LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

INSIGHTS: George Balanchine’s ‘Ballo della Regina’

Legendary Balanchine ballerina Merrill Ashley discusses the ballet that made her a star! Discover what makes Ballo della Regina “sparkle” in our latest INSIGHTS video and see it at the Broward Center during Program I: First Ventures this weekend! Get your ticket now!

A special thanks to the Ballo della Regina Committee for helping Miami City Ballet make this timeless work possible!

Michele Herbert, Merrill Ashley, Jacqueline Kott, and Claudia Perles (left to right)

Michele Herbert, Merrill Ashley, Jacqueline Kott, and Claudia Perles (left to right) after the opening performance of ‘Ballo della Regina.’

Balanchine Ballerina caught on Instagram!

This week, we welcome one of Balanchine’s great ballerinas to our studios to teach the company Ballo della Regina. Merrill Ashley, for whom Mr. B created the ballet, will be working with our dancers to ensure that their performance of this difficult, high-energy work appears “light, airy, effortless and refined” — as Merrill describes Ballo — when we open our 2013-2014 Season on October 18! To capture this special ballet staging is dancer Helen Ruiz! Helen will be taking over our Instagram feed for her first time to bring all of the action directly to YOU.

FUN FACT about Helen:
Her favorite thing to do is cook and favorite things to make are ceviche, shepherds pie and green chicken curry!

For those of you who may not be too familiar with Merrill Ashley, she is a quite a big deal! She had a 31 year career as a dancer with New York City Ballet and was praised for her speed, technical clarity and attack in Ballo della Regina, when the choreography was deemed revolutionary to the art form at the time of its 1978 world premiere. In a review of the ballet’s premiere from The New York Times, Anna Kisselgoff wrote, “In Miss Ashley’s phenomenal speed and outstanding technique, Mr. Balanchine has a dancer with whom may try the untried!” We are not only fortunate to have her here staging a ballet in which she originated the role, but also to have her as part of the ballet family on our Board of Trustees! Make sure to follow Helen #HelenMCBphotos to catch all of the action with Merrill and more!

Mary Carmen Catoya and Mikhail Ilyin in Ballo della Regina. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Joe Gato.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to discover more fun facts about Ballo della Regina and to get your backstage pass to the ballet.

Finally, don’t miss our grand season opening October 18 at the Arsht Center to see Ballo della Regina, along with Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia and George Balanchine’s Serenade brought to life onstage during Program I: First Ventures!