The night we have been waiting for is finally here and we not only have one, but TWO stories from Principal dancer Patricia Delgado to wrap up the Opening Night countdown. We hope that you have enjoyed the series and that tonight, when the curtain rises on Program I: First Ventures, you and our dancers will make new memories together through a shared experience in the beauty of the ballet.
I have two very special opening night memories that I will never forget! The first one was during one of my first years in the company. It is one of my favorite All Balanchine Programs – Ballo de la Regina, Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Stars and Stripes. Ballo de la Regina and Stravinsky Violin Concerto were company premieres, which always adds an extra sense of excitement to the evening. However, what made it so special for me was having the opportunity to dance one of my first solos in Ballo de la Regina and receivingmy first bouquet of flowers on stage. I wasn’t expecting it! The surprise gave me so much energy to get back out on stage for Stravinsky Violin Concerto and then finish off in Stars and Stripes. Here I am that night when I got home from the theater still so happy and excited about it!
Patricia with her first bouquet of Opening Night flowers.
The other memory is from a couple of years ago when we brought back George Balanchine’s Who Cares? and I had the opportunity to dance one of my dream roles. I had grown up watching my favorite dancers perform this part, especially Jennifer Kronenberg, and it always seemed so glamorous and untouchable! I remember feeling so nervous before the curtain went up even after months of rehearsals! But once I got out on stage and the music and energy of opening night filled me, it was an incredibly fulfilling and unforgettable experience!
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.
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!
We are only THREE DAYS AWAY from opening night, so get your tickets soon! The countdown continues with another exciting Opening Night story from corps de ballet dancer Suzanne Limbrunner.
The energy and excitement backstage was electric. We were focused and ready to perform but the anticipation of our Paris debut made this opening night exceptional. We were 16 girls all dressed in white leotards, pink tights and pointe shoes, making a perfect diagonal line across the stage. The curtain went up and I heard the audience take a deep breath from the beautiful opening image of Balanchine’s Symphony In Three Movements. No one moved, all eyes were on our conductor Gary Sheldon. He lifted his baton and dropped it down for the first note of music and we began to dance. It felt like we were one unit moving together in perfect grace and harmony. This was an opening night I will remember and cherish forever!
With T minus FOUR DAYS until the opening of our 2013-2014 Season, we are continuing our countdown with even more amazing Opening Night stories from our dancers! You are in for a treat with our next story from corps de ballet dancer Michael Breeden! GET YOUR SEAT TODAY!
Opening night is the moment all of the work and passion we’ve put into the ballets finally gets a chance to breathe. We’ve agonized over trouble steps, rehearsed religiously and gone over the counts endless times. The reason we put ourselves through such grueling work is for the moment when the curtain rises on opening night. The cold air rushes in and the orchestra sounds its first notes. We are no longer people in a studio, but dancers making art, immersing ourselves in the music and contributing to something greater than ourselves.
My most memorable opening night remains the first night we performed in Paris. We were on the brink of an unprecedented tour, with the most demanding repertoire and performing schedule we had ever had. We had no idea what the Parisian audience would think of us, being that they were used to watching a completely different balletic ideal and aesthetic. Yet, all of these seeming challenges merely made the determination all the greater, and then, the success all the more satisfying.
Michael at the historic Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
The ballets we performed were in our bones and we showed the Parisians every detail, every thought and care we had added to them over the years. They responded with the most rapturous reception we had ever received. Symphony in Three Movements shocked them with its full-out energy and shifting formations, and they applauded after every movement of Square Dance as if it was its own mini-ballet, deserving of a loud and full applause. The magic of opening night was never so apparent as it was in Paris, but each opening night provides its own pleasures and surprises, and this year’s opening night will prove no exception.
Michael with Zoe Zien after Symphony in Three Movements
The evening that we have been waiting for all summer long is finally only 4 DAYS AWAY! Our dancers have trained countless hours, renowned Répétiteurs have put the final touches on each ballet, our costume department has sewn every last sequin and bedazzled each delicate hairpiece, the musicians have fine-tuned their instruments and are getting ready for their rehearsal in the pit, and the production team has their lighting, sound and stage cues down to a science so that Miami City Ballet can bring YOU an evening of ballet that you will never forget. We can’t wait for you to begin your journey with us during Program I: First Ventures and hope that you will join us for all of the extraordinary ballets we have planned this season.
To make sure that you don’t miss a beat during our opening program of the 2013-2014 Season, dancer Adrienne Carter will be taking us behind-the-scenes on Instagram! Make sure to follow her at #AdrienneMCBPhotos. Hear about what ballet Adrienne is most excited to perform in Program I: First Ventures.GET YOUR SEAT NOW!
I’m really excited to perform Serenade! It’s such an iconic Balanchine ballet and has always been one of my favorites!
See Program I: First Venturesat any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17
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!
Our next Story from Opening Night comes from corps de ballet dancer Christina Spigner!
