Corps dancer Lexie Overholt returns to Instagram as this week’s guest photographer. Lexie will capture the company not only preparing for the opening of Program IV: Broadway and Ballet at the Kravis Center, on April 5-7, but also starting rehearsals for George Balanchine’s Serenade, which will hit the stage during our upcoming 2013-2014 season. Also, look out for some shots of Justin Peck’s newest work CHUTES AND LADDERS, which makes its WORLD PREMIERE at the New World Symphony on April 20. Don’t miss out on the action by following Lexie #LexieMCBPhotos!
Fun Fact UPDATE: If you think back to the last blog post about Lexie, you may recall that she was in the process of establishing her own nonprofit aimed at engaging dancers as a community in several ways — number one being — to provide scholarships for young dancers. We are excited to announce that Lexie is in the final stages of 501(c)3 approval and the website will launch in the next 30 days. Stay tuned!
Come behind the scenes of our 2013-2014 season photo shoot in this fun video. See how Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, MCB dancers, creative director John Oberlander and photographer Gio Alma created our campaign images for FOUR COMPANY PREMIERES that will make their debut on our stage next year!
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Corps dancer Zoe Zien is taking her second run at photography as this week’s Instagram guest. Zoe will be capturing our final moments of Program III: The Masters during our closing run at the Adrienne Arsht Center this weekend. Although we will be bidding farewell to some truly momentous ballets, Zoe will help capture the memories to share with you on Instagram. Follow Zoe #ZoeMCBPhotos!
La Valse has a great vintage and decadent style to it. I love when a Balanchine ballet has some what of a story because it is within the movement he has created that you find your character. There is no need to over interpret.
In Symphonic Dances I am continuously discovering new things on stage and it always feels very personal. I can change my intention each time while continuing to push the extended movement of Ratmansky’s work to the limits. It’s demanding in the best way!
Both ballets create different fantastical worlds to get lost in.
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.
Corps dancer Ashley Knox will be “running the show” (in terms of our Instagram feed) for the opening of Program III: The Mastersat the Kravis Center. She will be documenting the best of ballet with works by George Balanchine and the in-demand choreographer from Russia, Alexei Ratmansky. Check out her pictures #AshleyMCBPhotos.
Fun Fact about Ashley: She LOVES taking photos and is very happy to be able to share her pictures from her perspective with our MCB followers!
Jovani shared a new fun fact (along with some pictures) for his second stint at Instagram! Fun Fact: In 2007, Jovani performed the pas de trois of the Russian version of The Nutcracker for Mikhail Baryshnikov at his ballet school in Brazil. Baryshnikov LOVED the performance !
Jovani Furlan with Mikhail Baryshnikov in 2007
Last season, Jovani was able to reunite with Baryshnikov, when he made a surprise visit to our studios during rehearsals of
Alexei Ratmansky’s Symphonic Dances.
Jovani Furlan with Mikhail Baryshnikov
Check out Jovani’s photos this week by following us on Instagram #JovaniMCBphotos. See them brought to life onstage at the Kravis Center, February 22-24, for the opening of Program III: The Masters.
When the young choreographer of London’s The Royal Ballet, Liam Scarlett, arrived at our Miami Beach studios to choreograph his first work for MCB last season, he was warmly welcomed by the smiling face of Principal Jeanette Delgado. From day one, Jeanette and Liam hit it off as great friends; which, lucky for us and our audiences, transpired into an extraordinary artistic collaboration. After watching Jeanette’s performance of Liam’s first work for MCB, Viscera, The New York Times named her “one of the world’s most marvelous ballerinas.” When we learned that Liam would be returning to MCB to create a second world premiere this year, we caught up with Jeanette to capture her excitement about once again working with the internationally acclaimed choreographer and close friend Liam Scarlett.
Jeanette Delgado and Kleber Rebello in Liam Scarlett's Euphotic
“Working with Liam on two ballets now has been en entirely different experience for the company and me. Having a ballet created on us is so essential to our artistic development and makes us feel a part of the choreographic process. Normally, learning a ballet involves working with a répétiteur or watching a video of past performances. When working with a choreographer on an original work, you have no point of reference for how the movement should appear. The choreographer has a vision, but they have never seen it on bodies. The process becomes more of a collaboration, which is very rewarding in the sense that you feel more like an artist, not just a dancer. Liam made such a wonderful impression on all the dancers in and outside of the studios. As a former dancer for The Royal Ballet, he relates to us so easily. He is a beautiful human being and his talent is immense! Euphotic is an entirely different ballet than Viscera. Most of us were already familiar with Liam’s movement and fluid port de bras so he could use the company on a greater scale and go even further with his ideas! It is so exciting to be an inspiration for new works that dance companies may be performing for years to come.”
Corps dancer Adriana Pierce is taking over our Instagram feed in the midst of a very busy week for Miami City Ballet. Right now, the dancers are battling reptiles as they make their way across Alligator Alley for the opening of our repertory season in Naples. After two days in Naples, the company will venture east to Palm Beach for the closing of Program II: Tradition and Innovation. Adriana will capture the final performances of Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic, two Balanchine favorites, and the popular Don Quixote Pas De Deux, wrapping up a sensational second program of our 27th season. #AdrianaMCBphotos
Fun Fact about Adriana: Her most prized possession is a framed, signed photo of Liza Minnelli!
Soloist Sara Esty returns from the holidays to take over our Instagram feed this week! As one of the leading ladies in Liam Scarlett’s new work Euphotic, Sara will catch Liam making his final preparations on the ballet when he returns to Miami tomorrow before his big world premiere on January 11 at the Arsht Center.