A Creative Finale for Mainly Mozart

The Mainly Mozart Festival has come a long way since the series’ early years in a Coral Gables hotel ballroom. The past two installments of the annual summer event under new artistic director Marina Radiushina have brought an expanded number of concerts in a variety of venues and more diverse and ambitious repertoire. Sunday afternoon at downtown Miami’s Arsht Center, Radiushina presented her most innovative offering yet.

The sensitivity and tonal coloration of their playing in the softer moments wonderfully complemented the choreography of Adriana Pierce … the athletic leaps and fitful angular movements of the penitents were brilliantly executed by dancers Emily Bromberg, Leigh-Ann Esty, Michael Sean Breeden and Eric Trope from Miami City Ballet.

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Toby Lerner Ansin Recibe Reconocimiento de Organización Nacional de Danza

El miércoles 17, Toby Lerner Ansin, fundadora del Miami City Ballet, se lleva a casa el Dance/USA Champion Award correspondiente a este año.

Establecida en 1982, Dance/USA es una organización nacional líder en proyectos, programas e iniciativas en el campo de la danza profesional, incluyendo una conferencia anual que reúne a cientos de participantes. Durante el evento, se hace entrega del Dance/USA Champion Award a una organización, empresa, fundación o persona de la ciudad anfitriona.

En esta oportunidad, la conferencia se celebra del 17 al 20 de junio en Miami.

“La entrega del Dance/USA Champion Award es un evento anual muy importante”, afirma Amy Fitterer, directora ejecutiva de Dance/USA, en entrevista con el Nuevo Herald. “Sabemos que el alma de la danza profesional proviene de la comunidad local, los residentes locales, todos los que apoyan y creen en el poder de la danza. Esta es nuestra manera de reconocerlos a nivel nacional”.

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Ford Foundation’s Sharpened Focus on Inequality and Operating Funds Draws Praise

Nonprofit leaders were quick to laud a major shift in grant making by the Ford Foundation to focus on fighting inequality — in part because very few charities worry that the new approach will cause them to lose money…

Michael Scolamiero, executive director of Miami City Ballet, which received $500,000 from Ford last year, pointed to the company’s Ballet Bus and Ballet Beyond Borders programs as examples of how it has reached out to communities that historically haven’t had access to formal dance instruction.

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MCB Founder Toby Lerner Ansin Receives Dance/USA Champion Award

Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance, is making its way to Miami for its 2015 Annual Conference, beginning Wednesday, June 17, with an Opening Night Celebration at the Pérez Art Museum Miami.

The kickoff event will honor Miami City Ballet founder Toby Lerner Ansin as the recipient of the Champion Award, given to an organization, business, foundation or individual from the event’s host city that has continuously displayed stellar leadership and support in the local and national dance communities.

Ansin’s impact on dance began 30 years ago when she singlehandedly mustered the drive and funding to create Miami City Ballet. Without any financial compensation, she rolled up her sleeves and worked around the clock focusing her efforts on growing her then-infant company.

“It was just a glorious time,” says Ansin. “When you’re creating something from nothing and you see it blossom, it’s such an exhilarating thing.”

Over the years, she has garnered many accolades for her success in galvanizing community and financial support, assembling a devoted Board of Trustees and in laying the foundation for an unparalleled development program. Miami City Ballet today is an internationally acclaimed company with a growing reputation as a cradle of creativity for young dancers and choreographers.

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MCB Welcomes Simone Messmer

Miami City Ballet is pleased to announce the appointment of Simone Messmer to the Company, joining the ranks as Principal Dancer. As a Soloist with American Ballet Theatre, she has been acclaimed as “ardently playful… appealingly impulsive” (The New York Times) and as possessing a “magnificent… almost eerie emotional depth onstage” (Time Out New York).

“I am thrilled to welcome Simone into the Miami City Ballet family and I am very much looking forward to introducing her to our South Florida audiences,” says MCB Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez. “During the years I watched Simone at American Ballet Theatre, she approached each of her roles with an inborn musicality, a distinct elegance, and a remarkable versatility. Given these qualities she will fit right in among our other magnificent female principal dancers and help usher in Miami City Ballet’s 30th anniversary season.”

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‘Strictly Ballet 2:’ A Look at the World of Ballet

Teen Vogue produced a new documentary “Strictly Ballet 2” offering an inside look at the lives of teen dancers. 

The show follows six ballet dancers from Cuba, Brazil, Russia and Clearwater, Florida at the Miami City Ballet School. 

“I always thought a ballet class was the most democratic place in the world because you walk in and you are judged not by your race or gender or social economic position,” Lourdes Lopez, artistic director Miami City Ballet. “You are judged by your talent and your judged by your effort that you put in.” 

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Watch What It Takes to Become a Miami City Ballet Dancer on Teen Vogue’s Strictly Ballet

Season two of the Teen Vogue’s web series documents what it takes to make it into Miami City Ballet

Miami City Ballet has definitely taken center stage this year. Most recently, Teen Vogue sheds the spotlight on the prestigious Miami Beach-based company for its web video series, Strictly Ballet, which follows six students and apprentices as they try to join Miami City Ballet as professional ballet dancers.

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Meet the Dancers of “Strictly Ballet” Season Two

Last year, Teen Vogue‘s “Strictly Ballet” infiltrated the elite world of NYC’s School of American Ballet. We got to meet a few of its most promising students, including Mimi Staker, who’s now a corps member of New York City Ballet, and Jasmine Perry, now an L.A. Ballet corps member. It was a fascinating account of life at SAB—what the training is like and the pressure that comes with being a student at one of the most prestigious schools in the country.

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Miami City Ballet receives grants from Knight, Ford foundations

Miami City Ballet has received $4 million in grants from major foundations and another $2.5 million in board donations, company officials said.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, one of the company’s most consistent supporters, has pledged $2.5 million over three years. Of that total, $1.5 million comes from a fund set up in 2012, when the company was awarded a $5 million, five-year grant, the largest in its history.

A new $1 million grant is designated for new work and strengthening the organization. That grant required a match in debt forgiveness or new or increased donations, which has been met, Executive Director Michael Scolamiero said.

The company has received its first grant from the Ford Foundation — a $1.5 million, three-year grant for general support as well as enhanced education and outreach.

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Ballet Made Hip Through the Eyes of a Young Choreographer

Ballets dreamed up by Justin Peck feel at once classical and new, an energy that has become distinct to the young choreographer’s work. In just a few years, Peck has become one of the most sought-after choreographers in the world of ballet.

At 27, he is both a soloist dancer and the resident choreographer for the New York City Ballet – the second person in history to hold the position. As a member of one of the most renowned creative engines in the world, Peck has made a name for himself as the ballet world’s “next big thing.”

“I’m just trying to make classical ballet and then other people come to me and tell me that it looks like this whole new fresh thing to them and it’s always so surprising to me and also something that I get excited about.”

This month, Peck’s most recent work, “Heatscape” debuted for Miami City Ballet against the backdrop of brightly colored murals. Peck worked with Shepard Fairey, the street artist best known for his iconic “Hope” poster commissioned for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. The partnership is the first of its kind for Fairey, who has primarily worked in street and graffiti art.

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Mary Carmen Catoya’s Final Performances with MCB

Beloved ballerina Mary Carmen Catoya’s performance in George Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations, scheduled for April 19, 2015 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, will mark 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.

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