It’s been an exciting week at Miami City Ballet. Our dancers are wrapping up an intense few weeks in the studio rehearsing with choreographer Justin Peck, where they’ve been learning a brand-new ballet that will premiere during the final program of the 2014-2015 Season in March.
Justin and Sufjan on stage at the YoungArts Salon Series. Photo via @miamicityballet on Instagram.
After getting a sneak peek into yesterday’s rehearsal, our team headed over to watch Justin speak at the YoungArts Salon Series in downtown Miami. During the discussion, titled, “The Art of Collaboration,” Justin, along with singer-songwriter and musician Sufjan Stevens, talked about their most recent partnership on the ballet, Everywhere We Go, which premiered earlier this year at New York City Ballet and featured a nine-movement orchestral score.
The discussion was an insightful look into what inspires Justin as an artist. He credits everyday life as one of his biggest muses; his love for experimenting with and mixing different art forms; and locally by the street art throughout Miami’s Wynwood and downtown neighborhoods.
In fact, the new work he’s choreographing on our dancers—Justin’s second with the Company—will showcase art design by the popular street artist Shepard Fairey – best known for his work on the Obama Hope posterand his large murals adorning local streets and establishments such as the Wynwood Walls andWynwood Kitchen & Bar.
MCB Dancers in studio with Justin. Photo via @bexking on Instagram.
In a recent post on the MCB blog, dancer Michael Breedan notes, “The company has developed a passion for new choreography in the past years, with choreographers like Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett making works on us. Justin’s new work promises to fulfill its dancers and audiences in the same way those great choreographers did. His ballets abound with fresh, exciting and innovative use of the corps and so many visually striking dance images that repeated viewings are practically a must. He has a musical response that actually enhances the score, rather than uses it for effect. Each step in his works unfolds naturally, with fluidity, grace and style.”
Our dancers wrap up rehearsal with Justin today, and we must say, we can’t wait for the finished product!
Our dancers have returned to the studios after their 5-week break to start learning a brand new ballet by choreographer Justin Peck. This is Justin’s second ballet for MCB, which will premiere during our final program of the 2014-2015 Season in March. His new work calls for a large cast of dancers and scenery by the popular street artist Shepard Fairey – best known for his work on the Obama Hope posterand also for his large murals adorning local streets and establishments such as the Wynwood Walls andWynwood Kitchen & Bar. To capture the creation process behind his new work on our Instagram feed is corps de ballet dancer Emily Bromberg! Follow her at #EmilyMCBphotos to get an intimate look at Justin making choreographic magic!
Since the end of our 2013-2014 Season I have kept myself busy by guest performing in Rhode Island, Virginia and New York. With all of these great guest performing opportunities the last two months, I am ready to start our 2014-2015 Season!
Miami City Ballet dancer Emily Bromberg as ‘Tinker Bell’ in Festival Ballet Providence’s production of Jorden Morris’s ‘Peter Pan.’ Photo by A. Cemal Ekin/keptlight.com.
I will be taking over Miami City Ballet’s Instagram feed to share some sneak peaks of Justin Peck’s new ballet, set specifically on MCB dancers! I knew I liked Justin’s work when I first saw ‘Chutes and Ladders,’ but I knew I loved his work when I attended our ‘Open Barre’ performances this Spring. His calm demeanor and insistence on portraying a specific idea using not only the bodies of his dancers, but also the psychological and emotional tools we all carry, inspired me a great deal! I look forward to the next few weeks to watching him create a new piece that I’m sure will be a must see for all of our audiences! – Emily
Summer is a time for our dancers to take a break from the stage for some well-deserved relaxation and recovery. However, the work never truly ends. Even during their time off, professional dancers practice healthy habits and various activities to keep their bodies and minds conditioned for the grueling season to come. Principal dancer Patricia Delgadoshares 6 tips that help her rejuvenate during the summer months off.
Patricia Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro in Balanchine’s ‘Apollo.’
Every year during the summer layoff I set different goals for myself. When we are working during the season, almost all of my focus is devoted to performing. By the end, I feel accomplished and grateful, but also physically and emotionally drained. The layoff can be a time to explore the physical rest, recovery and cross-training aspect of our work and also a time to find inspiration elsewhere such as teaching, exploring other art forms and traveling!
