Miami City Ballet opened its 2019-20 season by headlining Ballet Across America, together with the Dance Theatre of Harlem during a weeklong festival from May 28 – June 2, celebrating women’s creativity and leadership in ballet at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
When Itzkan Barbosa was offered a contract with Miami City Ballet, she called her Mom and said ‘Guess what? It’s time for the shoe mountain’.
This reimagining was something to behold. The spectacular set and costumes were by artist Michele Oka Doner, who looked to the Miami waterways for her otherworld theme.
When Arantxa Ochoa took over as MCB School’s director of faculty and curriculum two years ago, she decided to add a second part to the summer intensive: five weeks focused on technique would be followed by a new two-week choreography session. The technique intensive is not a requirement, but students audition for both at the same time and many attend the two back-to-back.
Both the music and dancing made “Dances” an over-the-top success. Francisco Rennò turned in extraordinary renditions of Chopin’s works.
Sparkling invention will come with exclusivity when Miami City Ballet stages Brahms/Handel for the first time in South Florida. The unique collaboration between Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp, which premiered at New York City Ballet in 1984, both demarcates and merges the choreographic territories of its top-of-the-mountain creators. And from each of their sides the high view is bracing.
Last season MCB revamped the Balanchine classic. Gone was the phone-it-in first Act. The new sets and costumes by Ruben and Isabel Toledo were not only gorgeous, they multiplied the references to the Hoffmann short story, deepening the ballet.
What’s next for Miami City Ballet? I feel weird because people always ask, “What’s your vision?” I don’t have a vision. I want to continue bringing the best to our dancers, bringing the best to our community, and making them better than they were. I want to have the world see the wonderful work we do. I love it when groups outside our community invite us to come and perform. It’s important to be able to share the gift we have as artists. That’s where I hope to keep growing.