LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

MCB Dancers Take Italy

It’s been a couple of weeks since our dancers wrapped up rehearsals with choreographer Justin Peck. Since then, they’ve all been enjoying some additional time off this summer, getting plenty of much-needed rest and relaxation. But as we’ve learned quite well, it’s rarely all play and no work for our dancers. In fact, we recently caught up with principal dancers Tricia Albertson and Renan Cerdeiro, who, earlier this month, performed at the Florence Dance Festival at the National Museum of Bargello in Italy–the same museum that houses Donatello’s famous Statue of David.

The show, titled Stars of American Ballet, featured Tricia and Renan, along with principal couples from New York City Ballet and Boston Ballet.

National Museum of Bargello in Italy. Photo courtesy of Tricia Albertson & Renan Cerdeiro.

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Principal dancers Tricia Albertson and Renan Cerdeiro.

“It was set up in an outside courtyard with sculptures surrounding–so beautiful,” Tricia told us. “Renan and I performed excerpts from ApolloChutes and Ladders, and Who Cares?.” After the performance, the two took some time to take in the sights of Italy, along with fellow MCB dancer Jovani Furlan. Check out these gorgeous photos.

Tricia, Jovani and Renan enjoy a gondola ride.

Tricia, Renan and Jovani pose for a photo.

Thank you to Tricia, Renan and Jovani for sharing your experience with us!

Summertime on Instagram

With their summer downtime, our dancers have split from Miami and spread out all over the world! The latest dancer update comes from Joinville, Brazil, where corps de ballet dancer Jovani Furlan takes over our Instagram feed this week. Follow Jovani at #JovaniMCBphotos for a snapshot of his life back in Brazil! 

Dancer

Jovani Furlan

When I’m in Brazil, I’ll be taking class at my old ballet school, The Bolshoi Theater School in Brazil – the only affiliate of the Bolshoi Theater of Moscow. I’m also doing some physical therapy,  working out, spending a lot of time with the family, and enjoying the beaches around my state! - Jovani

Balanchine

Jovani Furlan in Balanchine’s ‘Episodes.’

Read more posts from Jovani here!

Excited about next season? Check out the ballets that we will be working on this summer, when our dancers return to the studio on June 9th!

Dancing what was lost

When the curtain opens on Program III: Triple Threat next week, Miami City Ballet will become one of only two dance companies and the only American company to perform the Paul Taylor solo in Balanchine’s Episodes since New York City Ballet in 1986. Peter Frame — the last dancer to have performed this role and répétiteur for the solo at MCB — referred to it as a “lost work of art.” Now, 27 years later, dancer Jovani Furlan will be one of only a handful of dancers to perform this role. Here, he tells all about this rare and exciting opportunity.

Jovani Furlan

Jovani Furlan

The solo was choreographed by George Balanchine and was first performed by Paul Taylor in 1959. Twenty-seven years later at New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor reconstructed the solo from what he remembered for then Soloist, Peter Frame, who came to Miami to set it for us. There is a lot of Martha Graham influence to the solo and it’s been very fulfilling to get to work on it.

On the first day of rehearsal Peter entered the studio and said, “there are no counts and you guys are barefoot.” From that moment, I knew that this was going to be a new and exciting challenge. It’s my very first time dancing barefoot and it feels like I have a new body. Having no layers between my foot and the floor gives me a different awareness of my movement. Luckily, I have very thick skin on my feet so I’m not suffering that much considering all of the pirouettes and drags that I have to do in the almost 8-minute-long solo. The costume also makes me feel very vulnerable. I’m dressed in a white unitard all alone on a big stage with a spotlight on me. I don’t think that I’ve ever been that exposed on stage – it’s scary but I’m so thrilled about this opportunity.  

Peter Frame performing the Paul Taylor solo. Photo by Monroe Warshaw.

Peter Frame performing the Paul Taylor solo. Photo by Monroe Warshaw.

The Anton Webern music is very intricate and sounds almost as if there is no connection between the instruments. There is a calm feeling to it at some moments, but the majority sounds very agonizing, making the dancer appear like he’s trying to scream with his body. With no counts, we have to stop and listen to the instruments closely. We have to understand, for example, that when the harp plays, we have to be doing a penché, or when the horn strikes, I have to be putting my leg down to get to the floor. There are many moments where it’s just silent, and those quiet moments are crucial for us to catch up to the following step.

