The Road to City Center – 2 weeks down

Post by Sara Esty, Corps de Ballet

August 13, 2010

Hi all! We have just completed our second week back to work, and boy has it been tough. Between trying to learn all of Romeo and Juliet, and keeping up with The Golden Section for City Center, it seems as though everyone is exhausted! Nothing like a weekend to cure that though. Nonetheless, rehearsals are going well and I can feel the excitement for our New York trip growing!

The Road to City Center

MCB has been invited to New York City Center to make our debut in the 2010 Fall for Dance festival. The Company returns to City Center after a critically acclaimed, triumphant debut in 2009. The dancers will perform Twyla Tharp’s energetic “The Golden Section” on September 28th and 29th. Fall for Dance, running September 28th – October 9th, 2010, will showcase 20 dance companies and choreographers from across the United States and around the world.

Corps de ballet member Sara Esty will be one of the dancers traveling to New York for the debut. She will be keeping a digital diary on MCB Blog as we follow her on the road to City Center! Her first few entries touch on the early stages of rehearsals.

MCB’s Road to City Center – by Sara Esty

I have always loved dancing and performing Twyla Tharp’s pieces. From In the Upper Room, to Push Comes to Shove, she is constantly challenging her dancers’ brains and pushing their boundaries. That is what I find so fascinating about it: it feels impossible when you first learn it, but by the time you get around to performing it, it feels almost natural to you. When I first learned “The Golden Section”, I thought to myself “Seriously? I’ll never be able to do this.” Not only did I surprise myself, but it is now one of my favorite things to perform. Dancing her works is such a gratifying and self fulfilling experience, one that I wish every dancer could experience and feel. Because honestly, you have got to feel it to believe the power of it.

June 7, 2010
The first day back to work is always a bittersweet one. This particular layoff was exactly what everyone needed: short but sweet, 4 nice weeks of rest and relaxation. I walked into the studios feeling refreshed and ready for whatever might be up on that bulletin board. There was a memo from company manager Abram Best that caught my attention…It explained to us that we would be taking Twyla Tharp’s “The Golden Section” to NYC this September and would be performing it in New York City Center’s Fall for Dance festival. How exciting!! To be included in such a large festival is definitely an accomplishment for our company. Crista Villella (our ballet mistress who primarily handles all of Twyla’s works here) had been in touch with Twyla, who showed much interest in being included to make the piece its best. Crista sent DVDs to Twyla of our performances of the piece, and she in turn offered her corrections and advice. So the cast got to work, taking her criticisms and applying her knowledge. I could feel the energy growing from everyone; just knowing Twyla wanted to help and be a part of it was enough motivation for everybody!

June 17, 2010
Today is our first progression filming of Golden Section to send to Twyla. I know everyone is a little nervous, and I can feel the tension in the room. I am freaking out just a little bit! Even though most of us got to work with Twyla a few years ago on her world premiere of “Nightspot” (choreographed on MCB), she is still such a big deal to all of us. We want to do her piece justice, and to make her proud of her work. Here goes nothing!

June 24, 2010
Phew!! Twyla was pleased with our progress. She sent an email to Crista, who read it aloud to us. “Good job, Crista. Already so much better.” Thank goodness…she went on and broke down the piece for specifics. It was so interesting to hear her take on things, and exactly what she wants from certain parts. This is already such an incredible experience; I have always admired her and her philosophies of dance. Elaine Kudo (who used to be one of Twyla’s dancers) is here setting another one of her pieces on us for the upcoming 2010-2011 season (Baker’s Dozen), and has offered to help with the corrections.

Stay tuned!

(Photo by Leigh-Ann Esty)

Leigh takes you to Chicago – plus Stephen’s exciting experience

Post by Leigh-Ann Esty

Hello everyone! It’s Leigh Esty back with another video installment of Miami City Ballet on tour–this time we traveled to Chicago! I’ll take you from hot Miami weather to chilly temps in the Windy City! You’ll see excerpts of performances, rehearsals and backstage action. Chicago welcomed us with open arms, blessing us with grand applause, full houses and wonderful reviews. This tour was full of exciting moments! Principal Dancer Patricia Delgado got her hands on the Flip and added her commentary during backstage activities. Two of our corps members danced new roles! To say the least, this tour was quite eventful. I hope you enjoy my video journal as much as we enjoyed Chicago!

