’t live without.

Damian: My family, internet, my friends, ballet.

MCB: Most unforgettable onstage moment?

Damian: One of my most unforgettable moments was reaching the finals of a reality TV show called “Ópera Prima” at the Teatro de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

Damian performing Giselle for the reality TV show "Ópera Prima"

MCB: Dream role?

Damian: One of my favorite roles is in Flames of Paris. I feel that this ballet requires a great deal of strength and physical stamina. I trust such choreography could become one of my most desirable goals.

Damian performing Flames of Paris - a role he dreams of dancing again and again!

MCB: Why Miami City Ballet?

Damian: At MCB, I have learned a lot about Balanchine and his approach to this art form. I knew very little about it before. Since then, I have a new perspective and understanding about my profession that I love and respect.

Lookout for Damian onstage this season when the 2013-2014 Seasons opens on October 18 at the Arsht Center with Program I: First Ventures.

Meet our new dancers!

Our next new dancer comes to us straight from Miami City Ballet School! Meet corps de ballet dancer Sarah McCahill!

Sarah McCahill

MCB: Where are you from?
Sarah: Harwinton, CT.
MCB: At which dance schools did you train before coming to MCB?
Sarah:  Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, Albano Ballet and Miami City Ballet School.

Sarah practicing for her first MCB School Student Workshop Performance with student Elias Baseman.

MCB: Describe your perfect day.
Sarah: To win the Powerball!!!!!!!!!
MCB: Proudest moment?
Sarah: When Lourdes [Lopez] informed me I would be a part of Miami City Ballet’s Corps de Ballet for this season!
MCB: Wildest dream?
Sarah: To go skydiving with the love of my life ( haven’t met him yet…).
MCB: Indulgence?
Sarah: Tres leches cake, REAL ice cream, pancakes, cupcakes, sleeping in…I have a lot.
MCB: Inspiration?
Sarah: Happy people, Sylvie Guillem, and Svetlana Zakharova.
MCB: Name one thing you couldn’t live without.
Sarah: My rock — my little sister, Kelley.
MCB: Most unforgettable onstage moment?
Sarah: The first time I fell flat on my face performing the lead in Le Sylphide within the first five minutes of being onstage.
MCB: Dream Role?
Sarah: Black Swan, no doubt.

Rehearsing William Forsythe's 'In the Middle Somewhat Elevated.' Sarah admits, "I will always be proud to have had the opportunity and the rights to perform!"

MCB: Why Miami City Ballet?
Sarah: When I was 13 I told my mother I was going to dance with Miami City Ballet someday (I don’t remember this but she does). She helped me to fulfill this dream by taking the first step and setting up my audition for their summer program. I guess it was fate and a lot of hard work but I finally got in!

See Sarah onstage at the Arsht Center when our 2013-2014 Season opens on October 18!

‘Polyphonia’ from Behind the Lens

It’s another Monday at Miami City Ballet and we are kicking off the week with the arrival of Répétiteur Jason Fowler, who will be teaching the company Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia. Corps de ballet dancer Zoe Zien will bring you inside our studios as she takes over our Instagram feed during the 7-day rehearsal process.  Follow her #ZoeMCBphotos as she documents the company’s journey to the premiere of Polyphonia during Program I: First Ventures.

Zoe Zien

Polyphonia is considered Christopher Wheeldon’s breakthrough contemporary work.  After his hauntingly beautiful Liturgy pas de deux, Polyphonia will be the second Wheeldon work that MCB adds to its repetoire. The ballet adds six more dancers to the stage, who dance together as a group as the work opens, then transitions into a series of duets and solos that evoke distinct character and flair — we can’t wait to see how our dancers incorporate their unique personalities into the choreography! Here to teach it all is one of the original cast members from the 2001 New York City Ballet world premiere — Jason Fowler. Jason will help the dancers match their movement to the intense piano music of György Ligeti, and ensure that no choreographic detail is lost in preparation for our 2013-2014 Season opening in October, when the ballet premieres during Program I: First Ventures.

Dancers Emily Bromberg and Chase Swatosh.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we reveal interesting facts about Polyphonia during the rehearsal process. Watch the dancers in action as Zoe captures Polyphonia and daily MCB life on Instagram!

Check out our latest Pinterest board for a visual journey through Polyphonia.

