LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

A Creative Exchange of Music and Dance

After visiting a rehearsal at Miami City Ballet studios, New World Symphony (NWS) fellows began meeting regularly with a group of our dancers to examine the relationship between sound and movement, resulting in a creative exchange between the talented young artists. Corps de ballet dancer Michael Breeden explains how this organic relationship will materialize onstage in the very near future!

Michael Breeden

Michael Breeden

Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony have long been the two pillars of Miami’s arts world, attracting acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The dancers and musicians work in the same neighborhood, frequent each other’s performances, and have always expressed how wonderful it would be to work together. After decades as South Florida’s premier arts organizations, it is with great excitement that we prepare for our first full-evening performance together on March 18th — a creative exchange between the dancers of Miami City Ballet and the fellows of New World Symphony.

The two organizations agreed that New World Symphony’s free Inside the Music program would be an ideal outlet for featuring the creativity of the dancers and the musicians. Soon, a small group of artists from each organization were brainstorming on programming, the evening’s format, and the myriad other decisions that go into bringing an evening of music and dance to life. The musicians suggested works they wanted to play, dancers stepped up to choreograph, and we began to work feverishly at putting together a performance almost entirely in our spare time.

photo 2

Adriana Pierce and Leigh-Ann Esty work on a rehearsal schedule for the dancers and musicians.

Adriana Pierce and Leigh-Ann Esty work on a rehearsal schedule for the dancers and musicians.

Even though both the musicians and dancers are extremely busy with their individual seasons, an opportunity like this simply couldn’t be passed up. As the performance date approaches and the final touches come together, the excitement among the dancers is palpable. This is an event Miami arts lovers will not want to miss, as well as the beginning of a long and fruitful artistic relationship!

-Michael

NWS fellows sitting in on company class.

NWS fellows sitting in on company class.

Inside the Music on March 18 will feature nearly 30 of our dancers, seven of whom — Renan Cerdeiro, Leigh-Ann Esty, Sara Esty, Adriana Pierce, Ariel Rose, Eric Trope and Zoe Zien — will debut original choreography created specifically for the event! More details and information on the performance here!

Becoming a Triple Threat: SING

Not only did our dancers have to sharpen their acting skills for the premiere of West Side Story Suite, but they also had to learn SING! Yes, ballerinas singing! Watch the latest video in our Triple Threat series to find out if our dancers can actually carry a tune.

Catch Program III: Triple Threat at the Broward Center (Feb. 21-23) or Kravis Center (Feb. 28-Mar. 2).

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!

Dreams of Sugar Plums

Dreams of Sugar Plums have been dancing in the heads of ballerinas everywhere — and for many more nights than just the night be for Christmas;-) Whether it’s the moment a little girl puts on her first pair of ballet slippers, or sees the Sugar Plum Fairy work her magic onstage, a little spark ignites, fueling aspirations of one day dancing this quintessential ballerina role.  This dream is swiftly becoming a reality for Soloists Sara Esty and Jennifer Lauren, as they make their debut performances as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™.  Here, they share their excitement about performing this milestone role!

Jennifer Lauren. Photo © Gio Alma.

Jennifer Lauren. Photo © Gio Alma.

At eight years old, I performed as a polichinelle in my first Nutcracker and loved every minute of it! As I grew, I continued to perform in every Nutcracker and danced many different characters. The role of the Sugar Plum Fairy was always something I dreamed of dancing. It was the first principal ballerina role I had ever seen, and the only consistent role that came back each year. The first time I was cast to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy was with the Alabama Ballet. It was among the first principal roles I had danced. I was so in love with this role. The répétiteur for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, Darla Hoover, gave me my own special wand. I enjoyed dancing with it for six wonderful seasons. Fast forward to today, and for the first time in six years at Miami City Ballet, I am dancing the role that I have loved since I was a wide-eyed little polichinelle! The familiarity of this role brings happy memories of all the amazing Nutcrackers I have attended and performed. I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with Lourdes Lopez and Kleber Rebello as my Cavalier. Lourdes has been encouraging and insightful in our rehearsals and the wealth of knowledge she has for this role inspires me. I can’t wait to perform the Sugar Plum Fairy with Miami City Ballet and create new memories with my wand!

Jennifer Lauren as the Sugar Plum Fairy with Alabama Ballet.

Jennifer Lauren as the Sugar Plum Fairy with Alabama Ballet.