Replenish Nutritionally The layoff is a good time to make sure our muscles heal. One way of doing that is through eating healthy foods. I have had the pleasure of being in New York City during this break and have enjoyed the many delicious ethnic restaurants NYC has to offer, especially Indian and Asian cuisines which have many healing properties in their spices! With the extra energy, I’ve been exploring new recipes, for example, cooking more meats and fish. I’ve also been baking because its very therapeutic to me. I even took a baking course to sharpen up some of my skills at the Institute of Culinary Education. It’s great to shift your focus and work your brain in a different way!
Sleep I’ve made it a point to sleep in and take naps during this layoff as well. As dancers, we are “on” all the time and expected to perform our best night after night. Sleep is one thing that sometimes gets neglected. Catching up on sleep has really helped me feel rejuvenated physically and emotionally.
Gyrotonics® I’ve immersed myself in Gyrotonics® this break! I have always had a love and respect for the work especially when coming back from injuries, but I never felt like I had enough time and energy during the season to continue digging deeper and understanding the work better. Working one on one with a trainer has been helpful to address certain habits that sneak into our movement patterns. I have found new ways of moving that I am excited to apply this season coming up!
Travel I find exploring new cities to be extremely inspiring and invigorating. New York City is charged with creativity and stimuli! I saw Cabaret on Broadway for the first time and was blown away. I even biked the Williamsburg bridge! Just roaming the streets and exploring new neighborhoods was great fun! I was fortunate enough to visit Charleston, SC for the opening of Shepard Fairey’s “Power and Glory” art exhibit (Shepard will be collaborating with Justin Peck for his new piece on us next season). Hearing him explain his process and thoughts on art and life inspired me not only as an artist but as an individual living in our society. I look forward to exploring more of his work and honored to be a part of this incredible collaboration next season. In addition, I saw Hubbard Street perform and attended several Chamber music concerts. I left feeling extremely inspired and wanting to explore some modern and contemporary classes as well as possibly going back to taking piano lessons.
Research One thing that has become a staple of mine during the layoff has been researching the ballets we will be performing the following season. I’m a little bit of a nerd when it comes to researching ballets. I love learning about the history of the work and watching old videos as well as watching performances of the ballets and how they are danced today by other companies. The Library for the Performing Arts in NYC has an incredible array of information especially on the Balanchine ballets. You can watch original ballerinas coach ballerinas of today. It’s incredible the amount of details that can be passed on to keep these ballets as alive as they were when Balanchine created them! Watching New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre perform live is always great inspiration! Going to the theater when on layoff is the most fulfilling because I find myself watching as a fan and an admirer. While in season, there is a personal focus that changes the way in which I enjoy the the theater.
Ballet Class Of course, taking class is a must! No matter what extracurricular activities you do, nothing replaces a ballet class! Its like eating breakfast, NECESSARY! It’s been great to take class with different teachers around NYC! Keeping the mind and body awake and taking in different thoughts and ideas teachers have about ballet has been helpful and stimulating!
Our dancers have been everywhere this summer, making guest appearances and holding various teaching gigs at dance companies andstudios across the country. This weekend, we are so lucky to have corps de ballet dancer Rebecca King taking over our Instagram feedto get an inside look at what she and our other dancers are up to this summer. Follow her at #RebeccaMCBphotos and check out what she has planned for her ‘gram-worthy’ weekend in NYC below!
Right now, we are getting close to the end of our first summer layoff. These weeks off in the summer are extremely important for us. After 40-plus straight weeks of dancing 7 days a week during our season, this time to rest and recover is essential as we are able to take time to treat nagging injuries and cross-train. While we continue to work to strengthen our worn down bodies from a long season, we also find some time to travel! This weekend I will be joining fellow MCB dancers in a visit to New York City.
We haven’t all been together in quite sometime now, so we are all very excited to enjoy the city together. On Saturday night we are thrilled to be attending New York City Ballet’s performance of Justin Peck’s new ballet “Everywhere We Go.” This will be especially exciting for us as Justin will be joining us in Miami when we return to work on June 9th to start his new ballet set to premier during the 2014-2015 Seasonin Program IV: Points of Departure. I have only seen the Pas de Deux that Justin choreographed for MCB a couple of seasons ago, so I can’t wait to get another preview of what is to come for MCB!
I am so looking forward to enjoying time with great friends and I hope you enjoy following our adventures through Instagram! – Rebecca
Check out this preview of Justin Peck’s Everywhere We Go for New York City Ballet.
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!
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.
