Miami City Ballet has announced its 50-member roster for the 2016-17 season, which opens on October 23 in Miami, including the promotions of Nathalia Arja to principal soloist and both Chase Swatosh and Shimon Ito to soloists, and the addition of four new dancers: Lauren Fadeley, formerly a principal with Pennsylvania Ballet (PAB) who is joining MCB as a soloist; Amir Yogev, another dancer from PAB who began his career with MCB; and Alaina Andersen and Luiz Silva, both recent graduates of Miami City Ballet School.
Major ballet companies are like battleships: big, heavy, built for rather antiquated displays of power, costly and difficult to keep afloat. But dance is a better use of resources than war, in my opinion — and apparently the opinion of many Chicagoans, who flocked to the Harris on Friday and Saturday to see Miami City Ballet’s two jam-packed, stage-filling programs, each crackerjack and entirely different.
Exuberant ballet dancers leap through the air, legs outstretched, defying gravity in ordinary locations across South Florida. One, wearing a filmy green dress, stands en pointe on a bridge against the foggy backdrop of cruise ships docked in Biscayne Bay. One muscular dancer leaps over a girl on a scooter, his pose frozen against the windswept palm trees along Collins Avenue. Another dancer, sporting a fisherman’s hat and a fishing rod, balances with one leg pointed toward the clear blue sky, the other foot planted on a rocky jetty in Miami Beach.