Photo by Daniel Azoulay.

Jovani rehearsing the solo. Photo by Daniel Azoulay.

Peter explained the meaning of the solo — the dancer is a bug, trapped in glass of milk wanting to get out. The poses show the struggle of the bug trying to escape, dragging its body in various shapes and forms. Parts of the solo actually make me feel as if I were stuck to the bottom of a glass glued to the milk — using my hands to move my legs.

What I like about the choreography is that it makes me lose sense of where my body parts are situated. I often find myself trying to create a symmetry that can only be achieved by losing sense of the basic positions — by trying to forget where my arms, head, legs and feet are placed. I go from grabbing my foot in high “developpé à la seconde” to dropping myself on the ground in a split second. There are several of big squats in second position where I literally have to try to drop my hips as low as I can. In the middle of the solo I find myself searching the floor for something. There’s some desperation to it, but I try not to bring too much drama into my interpretation — even though sometimes I get carried away — and let my body and the choreography speak for itself. In so many moments you have to go from a full extension of your whole body to a contraction of your stomach. This is very challenging for me because I tend to be very light and uplifted — to be grounded and make my body contract from the center of my chest is a new for me. 

Photo by Daniel Azoulay.

Jovani rehearsing the solo. Photo by Daniel Azoulay.

I’ve been discovering different aspects about my dancing that I didn’t know before and it’s been extremely gratifying. Our ballet master Arnold Quintane has a great sense of modern dance and it’s been very helpful working with him daily. Now we are heading towards the last two weeks of rehearsal and soon Peter Frame will be here to give more corrections so we can all look our best on opening night. I can’t wait to listen to the orchestra play the music and have the lights and everything ready to go.

Jovani working with Ballet Master Arnold Quintane.

Jovani working with Ballet Master Arnold Quintane. Photo by Daniel Azoulay.

Make sure to see this this “lost work of art” be brought back to the stage during Program III: Triple Threat!

WATCH a sneak peek now!

Welcome to Miami Jordan Matter!

Anyone recognize this photo?

Jordan Matter's 'Dancers Among Us'

Jordan Matter’s ‘Dancers Among Us’

If you know and love this image, along with several other awe-inspiring dance photos, than you have probably heard of photographer Jordan Matter and his New York Times bestseller Dancers Among Us. This week, Jordan takes his talents to the Magic City to exhibit his work at Spectrum Miami and Select Fair, both running December 4-8th in Midtown and South Beach respectively. During his visit, Jordan will also partake in two live photo shoots with Miami City Ballet dancers Renan Cerdeiro, Jovani Furlan and Emily Bromberg!

The first shoot will take place during the Opening Preview of Spectrum Miami on Wednesday, December 4, from 6-10pm (come before 8pm to make sure you catch the shoot). This will be a rare opportunity to preview Jordan’s exhibit and see how he works with the dancers to capture these extraordinary shots.

The fun continues on Thursday, December 5, when Jordan and MCB dancers hit up South Beach for a live photo shoot on Ocean Drive! Follow us on Twitter #JordanShootsMCB to find our exact location and times to come out and watch the photo shoot!

Jordan already has some experience shooting MCB dancers -- here's a shot of former MCB dancer and 'Dancing with the Stars' contestant Alex Wong!

Jordan already has some experience shooting MCB dancers — here’s a shot of former MCB dancer and ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ contestant Alex Wong!

What’s on INSTAGRAM this week?

Tonight, the worlds of Broadway and ballet literally collide during our first Open Barre of the 2013-2014 Season. The original Anita from the Broadway production of West Side StoryChita Rivera joins us onstage to discuss working with Jerome Robbins, while the company gives a sneak peek of the “triple threat” premiere of West Side Story Suite. This will be the first time that our dancers test their signing talents in front of a live audience….and to capture it all on Instagram is dancer Jovani Furlan!

Jovani Furlan

Jovani Furlan

Jovani will not only be taking you behind-the-scenes of Open Barre this weekend, but will also be documenting the exciting work happening in our studios next week with Répétiteur and Artistic Director of Oregon Ballet Theatre Kevin Irving. Kevin is here to set Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat – the profoundly Spanish, lyrical work that allows our dancers to kickoff their pointe shoes and dance barefoot! As the former ballet master and head of the artistic department with Nacho Duato’s Compañia Nacional de Danza in Spain, Kevin has intimate knowledge of Duato’s choreography that he will instill in our dancers before we bring Jardí Tancat to the stage during Program II: See the Music.