Flexible subscription packages and single tickets to Polyphonia are on sale now as part of Program I: First Ventures.
Photo credits:
Headshot © Gio Alma.
Miami City Ballet dancers Emily Bromberg and Chase Swatosh in Polyphonia. Photo © Gio Alma.

Meet our new dancers!

This week, we would like to introduce you to another new face — corps de ballet dancer Eric Trope. Look out for him onstage this season, or according to one of his self-proclaimed indulgences, at a late night karaoke bar singing his heart out:-0

Eric Trope

MCB: Where are you from?

Eric: Poolesville, MD.

MCB: At which dance schools did you train before coming to MCB?

Eric: I trained at Maryland Youth Ballet and School of American Ballet.

MCB: What companies have you danced with professionally?

Eric: Pennsylvania Ballet.

Eric rehearsing Matthew Neenan's 'At Various Points' with Pennsylvania Ballet.

MCB: Describe your perfect day.

Eric: On my perfect day, I’m surrounded by my siblings (all five of them)  in Massachusetts where we used to spend our summers as kids and we’re probably fighting about where we should eat lunch.

MCB: Proudest moment?

Eric: One of my proudest moments was surviving working on a llama and alpaca farm with my sister in Alaska last summer. In terms of my career, getting to be involved and choreograph for Pennsylvania Ballet’s Shut Up and Dance for the past four years. The show raises money for MANNA,  whose mission is to provide meals empowering individuals to battle illness and improve their quality of life.

Llama or alpaca? Eric in Alaska over the summer.

MCB: Wildest dream?

Eric: In my wildest dream, I’m starring in an all male version of Les Miserables alongside Niel Patrick Harris and John Hamm, with every song in falsetto.

MCB: Indulgence?

Eric: Late night karaoke to Counting Crows.

MCB: Inspiration?

Eric: My biggest inspiration would be my father for the way he lives his life unselfishly and modestly.

MCB: Name one thing you couldn’t live without.

Eric: Fiona Apple and Avocados.

MCB: Most unforgettable onstage moment?

Eric: My last year in SAB’s workshop, I accidentally wore the lead’s costume for the male regiment of Stars and Stripes when alas I was only in the corps.

MCB: Dream role?

Eric: Phlegmatic in The Four Temperaments, The Statics Pas in N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, Apollo, Tony in West Side Story Suite, Prodigal Son, Fancy Free, Brown Boy in Dances at a Gathering.

MCB: Why Miami City Ballet?

Eric: I am already so inspired by my fellow dancers and their passion for what they do.  I am very excited to be able to dance the company’s expansive repertory as well as explore the diverse culture of Miami.

Hiking in The Samaria Gorge in Crete.

See Eric Trope onstage when our 2013-2014 Season opens at the Arsht Center in October!

Meet our new dancers!

Our next new dancer has been busy learning the Paul Taylor solo in George Balanchine’s Episodes this week. Get to know corps de ballet member Ariel Rose here on our blog, before he hits the stage next season!

Ariel Rose

MCB: Where are you from?

Ariel: New York, New York, but recently moved from Richmond, Virginia, where I was previously dancing with Richmond Ballet.

MCB: At which dance schools did you train before coming to MCB?

Ariel: I trained at Ballet Academy East, Fiorello LaGuardia High School for Arts and Performing Arts, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet School.

MCB: What companies have you danced with professionally?

Ariel: Boston Ballet, Ballet Municipal de Lima and Richmond Ballet.

Ariel performing Coppélia as a guest soloist with the Ballet Municipal in Lima, Peru.

MCB: Describe your perfect day.

Ariel: Spending the day outside in any way possible during which I can write, draw and casually spend time with friends. Then also cooking up something new and interesting at the end of the day.

MCB: Proudest moment?

Ariel: Dancing onstage in London at Covent Garden in the Linbury Theatre last year with the Richmond Ballet felt like I had really accomplished something. Performing for a foreign audience really felt like we were showing people something for the very first time.

MCB: Wildest dream?

Ariel: I’d love one day to take a really long international ballet tour like many companies used to do in the 80’s and 90’s. Traveling is so important in developing ones own perspective on life and the world. One always comes back a little wiser and more knowledgeable.

Ariel in Sorrento, Italy -- one of the European destinations he backpacked to after Richmond Ballet's tour in London.