Sara Esty

Sara Esty

As I write, I am watching a few of my friends in New York City ballet do the kids show of The Nutcracker. I’m in Lincoln Center and am reminded of how magical the show can be… There are so many happy children here! I can’t believe I am getting the chance to perform Sugar Plum this year. I have danced it just once before in my career (at home when I was a senior in high school), so I am very much looking forward to giving it another go with Miami City Ballet. It is one of the many coveted Balanchine roles, and to be able to have reached this goal is an amazing feeling. She is the quintessential ballerina, and queen of the land of sweets – who wouldn’t want to be her? Hopefully I will inspire the little girls around me, as the Sugar Plum Fairies did when I was growing up!

Sara Esty rehearsing the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux with her Cavalier Jovani Furlan.

Sara Esty rehearsing the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux with her Cavalier Jovani Furlan.

Experience the MAGIC of America’s #1 Holiday Tradition with tickets to George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™!

Adrienne Arsht Center: December 19-24
Kravis Center: December 27-30
Broward Center: January 3-5

 

Broward Center Opening on INSTAGRAM!

Anyone who attended opening night at the Arsht Center last Friday can agree that the energy and excitement was at an all-time high for the opening of our 2013-2014 Season! We can’t wait to do it all again at the Broward Center for the opening of Program I: First Ventures on October 25-27. While the PAPARAZZI will be snapping shots of our glamorous audience members on the red carpet, dancer Leigh-Ann Esty will be behind-the-scenes capturing the backstage action on opening night and throughout the weekend on Instagram. Find out why she is excited for our opening program at the Broward Center and follow her  at #LeighMCBphotos!

Leigh-Ann Esty

Leigh-Ann Esty

I’m excited for this weekends performance because there will be three different casts dancing! I can’t wait to see various people explore different roles!

GET YOUR TICKETS to Program I: First Ventures at the Broward Center to begin your journey with Miami City Ballet. If you can’t make it this weekend, join us at the Kravis Center from November 15-17 for our season opening there!

Check out some of the backstage shots caught by dancer Adrienne Carter on Instagram from our opening at the Arsht Center:

Pointe she prep before Ballo della Regina.

Pointe shoe prep before Balanchine’s ‘Ballo della Regina.’

Kleber Rebello and Sara Esty in Polyphonia.

Kleber Rebello and Sara Esty in Wheeldon’s ‘Polyphonia.’

 

Backstage shot of Instagram.

Backstage shot of Balanchine’s ‘Serenade.’

Stories from Opening Night – Sara Esty

The next story up on our opening night countdown comes from soloist Sara Esty!

Sara Esty

Sara Esty

I think one of my most memorable opening nights was for Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic. It was not only a world premiere, but it was my first opening night in a principal role that I originated. Standing next to Liam for the bow was an incredible moment that i’ll never forget. He is such a good friend and I’m so proud of all he has accomplished! We both had tears in our eyes. Luckily someone captured the moment…

Sara Esty with Liam Scarlett right after performing the world premiere of Euphotic.

Sara Esty with Liam Scarlett right after performing the world premiere of Euphotic.

Join us on Opening Night, October 18, for Program I: First Ventures to create more lasting memories and begin your journey with the ballet this season! GET TICKETS NOW!

See Program I: First Ventures at any of our venues:
Adrienne Arsht Center: October 18-20
Broward Center: October 25-27
Kravis Center: November 15-17

A ‘Model’ Day!

You may have seen sisters Leigh-Ann and Sara Esty gracing the pages of various dance magazines this season. Why? Earlier this year, they became the official spokesmodels for Suffolk Pointe’s new leotard line! We caught up with Leigh-Ann to hear about their amazing experience. Here is what she had to say!

Leigh-Ann Esty

When my sister and I received an email from our PR manager about being the new Suffolk Pointe leotard models, we went absolutely nuts! To model for the company that makes our pointe shoes would be the coolest thing ever. After a few weeks of planning, we found ourselves in a stretch limo to the airport after one of our shows in West Palm Beach. Talk about movie star treatment! We flew out at about 5pm to Dallas.

Welcome to Texas!

When we arrived, Keri Suffolk (married to Marc Suffolk, creator of Suffolk pointe shoes) and her assistant Deb greeted us with excitement. We drove over to Spotlight Dance wear, Keri’s store, where we tried on a multitude of Suffolk shoes for the photo shoot.

A girl can't have enough shoes!

By this time, it was 11:00 at night! After being dropped off at our hotel, Sara and I got a quick six hours of sleep. The make-up and hair stylist knocked on our door at 6:30 am! Thankfully, Keri came with Starbucks, so we were all set!

Two hours later, and as glamorous as could be, we drove over to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum. This location was chosen due to the retro 40′s theme of the leotard line. What a cool place! There were airplanes in the museum that were actual WWII fighters, and one of only three left in the world.

