LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

A Real Dance Mom Tells All!

Principal dancers Patricia and Jeanette Delgado are two of Miami City Ballet’s brightest stars. Born and raised in Miami, these sisters flourished as aspiring dancers at Miami City Ballet School and quickly climbed the ranks of the company. Now, the road to becoming principal dancers is certainly not easy, requiring sacrifice, patience, perseverance and a lot of hard work. So, who was behind this dancing duo to encourage and support them through it all? Their family!

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked Patricia and Jeanette’s mother Millie Figueredo what it was like raising two sibling ballerinas. Check out her responses in our Q & A below!

Mothers Day

The Delgado Family! Patricia, Zeke, Millie and Jeanette backstage during The Nutcracker.

How did Jeanette and Patricia get started with ballet? 

Patricia was around three or four years old when after watching a classic ballet on the public TV channel, she said she wanted to do that.  I told her she had to be older to take lessons. When she was five years old, while visiting my mother, she saw some old pictures of me in my ballet class and she told my mom that she wanted to take lessons too.  My mother went ahead and found a ballet studio near our home and told me I should enroll Patricia.  I really wanted her to be older, but I was outnumbered!  Of course, when Jeanette saw what her sister was doing, she wanted to do it too!

ballerina

Patricia and Jeanette as baby ballerinas!

When did you realize that they were really talented? 

I always saw the girls enjoying themselves while dancing!  In their adolescence, they both became very focused and passionate as well as hard workers.  I did notice they loved to perform and their hearts were completely open and free when on stage.  I guess, I had to start believing their teachers and others when they praised their talent and dedication.

Balanchine

Patricia Delgado in ‘Western Symphony.’ Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Kyle Froman.

Ballet can create a competitive environment as young dancers strive for leading roles, teacher’s attention, etc. Did you ever worry about the sisters getting jealous of each other? How did you prevent them from avoiding these pitfalls?

Zeke and I made a conscious effort to treat them [Patricia and Jeanette] fairly and we encouraged them to help each other.  We praised their individuality — never comparing, but rather encouraging them to develop their unique strengths and recognize their weaknesses as opportunity for growth.  Even though they shared similar interests, they also had different ones.  For example, Patricia enjoyed taking piano lessons and playing sports, while Jeanette liked taking acting and singing lessons.

Ballet takes so much discipline, sacrifice and hard work, how did you encourage the girls to continue pursuing ballet through the rough times?

I must admit that we actually maintained a more neutral position during these times because we never thought they would become professional dancers.  We recognized the tough road ahead, and thus, the decision to pursue ballet training had to be completely their own.  Although, we obviously supported their passion and encouraged them to follow their dreams, we never underestimated the difficulty of pursuing this career.

Liam Scarlett

Jeanette Delgado in Liam Scarlett’s ‘Viscera.’ Photo by Kyle Froman.

What was the best memory you have about each of your daughters regarding their ballet careers? Was there a special performance, moment or memory you have that stands out? 

There are many wonderful memories — the first time I saw them perform with a professional company, the first time I saw them perform a leading role, or the first time they received flowers onstage. But, the best was the first time I was no longer nervous to watch them perform and I could really enjoy it!

Mother's Day

Millie with Patricia.

Mom

Millie with Jeanette.

 This Sunday, create Mother’s Day memories with the gift of dance! Check out the ballets onstage next season!

Summertime on Instagram

With their summer downtime, our dancers have split from Miami and spread out all over the world! The latest dancer update comes from Joinville, Brazil, where corps de ballet dancer Jovani Furlan takes over our Instagram feed this week. Follow Jovani at #JovaniMCBphotos for a snapshot of his life back in Brazil! 

Dancer

Jovani Furlan

When I’m in Brazil, I’ll be taking class at my old ballet school, The Bolshoi Theater School in Brazil – the only affiliate of the Bolshoi Theater of Moscow. I’m also doing some physical therapy,  working out, spending a lot of time with the family, and enjoying the beaches around my state! - Jovani

Balanchine

Jovani Furlan in Balanchine’s ‘Episodes.’

Read more posts from Jovani here!

Excited about next season? Check out the ballets that we will be working on this summer, when our dancers return to the studio on June 9th!

YOUR Top Moments!