Stephen Satterfield, MCB Corps de Ballet, had the opportunity to dance a principal role in Symphony in Three Movements on the Chicago tour. Check out this video about his experience.

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Windy City Reviews

The Company traveled home last night from a very successful Chicago tour. We weren’t kidding when we said our dancers would light up the stage! MCB left Chicago wanting more.

Check out these dazzling reviews.

Miami City Ballet displays its spirit, intense virtuosity, Chicago Sun-Times, 10/3/09

Miami City Ballet reviewed, Chicago Tribune, 10/5/09

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

MCB is in Chicago

Unfortunately the 2016 Olympic Games aren’t happening in the Windy City, but this weekend Chicagoans are in for a treat! The stage at the Auditorium Theatre will light up when our super human dancers perform Symphony in Three Movements, Valse Fantaisie (1953), Black Swan Pas de Deux and In The Upper Room. Leigh-Ann Esty, Corps de Ballet, took the Flip camera with her once again and will be documenting the tour.

Check out these articles in anticipation of Miami City Ballet’s arrival in Chicago.

At long last, Miami Ballet dances in Chicago, Chicago Tribune, 10/2/09

Ballet great to show off Miami dance company, Chicago Sun-Times, 9/27/09

Interview: Edward Villella, trailerpilot.com, 9/25/09

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Vail Video Journal – Part 3

Leigh-Ann’s experience with the Flip camera in Vail comes to an end in Part 3 of her video journal series. Here she takes you through MCB’s final days at the festival including Up Close: Edward Villella, on stage before and after a performance of “Rubies” and on the journey home.

Leigh-Ann did a terrific job documenting the Vail tour and was extremely excited about sharing it with you. Stay tuned for coverage on future tours!

Did you enjoy the video journal? What else would you like to see?

Vail Video Journal – Part 2

We hope you enjoyed the first part of Leigh-Ann’s video journal. There is so much more to see! In Part 2 you’ll follow the dancers during their time off in Vail, listen in on Damian Woetzel talking to the dancers at dinner, watch a pre-performance company class, and more.

Check back tomorrow for the third and final part of the video journal.

Dancer Video Journal: Leigh-Ann Esty at the Vail International Dance Festival

Post by Leigh-Ann Esty

Hello everyone! Leigh-Ann Esty, here. I am a member of MCB’s Corps de Ballet.

As you know, the Company recently traveled to Colorado, to participate in the Vail International Dance Festival, directed by Damian Woetzel (former New York City Ballet dancer).  It hadn’t been long since we’d gotten back from our summertime off, and before we knew it we were packed and on our way.   When I was asked by the Company to carry around a Flip camera and document our trip, you can imagine how excited I was – I’m a huge photography fan! I tried to capture all the moments I could: in the airport, on the bus, during free time, even on stage while we were warming up and about to perform! Out of this came a three-part video journal series, which gives you a sneak peek of what it’s like to be in the Company when we’re on tour. One of the best parts of this whole experience is being able to show you how normal ballet dancers really are! We are just a bunch of goofballs.

In Part 1 you’ll join us on the way to Vail and watch as we adapt to our new, and very different surroundings. You’ll see the two beautiful venues we performed at (Gerald R. Ford Ampitheater and Vilar Performing Arts Center), the dancers share their feelings about the Vail tour, and watch us backstage as we prepare for show time. Check back on Friday and Saturday for the rest of the Vail coverage .

Well, I hope you enjoy the clips! We all had a great time in Vail…minus the dramatic moments of high altitude hitting us! Thanks for viewing.

More from Vail…

Nice review in The Denver Post: Keeping Balanchine legacy alive, kicking

Video of Jeanette Delgado and Alex Wong on Plum Vail

Images from UpClose: Edward Villella yesterday


Vail International Dance Festival Update

The festival has been a success so far. MCB has received great coverage in the press including stories in the Denver Post and Vail Daily ( 7/16, 7/29, 7/30, 8/2).

Check out the beautiful photos by Erin Baiano & Kyle Froman Photography  that were posted on Vail Valley Foundation’s Blog and Flickr photostream.


The Four Temperaments


How did the dancers deal with the high altitude and chilly temperatures?  What went on backstage and on the bus? We look forward to dancer Leigh Esty’s Vail recap on MCB Blog this week.