My most memorable opening night experience was performing Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements with the company on opening night of the tour in Chicago when I was a student apprentice . It was special for so many reasons — first, because of course this was my very first performance with a professional company and secondly, being able to be apart of opening night is always a privilege. What also made it special was that this was the first time MCB toured to Chicago, so we got to debut and expose the Chicago audience to Miami’s dancing and talent in the company. The response we got after performing was so enthusiastic and positive — it was amazing . Lastly, what made it so special was that my extended family lives in Chicago and most of them had never seen me dance or had even gone to the ballet before. So, for them to see me in my first company performance, as well as it being their first performance, was awesome. It really touched me to have all of that support for such a big opening night for me:-) And now they are huge ballet fans !
Christina in Symphony in Three Movements
Opening night is so special because it is the night that all your work comes to fruition. It is our reward to perform onstage after all the long hours of sweat, work and rehearsals we have put in. It is the time to enjoy and give back to the audience, for the first time, in that particular ballet . It is one of the most exciting nights — you have lots of adrenaline and energy, and even the audience members have a similar anticipation and excitement — making the theater come alive with that electric energy that everyone present can sense. Opening night is a reward for us dancers and something we look forward to with excitement and anticipation
We are less than TWO WEEKS away from opening night of our 2013-2014 Season! Next up on our ‘Stories from Opening Night’ countdown is corps de ballet dancer Ariel Rose. Get your tickets to Program I: First Ventures before they go!
My scariest but also most memorable opening night experience was during my first lead in Alicia Alonso’s full-length ballet Coppélia with the Ballet Municipal de Lima. I just had a rushing moment of not believing that I was about to perform a three act ballet in an opera house in front of more than 1000 people. In the wings I started thinking about when I started ballet and all the difficult years of training, pushing myself and how far I had come from my beginnings in dance. My entire family, including those who live in Peru, who up to this point had never had the opportunity to see me dance, let alone dance in their home country and in the national theater, were in the audience (they also never truly embraced my career as a professional dancer either). It was quite overwhelming! Yet, I told myself to conquer and live in the moment (as I often do when I am nervous). Seeing my Peruvian family after the show — some in tears — was so gratifying because not only did they finally see why I had been working so hard in ballet for all these years, but also because I finally felt like I had truly begun my career as a professional dancer and artist.
Ariel performing Coppelia
Opening night is special because it represents the transition from rehearsal to performance. There are virtually always little hiccups here and there, but it is very exciting for the audience because they know they are the very first people to see that specific production. It is also exciting for the dancers because after weeks and weeks of rehearsing, repeating and polishing something we’ve practiced 50+ times, we get to show it to people for the very first time. Seeing their reaction and appreciation after a performance is incredibly gratifying.
Our next opening night story comes from corps de ballet dancer Nicole Stalker, sharing her scariest, but most memorable opening night!
I danced my very first Square Dance corps performance on opening night in Paris!! Square Dance is one of the most notoriously difficult Balanchine ballets in terms of both technique and stamina. I was so incredibly nervous, as I was the only one in the cast who had never performed the ballet before. I was worried about making it through the ballet while still maintaining good technique and stage presence. I don’t think I will ever forget the feeling I had when the curtain went up and we waited in silence for that first violin note! Although I was terrified, I also consider it one of my most memorable performance experiences. We were all together in one of the most amazing cities in the world getting to do what we love! It is a memory I will cherish forever!
A very important guest is paying MCB a visit! He happens to be the artistic genius behind one of the ballets that is making its company premiere during Program I: First Ventures. You guessed it! The mastermind behind Polyphonia – Christopher Wheeldon!
Christopher Wheeldon via timeout.com
Polyphonia was Christopher Wheeldon’s first ballet that he choreographed after retiring from a successful dance career with New York City Ballet to become the company’s first-ever Artist in Residence. Keeping in line with our theme of “firsts” for First Ventures, Polyphonia was also Wheeldon’s first breakthrough work, propelling him into the choreographic spotlight. Wheeldon has now choreographed countless ballets for companies across the country and around the world, including The Royal Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Hamburg Ballet, New York City Ballet and several others. He also co-founded the New York-based dance company Morphoses with our very own Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez in 2007. Currently he is the Artistic Associate at The Royal Ballet. Critics have deemed Wheeldon as one of the principle, 21st century choreographers actively defining the future of ballet — and we CAN’T WAIT to see what that looks like!
While only time will tell what the future of ballet looks like, we are so fortunate to have Wheeldon here for two days to work with our dancers and witness this progression take place. Capturing it all on Instagram is Rebecca King!
We asked Rebecca to share her excitement about having Wheeldon in our studios to work on Polyphonia and here is what she had to say:
Having Christopher Wheeldon in studio with us this week is an absolute honor. We began rehearsing ‘Polyphonia’ in August and have been working on it regularly since. Now that we are so familiar with the steps and the music, it will be an amazing and special experience to have the ballet’s creator come in to coach us. We will be able to hear about the intentions of the steps and the purpose of the work as a whole, which will bring a very special perspective to Miami City Ballet’s interpretation of ‘Polyphonia.’ We can’t wait to see what is in store for us! Stay tuned for sneak peaks into the rehearsal process.