Now that we have heard from both our fans and dancers about their favorite moments from the 2013-2014 Season, we can truly say that this has been one exceptional year of ballet! While our dancers bring this art form to life, audience members and fans like you make the hard work and dedication worthwhile — enhancing the purpose of our craft. Creating a meaningful connection between our dancers and audience is really what ballet is all about. We hope you have enjoyed the journey through our 2013-2014 Season as much as we have and can’t wait to do it all again with a range of exciting works next season!

Now, here are some of YOUR favorite moments from the season! Thanks so much for sharing these memories with us!

Rene G Cruz:
1. The return of Mary Carmen Catoya as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and her Cavalier Renato…a magical moment in Broward.
2. Suzanne Limbrunner’s interpretation of ‘Coffee’…priceless.
3. Program III…outstanding….West Side Story and Sarah Esty’s voice, among others.
4. Don Quixote…superb…loved Emily Bromberg and Catoya in the Dream Scene.
5. Last but not least….Serenade.
It was a wonderful season, congratulations to all the staff, dancers and support personnel…BRAVO.

Serenade

MCB dancers in Balanchine’s ‘Serenade’ (Program I: First Ventures).

Joanna Benech:
West Side Story and Don Quixote were my favorites but the entire season rocked! I enjoyed them all. Looking forward to next season. Last time the company performed Romeo and Juliet I lost my tickets and could not make it. I cried for hours…

Candice:
My daughter is an aspiring ballerina. I took her to see The Nutcracker this Christmas. It was her first time going to the ballet to see a performance. She was mesmerized the entire time. It was one of the most amazing experiences both of us had ever had. We cannot wait to see Romeo and Juliet this year. You all are amazing! Thank you so much for a life changing moment for my daughter.

The Nutcracker

Ashley Knox in ‘Snow’ from ‘George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.’

Mira Treatman:
My favorite moment was when my favorite young dancer, Nathalia Arja, got promoted because I had been following her career and really enjoying her youthful spirit in performance!

Jessica:
Don Quixote was great! I love it.

Heidi Rich:
Jardí Tancat and Polyphonia were splendid! I hope they stay in the rep. West Side Story was such a treat! Totally loved Ballo della Regina, which was the icing on the cake! I loved every minute of every program!

Sean Chambers:
There were so many [ballets] I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to just one!

Fiona Scott:
Absolutely loved West Side Story, as I have never seen a ballet before where the dancers sang. Jeanette Delgado was spectacular!

West Side Story

Jeanette Delgado and Reyneris Reyes in Jerome Robbins’ ‘West Side Story Suite’ (Program III: Triple Threat).

Nicole Hatch:
I attended a performance of Don Quixote in Miami and was thrilled to see Mary Carmen Catoya performing once again. The performance was stunning on all levels. The stage setting, scenery and costumes were beautiful. The artistry and technical ability of the dancers was impeccable. I feel so fortunate to have such a strong ballet company as my own local company. 

Susan Mark:
I especially enjoyed Ballo della Regina with the lovely ballerina, Nathalia Arja. I originally saw Merrill Ashley dance it with the New York City Ballet.

Joelle Parra:
My top moment was getting to see the Miami City Ballet perform Don Quixote. It was my first time EVER seeing MCB live — and it was even more mesmerizing than I had imagined. Thanks for a magical night of art in motion.

Don Quixote

Jennifer Kronenberg and Reyneris Reyes in ‘Don Quixote’.

Dancer Appearances this Summer!

For most of us, summertime means relaxing vacations, spending time with friends and family, or simply slowing down to relish in the lazy summer heat. For our dancers, summertime means something quite different! While many take advantage of a quick trip for travel or sentimental homecoming, most of them ramp up for a series of guest appearances with other dance companies and teaching gigs at dance studios nationwide. Here is a look at where some of our dancers are performing and teaching this summer!

Thursday, May 1 from 6:15pm-8:15pm:
Rebecca King will be teaching a master class at The Dancers Studio in Stuart, FL. She will also be teaching students sections for George Balanchine’s beloved classic, Serenade. For more information, call 722.692.7125 or visit their Facebook page! We asked Rebecca why she enjoys teaching during her summer months off, and here is what she had to say:

As professional dancers we spend most of our time in the studio.  But, it’s not every day that we get to stand in the front of the studio, essentially switching roles. It may seem that students get the most from their teachers, but in my case, I always find that I learn so much from these young pupils. Watching their thought process and work ethic is not only inspiring to me, but educational as well.  Seeing them take a correction and apply it to their dancing and witnessing a change, is extraordinarily rewarding. I am so looking forward to this collaborative learning experience.  


Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4:
Reyneris Reyes
and Tricia Albertson will be performing Cinderella in Fredrick, MD with the Maryland Regional Ballet. For more information click here.

Christopher Wheeldon

Tricia Albertson and Reyneris Reyes in ‘Polyphonia.’


Monday, May 5:
Patricia Delgado
will be performing at the 4th Annual Dance Against Cancer Benefit in New York City. She is dancing Justin Peck’s Sea Change — a ballet to a touching piano piece by Shubert that he choreographed on Patricia and three dancers from New York City Ballet last summer in Nantucket. Read more about the benefit here.

Patricia has also been guest teaching at the Manhattan Youth Ballet in New York City. Here’s what she had to say about her teaching experience, “Had my first classes this week and had the best time! I love getting to work with young and energetic driven kids who are so enthusiastic and eager for information. It’s so inspiring!”

Dance teacher

Patricia teaching at MCB School’s 2012 Summer Intensive.

Monday, May 5 – Sunday, June 1:
Shimon Ito and Emily Bromberg will make guest appearances together in a series of performances, including Festival Ballet Providence’s production of Peter Pan (May 16-18), a performance of Liam Scarlett’s Viscera with Route 11 Dance Festival in Virginia (May 5-10), and Act III of Sleeping Beauty in New York City with Asaka Ito Ballet School — Shimon’s mother’s dance studio (June 1)! And the best part, Emily’s four-legged friend ‘Puck’ will be joining them for the entire adventure!

Ballet jump

‘Puck’ is used to hanging out with dancers. Here he is with dancer Jovani Furlan from our photo shoot with photographer Jordan Matter.

Friday, May 16 – Sunday, May 18:
Ariel Rose will be returning to his home studio Ballet Academy East for a guest performance with their studio company in Balanchine’s La Source. For more information click here.

Friday, June 6 – Sunday, June 8:
Michael Breeden will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Pennsylvania Ballet at the Kennedy Center. Michael is particularly excited for this performance, as he will be back onstage with several Miami City Ballet and School of American Ballet alum who he hasn’t danced with in years! For more information click here.

Monday, July 14 – Friday, July 18:
Tricia Albertson will be teaching at the Toledo Ballet in Toledo, OH, followed by Renato Penteado, who will also be teaching there from Monday, July 28 – Friday, August 1.

As you see, our dancers are very busy over the next couple of months. We can’t wait until they return to our studios on June 9th to start learning Justin Peck’s new work, which will debut next season! Learn more about the new season here.

 

 

 

 

 

We want to hear from YOU!

Our dancers told us their top moments for the 2013-2014 Season and now we want to hear from YOU!  Share your top moments by filling out the form below, to be entered to win two tickets to Opening Night of Romeo and Juliet next season!

We want to hear about what ballets were your favorites and why! Once we receive your entry, we will post it on the Miami City Ballet Blog and share on Twitter and Facebook, for all of our fans to see. Your submission must be received by Friday, May 2nd to be entered into the Romeo and Juliet ticket sweepstakes, and the winner will be announced on Monday, May 5th.

Romeo and Juliet

Principal dancers Patricia Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro in ‘Romeo and Juliet.’

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Dancers’ Top Moments of 2013-2014!

You have now heard from dancers Ariel Rose and Nathalia Arja about their favorite moments of the 2013-2014 Season, so to wrap up our series is principal dancer Tricia Albertson!

Dancer

Tricia Albertson

At this point in my career as a dancer, I look to be pushed outside of my comfort zone to discover as much as possible about myself and my art. This season, I was given many chances to do just that! Here are some of the highlights for me.

Jardí Tancat‘ was a highlight because it was a completely different style of dance from anything I’ve ever performed. It was barefoot, weighty and grounded, yet embraced an emotional abandon unlike anything I had ever experienced. Beyond that, there was something so raw about this piece — something that made me feel an intense bond and connection with the people with whom I danced.

Nacho Duato

Tricia Albertson and Renan Cerdeiro in Nacho Duato’s ‘Jardi Tancat’

Working with Justin Peck on ‘Chutes and Ladders’ was another highlight of my season. There is something so wonderful about working with the actual choreographer of a piece, especially one who has such a specific vision. Beyond the steps, Justin works with visuals for us to try to create with our bodies, which makes me think outside of what my body is doing. I found myself pushing my body in ways I didn’t know I could and thinking about movement as creating an illusion, a vision, not just a technical expression.

