Miami City Ballet Glows in 30th Season Opener

There was something for everyone, plus a flowery surprise, at Miami City Ballet’s 30th season opening performance Friday night. From the classic romanticism of George Balanchine’s condensed version of Swan Lake, to the contemporary geometric fireworks of Viscera, to the wonderfully witty theater of Fancy Free, the program at the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Ziff Ballet Opera House offered a satisfyingly rich array of dance entertainment.

The surprise (Friday night only, sorry) was Balanchine’s version of the Garland Dance from Sleeping Beauty, featuring long lines of dancers and – to an audible “awwwww” from the audience – young girls from the company’s school. They wove an intricate, winding pattern of S-curves and intersecting circles around the stage, the adults in white and pale pastels with long full skirts, holding flowered arches overhead, while the children, in brighter colors, darted between them like well choreographed butterflies. The girls, beaming with pride, looked ready to float right off the stage. It was a charming way to bring to life a line in artistic director Lourdes Lopez’ curtain speech. “We look back in tremendous pride,” she said. “And we look forward with tremendous hope.”

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Photo: Hector Gambino