Miami City Ballet has got a brand new bag. The company made its reputation on high-quality performances of Balanchine, and it has a strong corps, one of the most cohesive in the country. But while it once stuck with proven masterworks and the infrequent commission, it’s also becoming a lab for new works.
Over the past few years, the company has commissioned distinguished ballets by Liam Scarlett, Alexei Ratmansky and now Justin Peck. Each choreographer made similar musical choices – dense symphonies or concertos by 20th century composers – and used the corps de ballet as a large intricate mass, often set off by a soloist or couple: the individual against the group.
“Heatscape,” the new work by Peck, was the centerpiece of the company’s final program of the season. It was a typical Peck ballet – densely packed musical visualization – only better. Peck chose Martinů’s first concerto for piano and orchestra: a long work of changeable moods from manic to lyric, but one that suits Peck’s innate style.