Jeanette Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro in Jardi Tancat.

Jeanette Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro in Jardi Tancat.

Sneak peek of the action on Instagram!

Sneak peek of the action on Instagram!

Make sure to follow Jovani on Instagram #JovaniMCBphotos to catch all of the exciting happenings here at the ballet!

Want more on Chita Rivera? Check out our Pinterest Board to see more legendary roles performed by one of Broadway’s leading ladies!

Photos:
Headshot © Daniel Azoulay.
Jardí Tancat © Gio Alma.

 

Stories from Opening Night – Jovani Furlan

We are keeping the Opening Night stories coming right up until the curtain rises tomorrow evening at the Arsht Center! Next, corps de ballet dancer Jovani Furlan brings us his most memorable story from Opening Night. 

Jovani Furlan

Jovani Furlan

One of my favorite opening nights with Miami City Ballet was during Program II of our 2011-2012 season, when we performed Viscera, Ballet Imperial and In The Night. That night was really special because my best friend from Brazil, Amanda Gomes, who was supposed to join MCB with me was in the audience watching. I just felt so happy to know that she was there cheering for me. I also really enjoyed performing the world premiere of Liam Scarlett’s Viscera! It felt great on my body and I found myself playing with the steps. I had also just been promoted to company apprentice — so everything summed up to a very special opening night!

Jovani's good friend Amanda snapped this shot of him performing Viscera!

Jovani’s good friend Amanda snapped this shot of him performing Viscera!

Create your own Opening Night story by joining us on October 18 for Program I: First Ventures , and begin your journey with the ballet this season!
GET TICKETS NOW!

See Program I: First Ventures at any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

Headshot: Photo © Gio Alma.

Capturing Balanchine’s ‘Episodes’ on Instagram

Returning from summer vacation and a fun trip home to Brazil, corps de ballet dancer Jovani Furlan is back on Instagram as this week’s guest photographer.

Jovani Furlan

Our studios are exceptionally busy this week, with the arrival of two répétiteurs from the George Balanchine Trust — Patricia Neary and Peter Frame — who will be staging the company premiere of Episodes. Patricia Neary was hand-picked by Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet, where he later created two key roles on her — in Raymonda Variations and in Jewels. She will use her personal experience dancing several roles to stage Episodes and preserve every last detail of the choreography.

Peter Frame has an exceptionally close tie to Episodes as he was the first dancer to perform the Paul Taylor solo after Paul Taylor himself. In fact, Paul Taylor reconstructed the solo on Peter in 1986 when he was a dancer with NYCB. We are privileged and excited to have both Patricia and Peter with us at MCB to bring this boldly modern masterwork to life this season, as part of Program III: Triple Threat.

Pat Neary with Balanchine and sister Coleen (right).

Callie Manning and Neil Marshall in Balanchine's Episodes.

Learn more about the interesting history of Balanchine’s Episodes and how it came to be the ballet performed today.

Flexible subscription packages and single tickets to Episodes are on sale now as part of Program III: Triple Threat.

Photo credits:
Headshot © Gio Alma.
Miami City Ballet dancers Callie Manning and Neil Marshall in Episodes. Choreography by George Balanchine, © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Gio Alma.

Jovani Furlan is back on Instagram!

Corps dancer Jovani Furlan is back on Instagram! From dancers in glamorous ball gowns to paper dolls and tin soldiers, he will be capturing all of the action in Program III: The Masters.

Jovani Furlan

Jovani Furlan

Fun Fact about Jovani: Program III: The Masters happens to be on of Jovani’s favorite programs — he loves performing  Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances and thinks it contrasts greatly with George Balanchine’s La Valse.

Follow Jovani on Instagram #JovaniMCBPhotos or LIVE at the Broward Center this weekend when he performs during Program III: The Masters.

Photo © Gio Alma.

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.

Jovani Furlan Takes Over Instagram

After four fun weeks of dancer photos on Instagram, corps dancer Jovani Furlan takes over to represent the men!
Follow us on Instagram for a glance at MCB life from his point of view.

© Daniel Azoulay

Fun fact about Jovani: when he was younger, he wasn’t the biggest fan of school,
so he decided to join a different kind of school — ballet school!
Ballet provided some variety for Jovani and soon he learned to enjoy both!