Justin Peck

Tricia Albertson and Renato Penteado in Justin Peck’s ‘Chutes and Ladders.’

When I heard we were doing ‘West Side Story Suite my first thought was, “How can I get myself into that ballet?!” ‘West Side Story’ is my favorite musical of all time. Mostly, I loved watching the men of MCB transform into Sharks and Jets and break out their tough sides. I love to be a part of productions that make people transform. I love to be in rehearsal and see that transformation happen gradually. I suspected that ‘West Side Story Suite’ would be one of those works that would really bring the company together, and it did — it was a true team effort.

Jerome Robbins

Miami City Ballet dancers in Jerome Robbins’ ‘West Side Story Suite.”

Polyphonia‘ was my greatest personal challenge and a major highlight of my season. That role was nothing like anything I had ever confronted before. It forced me to grow up a little, to get over certain insecurities and to embrace a part of me that until then I thought I should try to hide.

Christopher Wheeldon

Tricia Albertson and Reyneris Reyes in Christopher Wheeldon’s ‘Polyphonia.’

But really, the highlight of my season and every season for that matter was sharing the stage with so many wonderful artists. As I get older I cherish these bonds more and more. – Tricia

We hope enjoyed hearing from our dancers about their favorite moments of the season! Lookout for a chance to share your top moments of the 2013-2014 Season coming soon…

Find out the ballets we are bringing to the stage next season by clicking here!

Dancers’ Top Moments of 2013-2014!

Our final performance of Don Quixote last weekend was the perfect closing to another fantastic season of dance. Now that you have heard dancer Ariel Rose’s top moments of the 2013-2014 Season, we continue to reflect on this momentous year with our next post from recently promoted Soloist Nathalia Arja.

Dancer

Nathalia Arja

This season was extremely challenging for me. Not only was I given many difficult parts, but to also learn, rehearse and maintain them all at the same time throughout the season proved to be a marathon of stamina. There were many times that I felt as if my body had no more to give. It was in these moments that it was often difficult to muster up the strength from inside to run another ballet or do a second performance in a day.

Ratmansky

Nathalia Arja in Alexei Ratmansky’s ‘Symphonic Dances’

Looking back at this season, I feel like I have grown and matured through the challenges I have had to face. I feel very privileged to have worked on all these ballets and with the repetiteurs who staged them. Despite each ballet being very unique, I loved dancing every one of them.

Balanchine

Nathalia Arja and Renan Cerdeiro in Balanchine’s ‘Ballo della Regina’

I am really looking forward to next season. Despite being promoted to soloist this year, nothing for me will change. The process and journey of learning, exploring and becoming a better dancer and a more developed artist never ends and although this season may have been a large step for me, at the end of the day it is still just another stepping stone on the career path of a ballet dancer. - Nathalia

Join Nathalia and the rest of our dancers on next season’s journey ! More information on the ballets being performed here!

Dancers’ Top Moments of 2013-2014!

With the opening of Don Quixote at the Arsht Center tomorrow, comes the closing of another season of extraordinary dance. Each ballet has created a unique experience on our journey to learn more about this rich, multifaceted art form. From the grounded, lyrical movements of Jardí Tancat to the geometric, sharp choreography of Polyphonia; from the alluring dance in the moonlight of Balanchine’s Serenade, to his atonal, yet unexpectedly harmonious Episodes; and from the ‘West Side Story’ we fell in love with years ago, to a story we are still discovering with Symphonic Dances — this season has pushed the boundaries of our audiences and dancers, alike.

As the season quickly comes to a close, dancers Ariel RoseTricia Albertson and Nathalia Arja will share their favorite moments of 2013-2014 and what this year has meant to them. First up, is this week’s Instagram guest and corps de ballet dancer Ariel Rose.

Dancer

Ariel Rose

This season has been quite a memorable one  for me. It was certainly a year in which many things came together both on and off the stage. I believe that this season has been one of tremendous growth, and despite it being my first year in Miami, it feels like more than a year’s work has been accomplished. Joining a new company is always difficult. If one is a little insecure and slightly extra anxious like I am, it can be even more difficult to make a first impression that reflects one’s true identity. There is always a slight need to prove yourself, despite past professional experience. 

