LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Dancers’ Picks of the Season!

We have heard from corps de ballet dancer, Michael Breeden, about the ballets that he is looking forward to performing most next season. Now, principal dancer Jeanette Delgado weighs in!

dancer

Jeanette Delgado

Next season is going to be thrilling! There are some oldies (but goodies) as well as some brand new works! I am looking forward to a lot of the ballets like Richard Alston’s ‘Carmen’ and Justin Peck’s new work, as well as ‘Raymonda Variations and ‘Allegro Brillante’, which are both beautiful Balanchine ballets the company has not performed in a while.

Richard Alston

Jeanette Delgado in ‘Carmen.’ Photo by Alberto Oviedo.

‘Raymonda Variations’ was a ballet that I performed when I was pretty young in the school. I found it to be so challenging and I remember feeling extremely nervous. The ballerina has two variations and two pas de deux and it is very challenging technically. I am looking forward to reuniting with this ballet now that I have a few more years under my belt and seeing what I can learn from it and bring to the role!

Dancer

Jeanette Delgado in ‘Raymonda Variations.’ Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Steven Caras.

Completely opposite from that ballet is the thrilling challenge of a work that is being created on us! Two seasons ago, I was so fortunate to be able to work with Justin [Peck] on his ballet, ‘Chutes and Ladders. Even though that process was very quick, I learned so much from him and was stretched artistically by his creativity. Since then, I have been hoping to work with him again! This time around, it will be a larger ballet, so I’m very excited that more of the company will be able to experience this process! I was able to watch Chutes this season from the audience and was moved every time in a new way. I think his creative voice is remarkably new and so relative and tangible to our generation and time!

I hope you are all looking forward to next season! We promise to work as hard as ever on these ballets so that we can continue to share this great art form with you! — Jeanette

Discover our new season here

A Real Dance Mom Tells All!

Principal dancers Patricia and Jeanette Delgado are two of Miami City Ballet’s brightest stars. Born and raised in Miami, these sisters flourished as aspiring dancers at Miami City Ballet School and quickly climbed the ranks of the company. Now, the road to becoming principal dancers is certainly not easy, requiring sacrifice, patience, perseverance and a lot of hard work. So, who was behind this dancing duo to encourage and support them through it all? Their family!

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked Patricia and Jeanette’s mother Millie Figueredo what it was like raising two sibling ballerinas. Check out her responses in our Q & A below!

Mothers Day

The Delgado Family! Patricia, Zeke, Millie and Jeanette backstage during The Nutcracker.

How did Jeanette and Patricia get started with ballet? 

Patricia was around three or four years old when after watching a classic ballet on the public TV channel, she said she wanted to do that.  I told her she had to be older to take lessons. When she was five years old, while visiting my mother, she saw some old pictures of me in my ballet class and she told my mom that she wanted to take lessons too.  My mother went ahead and found a ballet studio near our home and told me I should enroll Patricia.  I really wanted her to be older, but I was outnumbered!  Of course, when Jeanette saw what her sister was doing, she wanted to do it too!

ballerina

Patricia and Jeanette as baby ballerinas!

When did you realize that they were really talented? 

I always saw the girls enjoying themselves while dancing!  In their adolescence, they both became very focused and passionate as well as hard workers.  I did notice they loved to perform and their hearts were completely open and free when on stage.  I guess, I had to start believing their teachers and others when they praised their talent and dedication.

Balanchine

Patricia Delgado in ‘Western Symphony.’ Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Kyle Froman.

Ballet can create a competitive environment as young dancers strive for leading roles, teacher’s attention, etc. Did you ever worry about the sisters getting jealous of each other? How did you prevent them from avoiding these pitfalls?

Zeke and I made a conscious effort to treat them [Patricia and Jeanette] fairly and we encouraged them to help each other.  We praised their individuality — never comparing, but rather encouraging them to develop their unique strengths and recognize their weaknesses as opportunity for growth.  Even though they shared similar interests, they also had different ones.  For example, Patricia enjoyed taking piano lessons and playing sports, while Jeanette liked taking acting and singing lessons.

Ballet takes so much discipline, sacrifice and hard work, how did you encourage the girls to continue pursuing ballet through the rough times?

I must admit that we actually maintained a more neutral position during these times because we never thought they would become professional dancers.  We recognized the tough road ahead, and thus, the decision to pursue ballet training had to be completely their own.  Although, we obviously supported their passion and encouraged them to follow their dreams, we never underestimated the difficulty of pursuing this career.

Liam Scarlett

Jeanette Delgado in Liam Scarlett’s ‘Viscera.’ Photo by Kyle Froman.

What was the best memory you have about each of your daughters regarding their ballet careers? Was there a special performance, moment or memory you have that stands out? 

There are many wonderful memories — the first time I saw them perform with a professional company, the first time I saw them perform a leading role, or the first time they received flowers onstage. But, the best was the first time I was no longer nervous to watch them perform and I could really enjoy it!

Mother's Day

Millie with Patricia.

Mom

Millie with Jeanette.

 This Sunday, create Mother’s Day memories with the gift of dance! Check out the ballets onstage next season!

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!

ABC Channel 10 covers campaign with Miami HEAT!

The coverage continues!  ABC Channel 10 released the following footage about our campaign with the Miami HEAT just before their game against the Chicago Bulls.

