Following Fanfare with Rebecca King

Post by Rebecca King, Corps de Ballet

The dancers of Miami City Ballet are very excited to be preparing for the 25th Anniversary season, which kicks off in just a few days.  Among the exciting elements of this opening weekend is the return of the Opus One Orchestra.  Miami City Ballet has been without an orchestra for two years now, so we are bringing them back in style.

Leading off Program I is Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare, which was created especially to “introduce you to the instruments of the orchestra,” as the narrator explains before the ballet begins.  The orchestra has four different sections: the strings, the woodwinds, the brass, and percussion.  As you can imagine, the ballet has a large cast that fills the stage with bright colored costumes as the curtain rises.  Former New York City Ballet dancer Ben Huys set this ballet on the company in April, at the end of our 2009-2010 season.  When we were learning the ballet, the premiere seem so very far away, and here we are, already in October with opening night just around the corner.  Mr. Huys returned last week to put some final touches on the ballet before we debut it for our Miami audience.

I really enjoy this ballet; not only do I find it fun to dance, but I love the choreography and the picture it creates for the audience.  In my opinion, the best part is the last section of the piece.  One may call it a finale, but because this piece is all about the orchestra, we call it “the fugue”.  In terms of music, a fugue is when two or more instruments play based on a theme.  The theme is introduced at the beginning and reoccurs throughout.  In our fugue, the instrument to introduce the theme is the piccolo.  One by one, the instruments join in, building upon that theme.  All the dancers enter the stage, at the same time as their instrument does in the pit, and dance a variation on the theme steps.  After every section has entered, the stage becomes split among the men and the women.  Now, the orchestra plays one slow melody underneath a fast, spritely melody.  The men dance to the slower melody with completely different steps from the women, who are quickly and precisely dancing to the other melody.  All the dancers again split into their different sections to create a final picture as the curtain comes in.

I am happy that MCB has again asked me to bring you a behind the curtain view of opening weekend.  I will be taking the Flip camera with me to bring you some footage as this exciting night approaches.  Stay tuned for more about Fanfare as Miami City Ballet continues to prepare for this exciting company premiere!