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!
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.
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 Avenuehere.
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.
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.
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.