To be honest, starting with ‘Polyphonia’ was a bit of a heart attack. Not only is it not a ‘corps de ballet’ work, but it is a very complex piece by none other than Christopher Wheeldon — one of the most well known choreographers in the world, who actually ended up coming in person to oversee a rehearsal or two right before Program I: First Ventures opened! I believe that this experience pushed the dancers (especially the younger, less experienced ones like myself) to grow and mature in terms of our confidence, style and artistry.

Christopher Wheeldon

MCB dancers in ‘Polyphonia.’

I believe another highlight of this season was Nacho Duato’s ‘Jardí Tancat’.  Despite this piece’s earthly and grounded beauty in its presentation, the process of learning and embodying that manner of dancing was another experience that put us dancers in a somewhat uncomfortable place. There were often struggles in terms of strength, stamina, coordination and achieving the right style and ‘look,’ not to mention all the while maintaining our more classical repertoire. I think our struggles as a ‘clan’ of sorts during this process united us more intimately, which in turn gave everyone the support they needed to get through it successfully. Perhaps the irony of this effect was that it bled onto the stage in our portrayal of farmers in the fields of Catalonia, struggling wearily together under the scorching sun, yet never once giving up because of this supportive network we created between one another.

Jardi Tancat

Ariel Rose and Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg in Jardi Tancat

Program III: Triple Threat was incredibly rich in history. Balanchine’s Episodes is a landmark of sorts. It is a work that perhaps although misshapen, archaic and somewhat absent of lyrical sense, makes one pay even more attention to detail and visual imagery. I believe that this program, along with the company’a premiere of West Side Story Suite took us through ballets that our artistic staff and the répétiteurs had very close ties with. I felt that the repertoire on this particular program was very explicitly passed down to us dancers and that despite our achievement in performing these works, we were all mentally enlightened as well.

West Side Story

MCB dancers in West Side Story Suite

Now at the end of the season, Don Quixote feels more celebratory than anything else. Despite people’s varying opinions on the classic ballet itself, it is a somewhat fitting close to this season as we all stand on stage together during the act three wedding pas de deux, watching Basilio and Kitri accomplish the dynamic and difficult choreography. It is moments like these, standing and admiring onstage, that I feel connected. I feel part of something larger than myself. I don’t feel like it’s about my individual ballet career. I feel that we are accomplishing something together. As our director and leader Lourdes Lopez has expressed many times throughout this season, these programs have truly culminated in a journey, not just allegorically but in reality as well. A lot has been accomplished this year —  not just terms of great performances, but also in personal growth and development. I believe what is even more exciting for the audience than seeing great performances is seeing the artists themselves evolve and develop from one season or program to the next. From a personal standpoint, I could not feel more privileged or honored to have been invited to become part of this organization and contribute my small part to the journey it has embarked on. All I can say is “to be continued”. 

Watch Ariel and the rest of our amazing dancers onstage during Don Quixote this weekend at the Arsht Center. More info and tickets here!

Like Ariel and Lourdes Lopez said, each season is a journey. By joining Miami City Ballet for each distinct program, a new artistic experience is created, enriching lives in unique ways. Check out what we have planned for 2014-2015 journey here!

 

Season Finale on Instagram!

This weekend’s  performance of Don Quixote at the Arsht Center marks the closing of another extraordinary season of dance. With its irresistible Minkus score, lavish costumes and sets, and host of colorful characters, Don Quixote is the perfect season finale. Corps de ballet dancer Ariel Rose will make sure that you catch of the excitement behind-the-scenes as our final Instagram guest of the 2013-2014 Season. Follow him at #ArielMCBphotos!

Ariel shares his enthusiasm for this all-time popular work below!

Ariel Rose

Ariel Rose

Don Quixote was one of the very first ballets I ever saw performed. As a young boy I saw Jose Manuel [Carreño] perform Basilio with the American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. I remember being so enthralled by Espada and his army of toreadors. They were all so suave, powerful and masculine with a Latin flair. I wanted so badly to feel the sense of power and honor from dancing like that. Years later, not only have I been given the opportunity to dance the same ballet, but I am also now wearing the exact same costumes (from American Ballet Theatre) that I saw onstage as a kid. Talk about living and becoming one’s own dream! I now can only wonder if perhaps (as life is very cyclical), that maybe there’s a young boy out there in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach or Miami who is looking up at us men onstage and wanting to be and emulate us!  -Ariel

Ariel's costume.

Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg and Jared Matthews — famous dancers with American Ballet Theatre — wore the same costumes worn by Ariel in our production of Don Quixote.

Don Quixote

Ariel rehearsing for his Toreador role.

Don’t miss your final chance to see us this season! Get your tickets to Don Quixote here.

 

A Ballet Homecoming

Gerard Ebitz joined Miami City Ballet as an original member of the Company in 1986. Twenty seven years later, he has returned to the MCB family as a teacher at MCB School. We asked Gerard about his ballet homecoming and what exciting endeavors he is partaking in at MCB School.

Gerry teaching MCB School students choreography for his new work.

Gerard working with MCB School students.

MCB: When did you first join Miami City Ballet and how long did you dance here? 

Gerard: I was a founding member of Miami City Ballet and I performed with the company for the first two years.

MCB: Is there a favorite performance memory you have from MCB?

Gerard: I have several fond memories from those years. Not only did I get to revisit roles that I had danced with the Zurich Opera Ballet, such a the leads in Allegro Brilliant and Valse Fantasie, but I was also given the opportunity to dance other wonderful Balanchine Ballets that included the principal roles in the Donizetti Variations and Square Dance. Perhaps, one of the most rewarding moments for me with Miami City Ballet was to portray the role of the Father in Prodigal Son with Yanis Pikeris as the son and Kay Preston as the Siren. Having spent eight years in New York City Ballet, I had always admired the powerful simplicity that Shaun O’Brien brought to the role of the Father and it was a great challenge to try and capture his interpretation. Having seen the ballet from the early 70’s, I believe, Yanis was one of the greatest Sons to have ever have danced this role.  

Gerard in Prodigal Son, Miami City Ballet, 1986

Gerard in Prodigal Son, Miami City Ballet, 1986

MCB: After MCB, where else did you dance? How many years were you away from MCB before returning? 

Gerard: After leaving Miami City Ballet, I worked with Ballet Randolph, a local modern dance company, under the direction of Randolph Parrott. Not only was I given the opportunity to work with an amazing group of talented dancers, Randy also gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore my own ideas in choreography. Due to his illness, I eventually became the director of Ballet Randolph in addition to teaching and choreographing at the New World School of the Arts. So twenty–five years after leaving Miami City Ballet, I have crossed the bay and returned!

MCB: How does it feel to be back at Miami City Ballet?

Gerard: It is an honor to be working for Lourdes Lopez and Darleen Callaghan, two women who I greatly admire, and no doubt will take this company and this school to the next level. When I left MCB, we were working in a two studio store front on Lincoln Road and now, thanks to the blood, sweat and tears of numerous, dancers, administrators, and patrons over all these many years, this company and school are primed to take the dance world by storm. To train the next generation of dancers here at Miami City Ballet and at the New World School of the Arts, is both incredibly rewarding and bittersweet. To observe the progress of a dancer, is by far more interesting than watching a young dancer who is complacent with solid technique. If a dancer is open to correction and willing to leave their comfort zone, then you know good things will happen. I also know that it is so much harder for them to find employment than it was for my generation. The competition is so much greater and the jobs are less abundant.

Gerard teaching MCB School students choreography for his new ballet.

Gerard teaching MCB School students choreography for his new ballet.

MCB: Right now you are creating an original work on MCB School students. What is the piece about? How have the students inspired you? 

Gerard: The piece is called Sunshine State, with music by John Adams and costume design by Haydee Morales. I am a huge fan of the music of John Adams. His music always seems to take me somewhere. Since we live in Florida, I gave each section of the piece, a working title of a road or artery in South Florida. The piece is abstract but with human elements. The sections are called: Bayshore, Tamiami, Ocean, Flagler, and I-95. The students have been truly wonderful in this process, with varied schedules, of performances, auditions and academics. Most have come to each rehearsal, clearly processing work from a previous rehearsal and willing to teach their alternates information that was missed. Tools that will serve them well in their professional life. I always want the dancers to be part of the creative process. I enjoy when different casts bring something different to the same role. This was hard for some of them who wanted to be told exactly what to do. Others jumped at the opportunity to problem solve and take chances, these will be the ones who will be our next generation of choreographers.

MCB: Where and when will the students be performing your work? 

Gerard: We will be presenting a preview/excerpt at the Gusman Theater on April 3rd as guests of the National High School Dance Festival. The full work will have two performances on the Pre-Professional Division Concert here at Miami City Ballet on May 2 and 3rd.