GIVING HIS ALL
A conversation with dancer and choreographer Ariel Rose on his new work Amorada Pas De Deux
On Give Miami Day (November 18, 2021), Miami City Ballet will premiere a cinematic 5-minute excerpt from a new work created by corps de ballet dancer and ascending choreographer Ariel Rose via MCB’s social media channels. We spoke with Ariel about his new work Amorada Pas De Deux, a romantic classical ballet set to music by Giuseppe Verdi and performed by MCB dancers Nina Fernandes and Renan Cerdeiro.
Your work is a gift to all who support the arts for Give Miami Day, one of the nation’s largest 24-hour giving events. Tell us about the inspiration behind this new work:
I wanted to create something to show that our company is finally back and finally doing ballet again. The past eighteen months have forced us to adapt, to perform outdoors on uneven surfaces, in sneakers. It’s been a time for out-of-the-box creativity and adapting choreographically.
Now that we are back home, soon to be back in our theaters doing what we are trained to do in the way it’s meant to be done. I wanted to go back to our roots in terms of classical ballet and express the joy it brings, and to say, “Miami and Miami Beach, we are back, and we are coming!”
How do you juggle between a demanding performance career and a budding choreographic one?
It’s busy but preparation is everything. I always come into the studio prepared, knowing what sections I’d like to accomplish or how far in the music I’d like to get that day. The actual dance steps always come to me in the moment but at least giving myself a framework within the music for the day keeps me focused and keeps my workflow steady.
Filming rehearsal occasionally to review at night also helps! One needs to watch one’s own work over and over out of the studio with a different eye because sometimes you miss things from the “audience perspective.” As a dancer myself, I know how precious a dancer’s energy, focus, and time are, so I try to value them whenever I am at the front of the room.
How have the arts transformed your life?
In innumerable ways. I could probably write an entire book on it! The arts are transformative, period. Kids that are born practicing their art have incredible self-discipline and dedication. It’s not about the “crazy” chasing perfection concept, but just trying to polish and sharpen oneself a little bit more every day. There’s almost a samurai-like culture about being an artist and completely dedicated to one’s craft. You don’t see it with all artists, but you can always tell which ones really keep their craft, not just close to their heart, but honor it with their work and passion for it.
I am grateful to work so hard at something that I love because I know this world has so many people who are committed to work they do not love or get an “emotional excitement” from. I truly do not know who I would be if dance and music were not such important parts of my life.
Why do you think it’s important to give to the arts?
I have been to the ballet and seen grown, stern men in the audience cry. I’ve seen depressed people leave concerts uplifted and feeling better about the week coming ahead. I’ve seen hundreds of children go to the ballet and decide they want to take dance lessons and be exposed to music and the stage. I’ve seen people relook at their lives and problems after seeing the ballet. This is what the arts are meant to do. They keep us alive; they keep us thinking, and they keep us inspired.
I believe there is nothing worse than an “uninspired people” – merely functioning, going through the motions of eating, working and sleeping. This is where religion has often played a role for many people. But the arts, music, dance, for many, is a kind of religion – one in which we can get our own euphoric highs and emotional journeys.
Unfortunately, from a business perspective, all of this is “intangible.” It’s not a profit that can be measured, counted, assessed – it’s emotional data. But these yields are so important not just for a society to be elevated and successful but for each of us to feel alive and invigorated.
What inspires you most?
Ancient Greece and Rome (laughs). But honestly, great dancers and great music. When it all comes together, it’s like having the best marble or clay available where the possibilities become endless. If I could have a permanent soundtrack to my life, I would. There is something so special about music and the way it affects living things, the places it takes our minds and the visions it brings to us. Without music, I truly think we would be lost. I know I would.
Thank You For Your Support
This Give Miami Day, we invite you to join our Transforming Lives Campaign. Your gift will bring our performances – and the stories we tell – to life in many ways. You will transform the lives of 200 children and youth enrolled in our school and the 20,000 people who experience dance – often for the first time – through our community programs.
Your support on Give Miami Day enables our dancers to safely attend rehearsals so they may continue to create the extraordinary experiences you love.
Donate on Give Miami Day, Thursday November 18.
Photo credit: Renan Cerdeiro and Nina Fernandes in rehearsals dor Amorada. Choreography by Ariel Rose. Photo (c) Alexander Iziliaev.