LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

From Our Dancers to You on Opening Night!

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

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

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

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

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.”

Mary Carmen Catoya

Mary Carmen Catoya

Mary Carmen Catoya, Principal, on Don Quixote Pas de Deux after Marius Petipa “When I dance Don Quixote I feel like I’m connected to my spanish family — I can feel it in my blood.”

Jeanette Delgado

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

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!”

Ratmansky Wrap-Up

“And in this century another choreographer,
Alexei Ratmansky, has arrived to revitalize ballet.”
—The New York Times

It was a rigorous but rewarding week at Miami City Ballet’s studios.  The renowned choreographer from Russia Alexei Ratmansky visited the company to prepare his work Symphonic Dances for its return to the stage in Program III: The Masters.   During his first visit to Miami last season, Ratmansky set out to create a new ballet — using the dancers as instruments that through various movements, formations, musical cues, and emotions would bring his artistic vision to life.  After a three whirlwind weeks of artistic creation, Ratmansky gave us Symphonic Dances, which enjoyed a one-night only gala premiere at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

When Ratmansky returned this past week, his mission was entirely different.   He was here to fine-tune and perfect his creation, shaping it into the masterpiece he envisioned.  ”This time, he is paying attention to the all of the smallest details,” said corps dancer Nathalia Arja who landed a leading role in the ballet.  Principal Jeanette Delgado seconded Arja saying that our dancers are being “pushed out of their comfort-zones.”  Ratmansky changed dancers’ roles, experimented with different casts, and persistently demanded more out of each unique dancer.

Principal Ballet Mistress Roma Sosenko and Ballet Mistress Joan Latham observed rehearsals and shared the following comments on their experience, “We love having Alexei back in Miami working on Symphonic Dances.  He is so committed to the work and we love watching his quality of movement.  He is so generous and giving and his coaching is as expansive as his heart.”

We are sure that our dancers’ hard work will pay off when the curtain rises on Symphonic Dances during Program III: The Masters, opening February 22 at Kravis Center, March 1 at Broward Center and March 8 at Adrienne Arsht Center.

Alexei Ratamansky’s Symphonic Dances is made possible in part by the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge.

Below are some photos of our dancers rehearsing Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances.

(c) Daniel Azoulay

Snacking with Jeanette Delgado

Principal dancer Jeanette Delgado is featured in the August/September issue of Pointe Magazine.

© Gio Alma

Jeanette reveals the snacks that keep her going throughout the day in
“The Dance Bag Diet.”

Click here to read all about it!

Remembering MCB School Days – Jeanette

With the Miami City Ballet School Student Showcase just around the corner, some MCBS alumni are reminiscing about their days at the School. Did you train at MCBS? Share your memories with us by emailing amartinez@miamicityballet.org and you can end up on our blog!

Don’t miss the ballet stars of tomorrow at Miami City Ballet School Student Showcase – May 18-20.

Post by Jeanette Delgado, MCB Principal Dancer

I came to MCB School at 9 years old and grew up loving and learning all about ballet! I am now a principal dancer with the Company. I wouldn’t be the dancer I am today without the encouraging and nurturing environment that Edward and Linda Villella created at their school! We were part of a family, and it wasn’t until my first class back after a summer program at American Ballet Theatre that I felt nervous it would all change. I was 16 years old and I remember walking into a familiar studio and seeing lots of unfamiliar faces! It was shocking, exciting and nerve wrecking all at the same time. It was the first time a group of students from all over stayed after the summer program to study here for the year! There were some changes — but they were all good! I remember being inspired right away and feeling like I was part of the beginning of something great! Now I realize the best part of that experience was that the place I always loved and felt comfortable at, grew and became more professional without losing the friendly and supportive environment that felt so special!

Jeanette Delgado as a student at MCB School.

Jeanette Delgado as Swanilda in Coppélia. Photo © Joe Gato.

A view of Coppélia

MCB closes the 11-12 Season with the romantic comedy Coppélia this weekend at Kravis Center. Get a glimpse of the charm that has already captivated audiences in Miami and Fort Lauderdale — or if you’ve already seen it, reminisce about these delightful moments!