MCB: Indulgence?

Ariel: My favorite food is definitely sushi, but all my friends know that I have an absolute obsession with Belgian waffles!

MCB: Inspiration?

Ariel: Some of today’s leading dancers such as Joaquin De Luz, Marcelo Gomes, Jeffrey Cirio and Jaime Diaz.

MCB: Name one thing you couldn’t live without.

Ariel: My friends and family. Having people that you know are there for you, for all of your successes and failures, makes life feel a bit safer and better. Especially in a career like professional ballet, life can be difficult at times, but the people one chooses to hold close in their life can really help you through.

He spent the whole night waiting for the Great Pumpkin! (Charlie Brown reference ;-))

MCB: Most unforgettable onstage moment?

Ariel: The silence following the end of a performance of Salvatore Aiello’s The Rite of Spring this past May, on the exact day of the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky composing the score.  After the piece’s conclusion, there was a moment of silence because the people were still in shock and absorbing what they had just seen. Then all of a sudden, there was an uproar of cheers and all 2,000 people were up standing out of their seats. It was indescribable.

MCB: Dream role?

Ariel: “The Prodigal Son”, the slave in Le Corsaire and Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room — (watch an excerpt performed by MCB!)

MCB: Why Miami City Ballet?

Ariel: For the experience of performing new, but also historic repertoire and to also grow technically and artistically to my personal next level.

See Ariel Rose onstage when our 2013-2014 Season opens at the Arsht Center in October!

Meet our new dancers!

As we prepare for the opening of the 2013-2014 Season, Miami City Ballet welcomes several new faces to the company! Over the next few weeks, we are getting up close and personal with our “newbies” on our blog before they take the stage in October. So without further ado, we introduce you to MCB corps de ballet member Brianna Abruzzo!

Brianna Abruzzo

MCB: Where are you from?

Brianna: New York, NY

MCB: At which dance schools did you train before coming to MCB?

Brianna: School of American Ballet (11 years), San Francisco Ballet Summer Program, MCB Summer Program, Pacific Northwest Ballet Summer Program, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, and the Chautauqua Festival.

MCB: What companies have you trained professionally with?

Brianna: As a student, I trained with New York City Ballet.

MCB: Describe your perfect day.

Brianna: Meet some friends at a local café for brunch, pamper myself with a mani/pedi (I’m a real girly girl). Take a walk around Central Park (I could never get tired of exploring the park). End the day with going to the movies.

Brianna in Central Park

MCB: Proudest moment?

Brianna: When I got offered a position in MCB. I said to myself “I did it!” I couldn’t believe it.

MCB: Wildest dream?

Brianna: Living, dancing, singing, acting and baking in Paris.

MCB: Indulgence?

Brianna: Mac and Cheese.

MCB: Inspiration?

Brianna: Misty Copeland and Tiler Peck inspire me because they are impeccable dancers who continue to improve daily. Wendy Whelan also inspires me because she is world renowned, yet she is still down to earth and genuine.

MCB: Name one thing you couldn’t live without.

Brianna: My cat Armani. He is the most affectionate cat I’ve ever met. People who normally dislike cats like Armani.

MCB: Most unforgettable onstage moment?

Brianna: Performing at the Costume Gala in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art surrounded by water in the Egyptian exhibit. It was such a glamorous night and the beautifully dressed celebrities treated us dancers as if we were the celebrities.

Brianna rehearsing with her choreographer for the SAB Student Choreography Workshop

MCB: Dream role?

Brianna: Titania from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (I cry every time).

MCB: Why Miami City Ballet?

Brianna: MCB has a bit of everything; the amazing Balanchine rep that I couldn’t live without and contemporary ballets. MCB also has choreographers coming and staging new ballets quite often. I love that process and it was an important factor for me in choosing a dance company. MCB is also not too far from home, it’s a city (a fun one too), I have relatives close by, and who can say no to days off relaxing on the beach? Everyone in the company was immediately nice and welcoming. This made it one of the easiest decisions for me.

Brianna leaped at the opportunity to join MCB:-)

Summer Dance Diary: Week FIVE

Although MCB School’s 5-week Summer Intensive Program has ended, it appears that another student left his diary behind! Watch to see student Michael Holden wrap up the Summer Dance Diary series in this final diary entry. Hope you enjoyed the series!

