Major ballet companies are like battleships: big, heavy, built for rather antiquated displays of power, costly and difficult to keep afloat. But dance is a better use of resources than war, in my opinion — and apparently the opinion of many Chicagoans, who flocked to the Harris on Friday and Saturday to see Miami City Ballet’s two jam-packed, stage-filling programs, each crackerjack and entirely different.
Exuberant ballet dancers leap through the air, legs outstretched, defying gravity in ordinary locations across South Florida. One, wearing a filmy green dress, stands en pointe on a bridge against the foggy backdrop of cruise ships docked in Biscayne Bay. One muscular dancer leaps over a girl on a scooter, his pose frozen against the windswept palm trees along Collins Avenue. Another dancer, sporting a fisherman’s hat and a fishing rod, balances with one leg pointed toward the clear blue sky, the other foot planted on a rocky jetty in Miami Beach.