For more on our collaboration with the Miami HEAT, check out the following:

Exclusive interview with Dwyane Wade

MCB in TIPOFF – Miami HEAT’s official in-game program

ESPN’s Numbers Never Lie: What percent of Sports Nation wants to see Lebron James and Dwyane Wade do ballet?

Behind-the-scenes of our photo shoot with the Miami HEAT!

Imagining ‘New Work’ with Justin Peck

When emerging choreographer and New York City Ballet dancer Justin Peck received a call from Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez to create a new work on Miami City Ballet, he jumped at the opportunity.  After choreographing several works for New York City Ballet, the young artist was eager to experience a new company, or as Justin described, “work with new paint.”  For nearly two weeks, Justin immersed himself in music, dance and creation at our studios to choreograph his newest work Chutes and Ladders.  Learn about Justin’s experience working with our dancers and how this exciting project came to be in the video below!

Read more about Justin Peck’s new work in The Miami Herald.  Also, here is an interesting interview with Justin in TimeOut New York.

Here are some pics from Justin’s visit!

Justin Peck choreographing Chutes and Ladders.

Justin Peck rehearses with dancers Jeanette Delgado and Kleber Rebello.

Behind the Ballet: Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances (Part Two)

Alexei Ratmansky is widely seen as one of the most original and important choreographers in ballet, an artist who is moving the genre forward while remaining deeply rooted in its classical origins. When Miami City Ballet commissioned him last season to create Symphonic Dances, set to a Rachmaninoff score of the same name, it was a milestone for the company.

-The Miami Herald

Dancers Jeanette Delgado and Nathalia Arja explain Ratmansky’s process of bringing Symphonic Dances to the stage in Part Two of Behind the Ballet.

…No matter what, every morning you go to the barre and you need to serve the god, the goddess of dance. It’s a religion. It’s not about you or your ego. The beauty of ballet is the result of centuries. You think of all the amazing choreographers who contributed to it, and it now lives in us. Because all the steps we do were invented by someone, and we can feel their impulse when we do the step.

- Alexei Ratmansky, The Miami Herald

Behind the Ballet: Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances (Part One)

After its one-night-only world premiere in Miami last season, Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances returns to the stage during Program III: The Masters.  Through interviews with the acclaimed choreographer, himself, and with two leading ladies from the ballet, we are breaking down this beautiful, yet complex masterwork in the following two part mini-series.

Watch this video to find out what the dancers had to say!

During his last visit to our studios in November 2012, The Miami Herald interviewed Alexei Ratmansky. Here is what he had to say!

Q. When I first saw Symphonic Dances, I thought it had a story, but I can’t say what it was.

That’s good. There is a story but you don’t need to put it in words. The music [also] tells a story but how can you translate it? What’s great about ballet is you don’t need to put things into words. You can’t really have the words for everything in life. There is a good saying in Russian, if you express your thought clearly, it’s already alive. Meaning that not everything can be put in words. I like that. The great strength of ballet is its mystique or symbolism. This art can touch a kind of universal harmony without explaining it.

Q. There were strong characters in Symphonic Dances that surprised me.  I saw a side of [MCB dancer] Kleber Rebello I had never seen. Nathalia [Arja] had always seemed like a very sweet girl, and suddenly she was so passionate.

I wouldn’t call them characters. They create tensions. And in order to create tension you have to have some kind of motivation. Nathalia, we called her the war girl. There is a painting by Henri Rousseau, the French primitive painter, of a girl in a white short dress on a horse, called The War. She is a horrifying figure. But it’s just a little inspiration.

The structure of the piece, which is quite complex, took place after I observed [MCB company] classes. I wanted to use particular dancers. Each person had certain characteristics. Maybe in everyday life they are very different. But there is something in their physique, in the expression of their face, the line of the neck, the gestures, that tells you about their inner character. They might fight it. Maybe they don’t like it. But as Martha Graham says, the body never lies. The body tells the truth about a person. So I was trying to sense who these dancers are, and they led me to certain story developments.

Q. So what did you get from Kleber?

A person in difficult circumstances, some inner suffering that was hidden. He was — I’m not sure this is the right word — vulnerable?

Q. And Nathalia?

She’s a force. It’s not necessarily that she brings something bad. It’s an extreme situation that she brings. But it also can bring glory.

Stay tuned for more on Symphonic Dances during next week’s Behind the Ballet Part Two.

See it during Program III: The Masters at the Broward Center Mar. 1-3 and Adrienne Arsht Center Mar. 9-10!

Showcasing the world class athleticism of Ballet and Basketball!

For those of you who didn’t make it to the Miami HEAT vs. L.A. Lakers game last night, we picked up a copy of TIPOFF — the official in-game program book for the MiamiHEAT!

Patricia Delgado with Dywane Wade on the cover of TIPOFF. Jeanette Delgado and LeBron James also made the inside cover!

Read the full story inside TIPOFF here!

Jeanette Delgado dishes on Liam Scarlett!

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.”

Jeanette Delgado in Liam Scarlett's Viscera

There is still time to catch Jeanette’s performance in Liam’s newest work Euphotic, this weekend at the Kravis Center as part of Program II: Tradition and Innovation.

Photos: Euphotic © Daniel Azoulay. Viscera © Kyle Froman.