LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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!

Dancer PROMOTIONS!

We are proud to announce that two dancers will be promoted next season. We send a huge congratulations to Nathalia Arja and Leanna Rinaldi!

Originally from Rio de Janeiro and a graduate of MCB School, Nathalia joined MCB as an apprentice in 2009 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2011. Three years later, and after performing lead roles in Ballo della Regina, Polyphonia, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, and even the coveted Sugar Plum Fairy, among others, she will kick off the 2014-2015 Season as a Soloist! We asked Nathalia how she reacted to the exciting news. Read on to find out!

Nathalia Arja in Balanchine's 'Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux.'

Nathalia Arja in Balanchine’s ‘Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux.’

When I first found out I got promoted I was literally in shock. When our Company Manager told me that Lourdes [Lopez] wanted to talk to me, I would never guess it would be about a promotion. So right after Lourdes told me the news, my first thought was, ’are you sure?’ Then, my second thought was, ‘oh my God, where is my mom?’ There were just so many crazy feelings in less than five seconds! It was indescribable and I remember leaving the room sobbing, then started running around looking for my friends because I couldn’t keep the news to myself. I had to tell them right away. It was definitely one the the best days of my life for sure. I’m just so thankful. Since I heard the news, I have kept repeating to myself, ‘Oh my God, I got promoted!” I still cannot believe it.

-Natalia

 

Leanna is a Texas native who joined MCB as an apprentice at the beginning of this season, after graduating from MCB School. In just her first year with the company, she has had several opportunities to shine onstage, particularly when she was selected to perform Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat — a demanding, contemporary work that features only six dancers onstage (read about her experience performing the work here).  After just one year as an apprentice, Leanna will begin the 2014-2015 Season as an official member of the corps de ballet. Read about her reaction to the big news below:

Repetituer Kevin Irving teaching Leanna the choreography.

Leanna rehearsing Jardi Tancat with repetiteur Kevin Irving.

When Lourdes told me that I was invited to continue on in the company as a corps de ballet member, I was ecstatic. Receiving the contract in the mail was the best part. I’ve been working for this moment my whole life. All the sacrifices and hard work led to holding a contract in my hand. I couldn’t ask for anything better than getting to do what I love for a living. I’m thrilled to officially be apart of this company.  

-Leanna

Lookout for these rising stars onstage during our season finale of Don Quixote and when our 2014-2015 Season opens in October!

 

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!

Nathalia Arja takes a stab at Instagram!

This week, we welcome corps dancer Nathalia Arja as our guest photographer on Instagram. Nathalia will take us backstage at the Broward Center this weekend for Program IV: Broadway and Ballet, featuring George Balanchine’s wildly entertaining Slaughter on Tenth Avenue and Jerome Robbins’ delightfully beautiful Dances at a Gathering. For all of the action as we wrap up our 2012-2013 Season, follow Nathalia at #NathaliaMCBPhotos.

Nathalia Arja

Fun Fact about Nathalia: She has not always been a big ballet fan…When she was a child, right before her mom picked her up to go to ballet class, she would undo her hair on purpose just to skip class! We are glad to see that she enjoys it now!

See Nathalia perform LIVE onstage at the Broward Center this weekend, April 26-27, or at the Adrienne Arsht Center, May 3-5.

For a SNEAK PEEK at Slaughter on Tenth Avenue click here!

Also, check out Baseball All-Star MIKE PIAZZA rehearsing for his cameo as the Gangster in our May 3rd performance of Slaughter on Tenth Avenue here.

Behind the Ballet: Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances (Part Two)

Alexei Ratmansky is widely seen as one of the most original and important choreographers in ballet, an artist who is moving the genre forward while remaining deeply rooted in its classical origins. When Miami City Ballet commissioned him last season to create Symphonic Dances, set to a Rachmaninoff score of the same name, it was a milestone for the company.

-The Miami Herald

Dancers Jeanette Delgado and Nathalia Arja explain Ratmansky’s process of bringing Symphonic Dances to the stage in Part Two of Behind the Ballet.

…No matter what, every morning you go to the barre and you need to serve the god, the goddess of dance. It’s a religion. It’s not about you or your ego. The beauty of ballet is the result of centuries. You think of all the amazing choreographers who contributed to it, and it now lives in us. Because all the steps we do were invented by someone, and we can feel their impulse when we do the step.

- Alexei Ratmansky, The Miami Herald

Behind the Ballet: Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances (Part One)

After its one-night-only world premiere in Miami last season, Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances returns to the stage during Program III: The Masters.  Through interviews with the acclaimed choreographer, himself, and with two leading ladies from the ballet, we are breaking down this beautiful, yet complex masterwork in the following two part mini-series.