2013-2014 Season Preview!

Check out our latest video to discover what exciting dance masterworks Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez has in store for Miami City Ballet’s 2013-2014 Season. What ballet(s) are you most excited to see next season?

Subscription packages and single tickets are on sale now! Visit miamicityballet.org or call 305.929.7010 for more information and tickets.

MCB Summer: Jennifer Kronenberg’s BIG APPLE Homecoming

Wrapping up our ‘MCB Summer’ series, principal dancer Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg writes about her homecoming trip to New York, where her ballet career started in a small, local dance studio in Queens.

Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg

What a busy summer this has been for our family! The weeks have really flown by. This summer was extra special —  my first as a mommy — and I have so enjoyed having the extra time to spend with my beautiful baby girl Eva. What a gift! She has grown and changed so much in the last couple of months, and she happily joined us on all of our trips this summer! Carlos and I were so nervous about taking her on her first airplane ride, and worried about how she would handle the crazy schedules of our guest appearances, but she handled everything incredibly well — a little “pro” already!

Baby on board with papa Carlos Guerra!

A couple of weeks after we returned from dancing in New Orleans (along with  Renan Cerdeiro and Jennifer Lauren at New Orleans Ballet Theater) we left town again for another exciting adventure – Eva’s first visit to the Big Apple and my first homecoming performance with my old ballet school, Once Upon a Time (OUAT), in 15 years. My parents (now Grandma & Grandpa Kronenberg) eagerly awaited their granddaughter’s visit, and the chance to see me dance again at home in Queens. (I don’t get up to NYC as often as I would like, so I tried to “kill as many birds with one stone” as I could). In addition to dancing with OUAT, I participated in a mini dance convention and taught a master class at New York Performing Arts Center in Point Pleasant, NJ.  The students were terrific, and very eager to learn, which is a treat for any teacher.  I was in great company, and was so honored to be teaching alongside tremendous talents like Broadway “Tap Dog” Anthony LoCascio.

Teaching ballet class at New York Performing Arts Center

Jennifer and Carlos with Anthony LoCascio (center).

The next day, we headed out to Richmond Hill, Queens for OUAT’s performance, where I danced excerpts from Coppélia as well as The Dying Swan. How nice it was to be welcomed home with open arms! It was if I had never left. My teacher, Teresa Aubel, hasn’t changed a bit, and being back in class with her reminded me of how very much of my success I owe to her. She was always such a wonderful mentor, and she helped shape the dancer that I have become in so many ways.

Jennifer with her childhood dance teacher Teresa

Homecoming performance of Coppélia!

The performance was held in-house, in the school’s quaint black box theater, where a special surprise awaited — another one of my teachers would be contributing to the performance! Carolyn DeVore, Dean of Dance at my alma mater, Benjamin N. Cardozo H.S., came to see the show and brought her students from DeVore Dance Center to perform an incredible African piece. It was such a treat to see her again and have her meet Carlos and baby Eva.

The audience enjoyed the show tremendously, but I think Eva may have enjoyed it the most! Her expression was priceless! With a front row seat on Carlos’ lap, she was completely intrigued by the music and the dance. She opened her eyes wide, kicked her legs to the music, and even exclaimed “Mama!” with glee as I bourréed across the floor during The Dying Swan. When I wasn’t dancing, I was able to spy on her through a crack in the back drop and I couldn’t stop smiling, she was so adorable! When the African dancers came out, I was worried about how she’d react to the intensity and volume of the live drummers, but her smile just got bigger and bigger! (Since we’ve been back she has been super energetic and does this funny bouncing action with her hands in the air, fingers spread, and arms bent at the elbows. Call me crazy, but I’d swear she’s imitating the African dance)!

To end the afternoon, I engaged in an informal question and answer session with the audience, and signed copies of my book “So, You Want to be a Ballet Dancer?” , which was being sold at the entrance prior to the show and during intermission. There were some fantastic questions and topics brought into conversation, and I was so glad to have had the opportunity to meet so many young dancers in the making.

Jennifer with her two loves in Central Park.

As busy and hectic as our visit to New York was, we still had a wonderful time and Eva made it through her grand adventure with flying colors. We are all glad to be back in Miami and Carlos and I are ready and anxious to start the new season. It’s always nice to get away, but when all is said and done, there is no place like home!