In a season marked by stellar reviews, the Miami City Ballet scored yet again with its 2015 gala, an evening marked by art, dance, music and serious fundraising at Wynwood’s Soho Studios. Plus, muralist Shepard Fairey’s graphic language informs choreographer Justin Peck’s latest collaboration with the Miami City Ballet. “I am interested in the place I am commissioned to create in,” says red-hot choreographer Justin Peck. “The dancers, city, climate, culture and style all play a part in influencing the creative process.”
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Richard Alston’s one-act “Carmen,” recently performed by Miami City Ballet at the Broward Center here, is the best “Carmen” ballet I’ve seen. That is less a compliment than it sounds: Most “Carmen” ballets are clunkily melodramatic and choreographically dismal.
This one, made for the Scottish Ballet in 2009, has its faults and problems, too. It uses Rodion Shchedrin’s arch arrangement of Bizet’s highlights (including two numbers from “L’Arlésienne”), for strings and percussion; and it follows the basic gist of the Shchedrin ballet (originally choreographed by Alberto Alonso) in retelling “Carmen” as a tale about four people — Carmen, her rival lovers José and Escamillo, and a female Fate figure (who here is scaled down into the Fortuneteller). Its virtues, though, both make it rare among “Carmen” ballets and add to your knowledge of Miami City Ballet’s excellent dancers.
Miami City Ballet might only carry Miami in its name, but the company actually serves South Florida’s tri-county area: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, as well as Collier County (Naples) on Florida’s West Coast. That’s a lot of ground to cover for one classical ballet company, which comes with a lot of responsibility to such expansive and diverse communities. Even so, Miami City Ballet has not only survived, but in the last two seasons has begun to thrive like never before.
Miami City Ballet has announced an ambitious slate of programming for its 30th anniversary season in 2015-2016. It features four company premieres, highlighted by the most significant George Balanchine work the troupe has done in years: the choreographer’s evening-length version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A host of major and popular dances from the company’s repertoire are also featured.
Dream, on Program Four, promises to be one of MCB’s most ambitious productions ever. Balanchine choreographed the original 1962 ballet with MCB founding artistic director Edward Villella as the fairy king Oberon, and the cast includes 24 children and six vocalists. MCB will bring in two collaborators to help re-imagine the work in a South Florida context: acclaimed Miami playwright and director Tarell Alvin McCraney, who will do the dramatic direction, with renowned Miami Beach-born visual artist Michele Oka Doner creating new costumes and sets.
MIAMI BEACH, FL – (March 18, 2015) – Miami City Ballet, in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the office of the Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho, announces the launch of Ballet Bus, a year-round dance scholarship program reaching deep into the Miami-Dade County community to provide arts education and access to students from all backgrounds. The pilot year of the program will target 17 children from District Title I Schools with both talent and need – and provide a long-term investment in each child.
Miami City Ballet’s Open Barre dance series returns to its intimate studio theater in South Beach on March 13 and 14 with a rarely-seen glimpse into the lifetime of training, discipline and artistry practiced by aspiring professional ballet dancers.
Open Barre: Practice Makes Perfect; The Evolution of a Dancer will feature performances from the MCB School Ensemble, including excerpts from Harald Lander’s Études, a one-act ballet that begins with traditional ballet exercises at the barre and ends with spectacular displays by advanced students,and will close with George Balanchine’s colorful and exuberant Western Symphony.
Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez’s vision for Miami City Ballet was apparent in the tasteful programming of Saturday’s performance at the Kravis Center, with the de rigueur Balanchine work leading off the evening followed by two company premieres.
Lopez who has been “shopping” for new works that would flatter and challenge the company, has been successful. For Program III: Passion and Grace, she brought a rarely seen contemporary work by avant-garde choreographer Tywla Tharp and a sleek contemporary take on the tale of Carmen by British choreographer Richard Alston. Like Balanchine, both of these dance-makers are known for their extremely musical choreography.
The program, ruled by the Delgado sisters, Patricia and Jeanette, with a welcomed sprinkling of new faces doing lead roles, was appealing, well-balanced and well-danced. The company looked strong and confident. The Opus One Orchestra played with gusto and aplomb and the production values were polished and refined.
Miami City Ballet’s next generation of dancers will be featured in the company’s Open Barre studio performance series, with the troupe’s new MCB School Ensemble performing.
The show, entitled Practice Makes Perfect: The Evolution of a Dancer, will feature the ensemble performing George Balanchine’s exuberant cowboy and dancehall girl romp Western Symphony, as well as excerpts from Harald Lander’s Études, which evokes the life of a young dancer from exercises to accomplished solos. The evening also includes a talk with MCB School director Darleen Callaghan and faculty member Maria Torija. MCB principal dancer Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg will sign copies of her book So, You Want to be a Ballet Dancer?
Love. Betrayal. A feisty Spanish gypsy woman with a terrible fate. Though perhaps best known as an opera, Carmen CONTINUES to captivate audiences. Now, Miami City Ballet is tackling choreographer Richard Alston’s version of the tale. Before the last leg of performances Mar. 20-22, Pointe spoke with MCB principal Jeanette Delgado about INTERPRETING the title role in the American premiere of Alston’s flamenco-flavored ballet.
Réputé pour ses danseurs surentraînés, rompus aux chorégraphies de George Balanchine, le Miami City Ballet (MCB) revient en force à Ottawa dans un triple programme après plus d’une décennie d’absence.
«Encourager le changement», c’est la raison que Cathy Levy, productrice en danse du CNA nous avait donnée pour justifier ce retour en scène canadienne, dès demain soir et jusqu’à samedi.
L’histoire de sa nouvelle directrice Lourdes Lopez, à la barre du MCB depuis 2012, c’est avant tout celle d’une réussite à part entière dans le monde de la danse. Née à LaHavane, elle n’a pas deux ans quand la révolution cubaine éclate. «Nous sommes arrivés à Miami avec mes proches en tant qu’immigrants, sans argent, rappelle-t-elle. Les États-Unis nous ont permis de repartir de l’avant et de progresser.»
Miami City Ballet proudly presents the American premiere of Richard Alston’s critically-acclaimed Carmen, a flamenco-fueled, modernist take on the classic tale of passion and betrayal. Plus, the company premiere of Twyla Tharp’s Sweet Fields, and George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante. The venue to enjoy this performance will be our Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, season home of Miami City Ballet.
The 18th-century hymns and egalitarian beliefs of the Shakers were Twyla Tharp’s inspiration for Sweet Fields – a joyous, ethereal celebration of innocence and simplicity.
George Balanchine’s dazzling Allegro Brillante is a testament to the beauty, strength and grace of the human spirit, set to a vigorous Tchaikovsky score. As Balanchine once said, “It contains everything I know about classical ballet in thirteen minutes.”
Alston/Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite adapted from Bizet, will be widely acclaimed for its brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere and orchestration. Miami City Ballet, one of America’s Most-Beloved Dance Companies, will reward ballet enthusiasts in the Greater West Palm Beach with a new production of the story of seductive, defiant Carmen in a show of neo-classical dancing with traditional costumes.