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!

Holiday Magic on Instagram

The Nutcracker may have left the Arsht Center, but Marie and her Prince are just getting started on their magical journey! We now travel north to West Palm Beach for performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ at the Kravis Center, where corps de ballet dancer Leigh-Ann Esty will be capturing the magic on Instagram. Follow her on our feed #LeighMCBphotos to make the holidays last.  Leigh-Ann shares why this beloved holiday tradition is so special to her below!

Leigh-Ann Esty

Leigh-Ann Esty

I’m so excited for the holiday season. Nutcracker means so much to me! It brings families together and really gets you in the holiday spirit. I’ve been performing in The Nutcracker since I was 7, so it’s been a huge part of my life! I love how happy it makes the audience. 

Lead Marzipan

Leigh-Ann as Lead Marzipan Shepherdess. Photo © Kyle Froman

There is still time to catch The Nutcracker at the Kravis Center (Dec. 27-30) and Broward Center (Jan. 3-5). GET TICKETS NOW!


Broward Center Opening on INSTAGRAM!

Anyone who attended opening night at the Arsht Center last Friday can agree that the energy and excitement was at an all-time high for the opening of our 2013-2014 Season! We can’t wait to do it all again at the Broward Center for the opening of Program I: First Ventures on October 25-27. While the PAPARAZZI will be snapping shots of our glamorous audience members on the red carpet, dancer Leigh-Ann Esty will be behind-the-scenes capturing the backstage action on opening night and throughout the weekend on Instagram. Find out why she is excited for our opening program at the Broward Center and follow her  at #LeighMCBphotos!

Leigh-Ann Esty

Leigh-Ann Esty

I’m excited for this weekends performance because there will be three different casts dancing! I can’t wait to see various people explore different roles!

GET YOUR TICKETS to Program I: First Ventures at the Broward Center to begin your journey with Miami City Ballet. If you can’t make it this weekend, join us at the Kravis Center from November 15-17 for our season opening there!

Check out some of the backstage shots caught by dancer Adrienne Carter on Instagram from our opening at the Arsht Center:

Pointe she prep before Ballo della Regina.

Pointe shoe prep before Balanchine’s ‘Ballo della Regina.’

Kleber Rebello and Sara Esty in Polyphonia.

Kleber Rebello and Sara Esty in Wheeldon’s ‘Polyphonia.’


Backstage shot of Instagram.

Backstage shot of Balanchine’s ‘Serenade.’

INSIGHTS: George Balanchine’s ‘Serenade’

Why did Balanchine choreograph a girl falling to the floor in Serenade? And, why did he call this entrancing work “a dance in the moonlight?” Find out the answers to these questions and more in our new INSIGHTS video series! In our first video, corps de ballet dancers Leigh-Ann Esty and Zoe Zien divulge the secrets behind this mesmerizing and iconic ballet. Make sure to see it performed lived during Program I: First Ventures!

Catch the live performance of Serenade during  Program I: First Ventures  and begin your journey with the ballet this season!

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


A ‘Model’ Day!

You may have seen sisters Leigh-Ann and Sara Esty gracing the pages of various dance magazines this season. Why? Earlier this year, they became the official spokesmodels for Suffolk Pointe’s new leotard line! We caught up with Leigh-Ann to hear about their amazing experience. Here is what she had to say!

Leigh-Ann Esty

When my sister and I received an email from our PR manager about being the new Suffolk Pointe leotard models, we went absolutely nuts! To model for the company that makes our pointe shoes would be the coolest thing ever. After a few weeks of planning, we found ourselves in a stretch limo to the airport after one of our shows in West Palm Beach. Talk about movie star treatment! We flew out at about 5pm to Dallas.

Welcome to Texas!

When we arrived, Keri Suffolk (married to Marc Suffolk, creator of Suffolk pointe shoes) and her assistant Deb greeted us with excitement. We drove over to Spotlight Dance wear, Keri’s store, where we tried on a multitude of Suffolk shoes for the photo shoot.

A girl can't have enough shoes!

By this time, it was 11:00 at night! After being dropped off at our hotel, Sara and I got a quick six hours of sleep. The make-up and hair stylist knocked on our door at 6:30 am! Thankfully, Keri came with Starbucks, so we were all set!

Two hours later, and as glamorous as could be, we drove over to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum. This location was chosen due to the retro 40′s theme of the leotard line. What a cool place! There were airplanes in the museum that were actual WWII fighters, and one of only three left in the world.

Cavanaugh Flight Museum

Sara and I each had about 10 looks to model. I felt like a superstar...the team was so attentive and supportive of what we were doing. I had never modeled before, so I was a little nervous. After each picture, we got to see the preview on the computer, and fix what we didn’t like. It was a lot of work, but so much fun!

Striking a pose

The whole day of shooting took about seven hours. A highlight was meeting Marc ….he was so nice! He actually got to look at our feet and suggested different shoes for us. It was an honor to meet the brains behind it all. Without his creativity, dancing would be very difficult!

We finished the day with a nice dinner with the Suffolks before heading back to the airport. We arrived in Miami at midnight. It was a whirlwind 24 hours! The experience was a gratifying one, and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

Official ad from Suffolk Pointe's catalog

Adriana Pierce captures ‘Poetic Fusion’ on Instagram!