The cast seen in this slideshow features Jeanette Delgado as Swanilda and Renato Penteado as Franz. (Photos © Joe Gato)

Inside Alexei Ratmansky’s Rehearsals

Post by Jeanette Delgado, Principal Dancer

“If it’s not about the port de bras, then it doesn’t make sense.” -Alexei Ratmansky.

As dancers we speak with our bodies. At times we get so consumed with how our legs and feet are working that we lose sight of the significance of our upper body. Alexei Ratmansky has reminded us of the importance of each gesture and has helped me visualize movement in a completely new way. He offers fresh concepts, things I’ve never really thought of before and it has expanded my creativity and hopefully my dancing!

Symphonic Dances is very balletic but there are so many unique qualities to each movement. Ratmansky is so specific about exactly how your body should move and what your intention should be that it looks and feels like a completely different style of dance.

In an interview with Dance Magazine, Ratmansky says that “every movement could be done in a hundred different ways.” Here are some of the challenging and exciting intricacies of movement he has shared with us! Of course, our artform is visual and it’s tough describing movement with words, but I will do my best…

- Improvise with your coordination. For instance, making the transition of our port de bras slower than the legs; soft with our arms while quick with the legs and finishing the movement with the arms still reaching softly. Or moving our head and shoulders last, after our feet, hips, and body move to create suspense.

-Paint lines in the air with your hands to make movement more interesting!

-Before running somewhere, feel your upper body falling out, out, out… Reach forward longer than your legs & the last thing to finally fall forward is the leg that’s behind you. This is where the impulse to run forward comes from.

- Play with the shifting of your weight and when to do it. This is one of my favorite things and also the hardest! An example is in a jump called a pas de chat, where he asked us to begin the jump traveling forward and then midway through travel backwards. Normally the jump would  continue moving forward. You also continue reaching forward with your arms as you would normally, another contrast between upper and lower body coordination!

-Think of your legs starting from higher up, from the waist to make your line longer. Also keep your hips croisé more, in other words, never let your body get too flat to the front. This helps to keep a three dimensional quality which is very important on stage.

Keep an eye out for these individual qualities in Symphonic Dances! Hopefully it will be as interesting and exciting to watch as it has been to learn and to dance!

Our Nutcracker Memories – Part 2

This adorable two-part series comes to an end as Rebecca King talks to the Delgado sisters, Jennifer Lauren, and Tricia Albertson about their Nucracker memories!

Click here to see Our Nutcracker Memories – Part 1.

Jeanette Delgado on Liam Scarlett and the World Premiere

MCB’s World Premiere is officially complete! Liam Scarlett has returned home and the dancers are taking some much-deserved time off. But we can’t get enough of the Liam craze! We chatted with principal dancer Jeanette Delgado recently and she seemed to agree with the rest of the dancers who were thrilled with Liam’s work and presence at MCB.

P.S. – There is a special surprise for Jeanette at the end of the video. Enjoy!

Liam Scarlett’s new ballet premieres in January 2012 at Adrienne Arsht Center, followed by performances at Broward Center and Kravis Center. Click here for more information.

Working with Alexei Ratmansky

Alexei Ratmansky has been commissioned to create an original ballet for the Company, which will have its world premiere in March 2012 – with live music by The Cleveland Orchestra (TCO). This one-time MCB/TCO performance and gala will take place at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. The new Ratmansky ballet – Symphonic Dances – then will become part of Miami City Ballet’s repertoire during the 2012-2013 Season.

Post by Jeanette Delgado, Principal Dancer

Last summer I saw New York City Ballet dance a new work by Alexei Ratmansky and I was blown away! It was everything new and fresh about dancing but still true to ballet and musicality. I still have visions of this ballet and I am so moved by them. Never did I dream that we would get the chance to work with such an incredible artist!

The two weeks we recently spent working with Mr. Ratmansky felt like a glimpse into what the dancers who worked for George Balanchine must have felt! To be a part of someone’s creative process has been amazing! He pushed us to move in ways we’ve never moved nor ever thought of moving before. It is super challenging but he knows exactly how to ask for what he wants and shows it in the most inspiring way! It is a lot of work to really grasp the movement but it’s work that I can’t wait to continue!

Alexei Ratmansky working with MCB dancers.


Meet the Dancers – Jeanette Delgado

Allegro Brillante. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Alexandre Dufaur.