Cavanaugh Flight Museum

Sara and I each had about 10 looks to model. I felt like a superstar...the team was so attentive and supportive of what we were doing. I had never modeled before, so I was a little nervous. After each picture, we got to see the preview on the computer, and fix what we didn’t like. It was a lot of work, but so much fun!

Striking a pose

The whole day of shooting took about seven hours. A highlight was meeting Marc ….he was so nice! He actually got to look at our feet and suggested different shoes for us. It was an honor to meet the brains behind it all. Without his creativity, dancing would be very difficult!

We finished the day with a nice dinner with the Suffolks before heading back to the airport. We arrived in Miami at midnight. It was a whirlwind 24 hours! The experience was a gratifying one, and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

Official ad from Suffolk Pointe's catalog

Adriana Pierce captures ‘Poetic Fusion’ on Instagram!

While most dancers are taking full advantage of their one week off before final performances of Program IV: Broadway and Ballet at the Broward Center and Adrienne Arsht Center, corps dancer Adriana Pierce is taking over our Instagram feed as this week’s guest photographer. Not only will Adriana be snapping pics, but she is also creating a new work on dancers Leigh-Ann Esty, Sara Esty and Nicole Stalker , in collaboration with poet Barbara Lisette Anderson, for the month-long  O, Miami Poetry Festival.  Check out how Adriana bridges the worlds of ballet and poetry when our MCB ladies perform Poetic Fusion on Friday, April 12, at The LAB Miami. Follow her #AdrianaMCBPhotos.

Adriana Pierce

We caught up with Adriana to learn more about her upcoming work.  Here is what she said!

My choreography is usually derived from images, and so I often find inspiration from text. Barbara Anderson’s poetry has rich descriptive narratives and conjures up a lot of thoughtful imagery for the reader or listener. I’m having a lot of fun in the studio infusing my movement quality with her writing style, and, of course, working with any of the MCB dancers is always a dream.

Check out Poetic Fusion this Friday at The LAB Miami, and don’t miss our multi-talented dancers’  final performance of the 2012-2013 Season during Program IV: Broadway and Ballet.

Broward Center: April 26-28
Adrienne Arsht Center: May 3-5

From Our Dancers to You on Opening Night!

We are thrilled for tonight’s opening of Program II: Tradition and Innovation.  We caught up with some of the dancers before the curtain so that they could share their excitement about the ballets they are performing with you!

Michael Breeden

Michael Breeden, Corps de Ballet, on George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 — “Dancing to Mozart is what I love most about Divertimento No. 15. Balanchine rarely choreographed to Mozart, but the marriage of these two geniuses in the ballet provides a wonderful experience for audience and dancer alike.”

Tricia Albertson

Tricia Albertson, Principal, on George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15“I love dancing Divertimento No. 15 because there are so many opportunities to interact with my friends and colleagues.  I have at least one special moment with each principal!”

Patricia Delgado

Patricia Delgado, Principal, on George Balanchine’s Duo Concertant — “To be able to share the stage so intimately not only with my wonderful partner Renan, but with with our incredible Pianist and Violinist is what I look forward to most tonight.  It is a dream for me to be able to dance this ballet and I can’t wait!”

Renato Penteado

Renato Penteado, Principal, on Don Quixote Pas de Deux after Marius Petipa — “What I like most about dancing this ballet is that Don Q is a very strong male character with a lot of powerful moments like jumps and turns that are very exciting.”

Mary Carmen Catoya

Mary Carmen Catoya

Mary Carmen Catoya, Principal, on Don Quixote Pas de Deux after Marius Petipa “When I dance Don Quixote I feel like I’m connected to my spanish family — I can feel it in my blood.”

Jeanette Delgado

Jeanette Delgado, Principal, on Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic — “Dancing Euphotic feels like an intimate journey. The movement Liam has created along with the mesmerizing music has taken on a life of its own. I am so excited to share this special work with the audience!”

Sara Esty

Sara Esty, Soloist, on Liam Scarlett’s Euphotic — “I cannot believe opening night is here! I thought this day would never come and I can’t wait to show the world our hard work. Being apart of this ballet means the world to me and I’ve loved watching it grow into a masterpiece. Working with Liam has been a dream come true.  I hope everyone enjoys it as much as we enjoy dancing it!! I’m so excited!”

Sara Esty is back on Instagram!

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.

© Gio Alma

Can anyone remember Sara’s fun fact?  She is a social media guru and Instagram pro! Follow her on Twitter @estygrl!

Here is a shot of Sara rehearsing with Liam Scarlett!

© Daniel Azoulay