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!
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
Our 2013-2014 Season has just come to a close, but we are already gearing up for the new season ahead! Our dancers return to the studios on June 9th to begin learning next season’s ballets, starting with up-and-coming choreographer Justin Peck’s new work with street artist Shepard Fairey! Below, corps de ballet dancer Michael Breeden shares his excitement about the ballets he can’t wait to perform.
As one season comes to a finish and we reflect on the transcendent moments experienced onstage, it’s impossible for us dancers to not imagine all that’s in store next year. With the 2014-2015 Season beginning in June, we don’t have to wait too long before we get our hands on the most anticipated works of the year.
For me, there are some obvious highlights. Two great Balanchine works, ‘Symphony in Three Movements’ and ‘Allegro Brillante’, are back in the repertoire for the first time since 2009. Though the two works came from one great mind, they are alike only in the fact that they are brilliant works set to genius compositions (‘Allegro’ to music by Tchaikovsky, and ‘Symphony in Three’ to music by Stravinsky). ‘Allegro’ is Balanchine’s full-out essay on classicism as captured in 12 minutes. ‘Symphony in 3′ is a massive work with kaleidoscopic formations utilizing the entire company, as the dance echoes the driving score. I’ve danced both of these works before and every time they come back, I love them more. Balanchine’s genius continually reveals itself with each performance to both dancers and audience members, and it’s an experience I never take for granted.
Balanchine works are a company staple that I always looks forward to, but choreography tailor made for the company is less frequent. The ballet I’m looking forward to most next season is a world premiere by Justin Peck, appearing during Program IV: Points of Departure. The company has developed a passion for new choreography in the past years, with choreographers like Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett making works on us. Justin’s new work promises to fulfill its dancers and audiences in the same way those great choreographers did. His ballets abound with fresh, exciting and innovative use of the corps and so many visually striking dance images that repeated viewings are practically a must. He has a musical response that actually enhances the score, rather than uses it for effect. Each step in his works unfolds naturally, with fluidity, grace and style.
Justin Peck works with dancers Tricia Albertson and Renato Penteado on his ballet ‘Chutes and Ladders.’ Photo by Daniel Azoulay.
Full disclosure: Justin and I were suite mates at the School of American Ballet ten years ago, so it may be tempting to accuse me of bias. While I certainly enjoy his success as a friend and am happy to see him achieve so much at such a young age, I think a single viewing of one of his works is enough to know that bias has nothing to do with appreciating true talent. The wealth of knowledge and creativity that Justin has as a dance maker is just starting to be explored, and I couldn’t be more excited that the next step will be with Miami City Ballet.
Read the New York Time’s reviewof Justin Peck’s most recent work for New York City Ballet — Everywhere We Go. Discover the other ballets we are performing next season hereand lookout for Michael onstage!
26-year old Justin Peck is the artist behind our most recent commission Chutes and Ladders. Find out how this California kid is climbing the ranks at New York City Ballet and into the spotlight, as one of today’s up-and-coming choreographers. Catch his work performed live during Program II: See the Music.
Corps dancer Rebecca King will be snapping pics around the studios as this week’s guest photographer on Instagram. Follow her #RebeccaMCBphotos to catch dancers Jeanette Delgado and Kleber Rebello preparing for the world premiere of Justin Peck’s new work Chutes and Ladders, which will debut at the New World Center on April 20. Also, stay tuned for a sneak peek at our 2013/14 Season as the dancers already begin rehearsals for Balanchine’s dreamlike masterpiece Serenade.
Corps dancer Lexie Overholt returns to Instagram as this week’s guest photographer. Lexie will capture the company not only preparing for the opening of Program IV: Broadway and Ballet at the Kravis Center, on April 5-7, but also starting rehearsals for George Balanchine’s Serenade, which will hit the stage during our upcoming 2013-2014 season. Also, look out for some shots of Justin Peck’s newest work CHUTES AND LADDERS, which makes its WORLD PREMIERE at the New World Symphony on April 20. Don’t miss out on the action by following Lexie #LexieMCBPhotos!
Fun Fact UPDATE: If you think back to the last blog post about Lexie, you may recall that she was in the process of establishing her own nonprofit aimed at engaging dancers as a community in several ways — number one being — to provide scholarships for young dancers. We are excited to announce that Lexie is in the final stages of 501(c)3 approval and the website will launch in the next 30 days. Stay tuned!