Miami City Ballet’s Open Barre dance series returns to its intimate studio theater in South Beach on March 13 and 14 with a rarely-seen glimpse into the lifetime of training, discipline and artistry practiced by aspiring professional ballet dancers.
Open Barre: Practice Makes Perfect; The Evolution of a Dancer will feature performances from the MCB School Ensemble, including excerpts from Harald Lander’s Études, a one-act ballet that begins with traditional ballet exercises at the barre and ends with spectacular displays by advanced students,and will close with George Balanchine’s colorful and exuberant Western Symphony.
Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez’s vision for Miami City Ballet was apparent in the tasteful programming of Saturday’s performance at the Kravis Center, with the de rigueur Balanchine work leading off the evening followed by two company premieres.
Lopez who has been “shopping” for new works that would flatter and challenge the company, has been successful. For Program III: Passion and Grace, she brought a rarely seen contemporary work by avant-garde choreographer Tywla Tharp and a sleek contemporary take on the tale of Carmen by British choreographer Richard Alston. Like Balanchine, both of these dance-makers are known for their extremely musical choreography.
The program, ruled by the Delgado sisters, Patricia and Jeanette, with a welcomed sprinkling of new faces doing lead roles, was appealing, well-balanced and well-danced. The company looked strong and confident. The Opus One Orchestra played with gusto and aplomb and the production values were polished and refined.
Miami City Ballet’s next generation of dancers will be featured in the company’s Open Barre studio performance series, with the troupe’s new MCB School Ensemble performing.
The show, entitled Practice Makes Perfect: The Evolution of a Dancer, will feature the ensemble performing George Balanchine’s exuberant cowboy and dancehall girl romp Western Symphony, as well as excerpts from Harald Lander’s Études, which evokes the life of a young dancer from exercises to accomplished solos. The evening also includes a talk with MCB School director Darleen Callaghan and faculty member Maria Torija. MCB principal dancer Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg will sign copies of her book So, You Want to be a Ballet Dancer?
Love. Betrayal. A feisty Spanish gypsy woman with a terrible fate. Though perhaps best known as an opera, Carmen CONTINUES to captivate audiences. Now, Miami City Ballet is tackling choreographer Richard Alston’s version of the tale. Before the last leg of performances Mar. 20-22, Pointe spoke with MCB principal Jeanette Delgado about INTERPRETING the title role in the American premiere of Alston’s flamenco-flavored ballet.
Réputé pour ses danseurs surentraînés, rompus aux chorégraphies de George Balanchine, le Miami City Ballet (MCB) revient en force à Ottawa dans un triple programme après plus d’une décennie d’absence.
«Encourager le changement», c’est la raison que Cathy Levy, productrice en danse du CNA nous avait donnée pour justifier ce retour en scène canadienne, dès demain soir et jusqu’à samedi.
L’histoire de sa nouvelle directrice Lourdes Lopez, à la barre du MCB depuis 2012, c’est avant tout celle d’une réussite à part entière dans le monde de la danse. Née à LaHavane, elle n’a pas deux ans quand la révolution cubaine éclate. «Nous sommes arrivés à Miami avec mes proches en tant qu’immigrants, sans argent, rappelle-t-elle. Les États-Unis nous ont permis de repartir de l’avant et de progresser.»
Miami City Ballet proudly presents the American premiere of Richard Alston’s critically-acclaimed Carmen, a flamenco-fueled, modernist take on the classic tale of passion and betrayal. Plus, the company premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Sweet Fields, and George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante. The venue to enjoy this performance will be our Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, season home of Miami City Ballet.
The 18th-century hymns and egalitarian beliefs of the Shakers were Twyla Tharp’s inspiration for Sweet Fields – a joyous, ethereal celebration of innocence and simplicity.
George Balanchine’s dazzling Allegro Brillante is a testament to the beauty, strength and grace of the human spirit, set to a vigorous Tchaikovsky score. As Balanchine once said, “It contains everything I know about classical ballet in thirteen minutes.”
Alston/Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite adapted from Bizet, will be widely acclaimed for its brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere and orchestration. Miami City Ballet, one of America’s Most-Beloved Dance Companies, will reward ballet enthusiasts in the Greater West Palm Beach with a new production of the story of seductive, defiant Carmen in a show of neo-classical dancing with traditional costumes.
When Balanchine stated that two dancers on stage make a story, he opened up new possibilities in storytelling and in ballet choreography. In Vancouver, Miami City Ballet presents three of Balanchine’s most succesful stories spanning over forty years — Ballo della Regina (1978), Symphony in Three Movements (1972) and Serenade (1934).
The evening opened with Ballo della Regina, created as a virtuoso ballet for then-principal dancer of New York City Ballet, Merrill Ashley. The pomp of Verdi’s score and the choreography set high expectations, that were met with a few challenges in this performance.
A Miami City Ballet production. Presented by Ballet B.C. At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday, February 20. Continues February 21
When the curtain rose on George Balanchine’s masterwork,Serenade, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre emitted a collective “Ahhhhhh” and broke into applause before the piece even began.
In front of the enraptured audience, set against a dusty blue screen, were five diagonal rows of white-tutu’d, bunned ballerinas, frozen in position. This was the almost mathematical precision and feminine perfection the crowd had come for, presented with crispness and polish by the Miami City Ballet.
Miami City Ballet stole the heart of the audience tonight. The evening, entitled Balanchine, offered three ballets choreographed by the legendary George Balanchine. Ballo della Regina with music by Verdi from the opera Don Carlos; Symphony in Three Movements with music by Stravinsky from Symphony in Three Movements and Serenade with music by Tchaikovsky from Serenade in C Major for String Orchestra.
In her pre-show chat last night, Lourdes Lopez, Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet, noted that George Balanchine created more than 400 works of original choreography during his 55-year career. About 80-100 of those works remain in the active repertoires of ballet companies around the world. Those companies include the one Balanchine founded, the New York City Ballet, but also organizations like MCB, which was started by an NYCB alum in 1986, and has been led since 2012 by Lopez, herself a former principal dancer at NYCB and a director of the Balanchine Trust. MCB is in town this weekend at the invitation of Ballet BC, presenting an all-Balanchine program; it is a rare opportunity for Vancouverites to catch a glimpse of dances created by a choreographer some consider the greatest of the twentieth century, if not of all time.
It must be a bit hard being the new kid in town, but Vancouver gave Miami City Ballet a warm welcome on the opening night of Balanchine.The evening, presented by Ballet BC, was an opportunity to not just witness renowned international talent, but also for audiences to experience the awe-inspiring choreography by the Russian-born “father of American ballet” himself, George Balanchine. Though Balanchine passed away in 1983, his work has continued to be produced in his legacy.
What is most exciting about Miami City Ballet’s package of Balanchine is that audiences have an opportunity here to see some exquisite and, in some cases, exclusive performances. The opening act of the evening, “Ballo della Regina”, is owned by Merrill Ashley, the ballerina that Balanchine choreographed this for personally. Luckily for Miami City and their audiences, Ashley has granted exclusive rights to this piece for them.