Watch this video to find out what the dancers had to say!

During his last visit to our studios in November 2012, The Miami Herald interviewed Alexei Ratmansky. Here is what he had to say!

Q. When I first saw Symphonic Dances, I thought it had a story, but I can’t say what it was.

That’s good. There is a story but you don’t need to put it in words. The music [also] tells a story but how can you translate it? What’s great about ballet is you don’t need to put things into words. You can’t really have the words for everything in life. There is a good saying in Russian, if you express your thought clearly, it’s already alive. Meaning that not everything can be put in words. I like that. The great strength of ballet is its mystique or symbolism. This art can touch a kind of universal harmony without explaining it.

Q. There were strong characters in Symphonic Dances that surprised me.  I saw a side of [MCB dancer] Kleber Rebello I had never seen. Nathalia [Arja] had always seemed like a very sweet girl, and suddenly she was so passionate.

I wouldn’t call them characters. They create tensions. And in order to create tension you have to have some kind of motivation. Nathalia, we called her the war girl. There is a painting by Henri Rousseau, the French primitive painter, of a girl in a white short dress on a horse, called The War. She is a horrifying figure. But it’s just a little inspiration.

The structure of the piece, which is quite complex, took place after I observed [MCB company] classes. I wanted to use particular dancers. Each person had certain characteristics. Maybe in everyday life they are very different. But there is something in their physique, in the expression of their face, the line of the neck, the gestures, that tells you about their inner character. They might fight it. Maybe they don’t like it. But as Martha Graham says, the body never lies. The body tells the truth about a person. So I was trying to sense who these dancers are, and they led me to certain story developments.

Q. So what did you get from Kleber?

A person in difficult circumstances, some inner suffering that was hidden. He was — I’m not sure this is the right word — vulnerable?

Q. And Nathalia?

She’s a force. It’s not necessarily that she brings something bad. It’s an extreme situation that she brings. But it also can bring glory.

Stay tuned for more on Symphonic Dances during next week’s Behind the Ballet Part Two.

See it during Program III: The Masters at the Broward Center Mar. 1-3 and Adrienne Arsht Center Mar. 9-10!

Ratmansky Wrap-Up

“And in this century another choreographer,
Alexei Ratmansky, has arrived to revitalize ballet.”
—The New York Times

It was a rigorous but rewarding week at Miami City Ballet’s studios.  The renowned choreographer from Russia Alexei Ratmansky visited the company to prepare his work Symphonic Dances for its return to the stage in Program III: The Masters.   During his first visit to Miami last season, Ratmansky set out to create a new ballet — using the dancers as instruments that through various movements, formations, musical cues, and emotions would bring his artistic vision to life.  After a three whirlwind weeks of artistic creation, Ratmansky gave us Symphonic Dances, which enjoyed a one-night only gala premiere at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

When Ratmansky returned this past week, his mission was entirely different.   He was here to fine-tune and perfect his creation, shaping it into the masterpiece he envisioned.  ”This time, he is paying attention to the all of the smallest details,” said corps dancer Nathalia Arja who landed a leading role in the ballet.  Principal Jeanette Delgado seconded Arja saying that our dancers are being “pushed out of their comfort-zones.”  Ratmansky changed dancers’ roles, experimented with different casts, and persistently demanded more out of each unique dancer.

Principal Ballet Mistress Roma Sosenko and Ballet Mistress Joan Latham observed rehearsals and shared the following comments on their experience, “We love having Alexei back in Miami working on Symphonic Dances.  He is so committed to the work and we love watching his quality of movement.  He is so generous and giving and his coaching is as expansive as his heart.”

We are sure that our dancers’ hard work will pay off when the curtain rises on Symphonic Dances during Program III: The Masters, opening February 22 at Kravis Center, March 1 at Broward Center and March 8 at Adrienne Arsht Center.

Alexei Ratamansky’s Symphonic Dances is made possible in part by the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge.

Below are some photos of our dancers rehearsing Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances.

(c) Daniel Azoulay

Congratulations!

Congratulations to our newly promoted dancers!

Promoted to Soloist:

Jennifer Lauren (Photo by Leigh-Ann Esty)

Renan Cerdeiro (Photo by Kyle Froman)


Promoted to Corps de Ballet:

Adrienne Carter (not pictured)

Nathalia Arja

Alexandre Ferreira

Skyler Lubin

Kleber Rebello

Promoted to Company Apprentice:

Andrei Chagas

Meet the Dancers – Nathalia Arja

With my friends, and fellow dancers, soaking up the sun in Miami.