Mary Carmen Catoya
Beloved ballerina Mary Carmen Catoya’s performance in George Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations on Sunday April 19, 2015 at 2pm at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, marked the conclusion of her distinguished sixteen-year tenure with Miami City Ballet.
Following her departure from MCB at the end of this season, Ms. Catoya will continue her career as an acclaimed ballerina, appearing as a guest artist both nationally and internationally.
Catoya, a principal dancer at the National Ballet of Caracas in Venezuela, was hired in 1999 by MCB’s Founding Artistic Director Edward Villella. Over the next sixteen years, she became a leading member of the troupe, known for her brilliant bravura technical abilities, speed, and onstage charisma.
When MCB opened its inaugural season at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center with a company premiere of the 19th- century classic Don Quixote, Catoya danced the famous, and fiercely difficult, female lead of Kitri. She went on to dance the lead roles in some of the most technically challenging roles in MCB’s repertory, including Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial, Ballo della Regina, Theme and Variations, Symphony in C, and Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, as well as the coveted title roles in Coppélia and Giselle.
In its review of MCB’s recent appearance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the dance critic for the Ottawa Citizen wrote “Mary Carmen Catoya and Renato Penteado made the piece’s [Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux] formidable challenges seem effortless, attacking everything with Balanchine’s love for speed and daring.”
Writing about her performance in Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, the New York Times’ chief dance critic Alastair Macaulay said, “..the crisp elegance of her head positions and upper body above the rapid coloratura of her footwork gave true delight.”
Speaking of Mary Carmen’s final performances, MCB Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez said, “This is a bittersweet moment for both Mary Carmen and Miami City Ballet. For sixteen years, as a principal dancer, Mary Carmen has thrilled, entertained, and enchanted not only our South Florida audiences, but also our audiences all over the U.S. and abroad. She will now share her artistry with new audiences. But wherever she goes, she will always be part of the MCB family and occupy a place close to our collective heart.”