While most dancers are taking full advantage of their one week off before final performances of Program IV: Broadway and Ballet at the Broward Center and Adrienne Arsht Center, corps dancer Adriana Pierce is taking over our Instagram feed as this week’s guest photographer. Not only will Adriana be snapping pics, but she is also creating a new work on dancers Leigh-Ann Esty, Sara Esty and Nicole Stalker , in collaboration with poet Barbara Lisette Anderson, for the month-long  O, Miami Poetry Festival.  Check out how Adriana bridges the worlds of ballet and poetry when our MCB ladies perform Poetic Fusion on Friday, April 12, at The LAB Miami. Follow her #AdrianaMCBPhotos.

Adriana Pierce

We caught up with Adriana to learn more about her upcoming work.  Here is what she said!

My choreography is usually derived from images, and so I often find inspiration from text. Barbara Anderson’s poetry has rich descriptive narratives and conjures up a lot of thoughtful imagery for the reader or listener. I’m having a lot of fun in the studio infusing my movement quality with her writing style, and, of course, working with any of the MCB dancers is always a dream.

Check out Poetic Fusion this Friday at The LAB Miami, and don’t miss our multi-talented dancers’  final performance of the 2012-2013 Season during Program IV: Broadway and Ballet.

Broward Center: April 26-28
Adrienne Arsht Center: May 3-5

From Our Dancers to YOU!

We asked our dancers what ballets they were most excited about performing for Program III: The Masters.  Here is what they said!

Leigh-Ann Esty

Skyler Lubin

Chase Swatosh

Kleber Rebello

See these dancers bring their favorite ballets to life when they perform them LIVE during Program III: The Masters!

Broward Center: Mar. 1-3

Adrienne Arsht Center: Mar. 8-10

Leigh-Ann Esty

Corps dancer Leigh-Ann Esty is back on Instagram! Last August, she became the first guest photographer for our inaugural Instagram series.  This week, Leigh-Ann will take us behind-the-scenes when the company performs its second program in Naples! #LeighMCBPhotos

Leigh-Ann Esty

Leigh-Ann Esty

Fun Fact about Leigh: She and her sister Sara are the official spokesmodels for Suffolk Pointe’s new leotard line!  Look out for more to come!

Photo © Gio Alma.

Guest Photographers on Instagram!

The dancers are taking over MCB’s Instagram account for our guest photographer series! They will be posting lots of dancer activity,
so follow us and don’t miss a beat!

First up is corps dancer Leigh-Ann Esty!
Leigh will be controlling our Instagram account starting Monday, August 13th for one week
(which also happens to be choreographer Liam Scarlett’s first day back with the Company)!

Leigh-Ann Esty © Gio Alma

Fun fact about Leigh: she loves photography and often takes photos of the Company (such as these gorgeous shots).
Plus, she was published in National Geographic Traveler, when she won their 2008 World In Focus contest with this image of the Eiffel Tower.

Behind the Lens with Leigh-Ann Esty: The Nutcracker

Post by Leigh-Ann Esty, Corps de Ballet

As a professional ballet dancer, my life is very busy. I am always learning new techniques, rehearsing five different ballets at a time, and traveling to different places every weekend. However, there is one thing about my crazy life that always stays the same…The Nutcracker. It comes once a year, EVERY year! When we begin to perform The Nutcracker, it means that the holiday season has begun. It is one of my favorite times of year! I began to photograph this ballet about three years ago. The colors are so vibrant in this production, which helps the photographs to be quite visually pleasing. There are five different parts of The Nutcracker that are my favorite to watch and photograph as well.

My first favorite part in The Nutcracker is the snow scene. This is such a magical moment in the ballet. Little pieces of white paper fall onto the stage, portraying the illusion of a blustery snow-covered forest. As the dancers jump around, “snow” is kicked into the air. Then, all of a sudden, the whole group of dancers run to the corner and stop abruptly, folding in half. Just when you think they are done, they start up again, shaking their pom poms that look like snow balls. I love the dramatics of this part! The music and choreography fit perfectly together.

In the second half of The Nutcracker, there are a number of divertissements. These act as entertainment in the Land of the Sweets. One of my favorites is the Candy Cane dance. The male lead in this has a very impressive part. He performs all of these tricks while jumping through a hoolahoop! It is quite exciting! I also love this music. It really gets me into the holiday spirit!

My all time favorite dance in The Nutcracker is the dance of the Dew Drop in Waltz of the Flowers. Her choreography is so musical and fluid. She gets to fly and spin across the stage. I get chills every time I watch this part, especially at the end when the music builds and explodes into a burst of energy. This is a dream role of mine!

Nutcracker would not be the same if it weren’t for the children. In this production, there are over 60 kids that get to participate. I love seeing their joy and excitement. It makes me remember when I was just starting out as a ballet dancer. My first role in The Nutcracker was a pollychenell. I will never forget feeling tears of joy every time I ran out from Mother Commedia’s skirt to bow. Now when I see the kids smile and beam on stage, I know exactly how they are feeling!

Click here to see Leigh’s Behind-the-Scenes of Nutcracker album on Facebook.

Click here to check out Leigh’s website.

Photos: Miami City Ballet dancers in George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM.  Choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust. Photo © Leigh-Ann Esty.