MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Mike Piazza knows that some people think it’s funny for a baseball player to take up ballet, but the former catcher hopes to turn whoever is jeering him now into dance fans when he takes the stage with Miami City Ballet next month.You gotta sometimes have the courage to go out there and do something like this, and I think the overall effect will be positive, Piazza said Tuesday after his costume fitting for the role of a gangster in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue….read more
Two young artists are at the center of the adventurous ‘New Work’ program the New World Symphony will present April 20. Choreographer Justin Peck, 25, created a pas de deux for Miami City Ballet for the occasion, and Zosha Di Castri, 28, composed a piece the orchestra will premiere. Rather than a traditional night at the symphony, ‘New Work’ will be a whirlwind tour of the contemporary arts world, with a fresh palette of commissioned dance, poetry, music and video works. ‘The inspiration was those evenings like the ones you have in Wynwood or [the New York gallery district] Chelsea, when you know the galleries will all be open and you know it will be all new work in lots of different areas,’ says NWS artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas…read more
Miami City Ballet saved the best for last, dazzling the audience at West Palm Beach’s Kravis Center last weekend with both classical ballet and a little Broadway in the closing program of the 2012-13 season. Program IV, planned last year before the departure of founding Artistic Director Edward Villella but executed by his successor Lourdes Lopez, began with Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering. Set to a series of 14 mazurkas, waltzes, etudes and a nocturne by Polish Romantic pianist Frederic Chopin, Dances at a Gathering is not so much a programmatic work, but rather a series of joyous vignettes featuring five couples, perhaps at a spring festival. Like Chopin’s music, Robbins’ choreography draws heavily on the distinctive folk dances of Eastern Europe, a nod to classic ballet without the bourgeois pretense…read more
Dances at a Gathering has earned the reputation of being one of the greatest ballets of the second half of the twentieth century. When Miami City Ballet first did it in 2006, the audience response was not especially positive. It is a beautiful work but it has neither the enormous size nor a score that knocks people out. The choreography is proudly and honestly subtle and the score is simply a series of Chopin piano works so that alone explains that one had better not be looking for something the size of a Tchaikovsky or even Stravinsky. Dances at a Gathering might then seem like a sort of ‘thinking man’s’ ballet, but it is not; it is simply a large collection of relatively small pieces. When the company did it a couple of seasons later the response was better and with this revival, it seems as if the work is now a company benchmark…read more
On Friday at the Kravis Center, Miami City Ballet ﬁnished off its 2012-2013 season by presenting an evening that crisscrossed Broadway with ballet, and ballet with Broadway. The program featured two works of two great choreographers, Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine. The works were created by colleagues who seemed to have traded their signature dancing shoes for each other’s. Broadway choreographer Robbins chose pointe shoes and tights and master ballet choreographer Balanchine opted for tap shoes and high heels…read more
Miami City Ballet presented its Program IV Friday night at the Kravis Center, closing the season with a two-act evening of dance aptly titled Broadway & Ballet. While the program was well-rehearsed, expertly performed and easily endured, it lacked the wow factor that has made some of the company’s recent offerings so thrilling.
Four dancers share why they are so excited for the opening of Program IV: Broadway and Ballet…read more
I’ll admit it: When I got the press release announcing that former baseball star Mike Piazza would be performing with Miami City Ballet, my first reaction was: Huh? Yes, Piazza was apparently a great catcher and an even better hitter during his 16 years playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Florida Marlins, the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres and the Oakland Athletics. (And yes, I personally have Wikipedia to thank for all that information.) But what’s his connection to the ballet world, exactly?…read more
Miami City Ballet just signed a new dancer: former major league baseball catcher Mike Piazza. The company has been loving sports stars recently…read more
Casting is now available for performances of Program IV: Broadway and Ballet at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.
On May 3, Mike Piazza, will make his ballet debut at the Ziff Ballet Opera House when he appears as the Gangster in Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami. But Piazza won’t be doing any pas de deux or even catching ballerinas. According to a ballet rep, he’ll be throwing out a few lines Al Capone-style and then sitting back and watching the stage come alive with dazzling dance routines, a gorgeous Strip Tease Girl, a tap-dancing Hoofer and the colorful Ladies of the Ballet. So how’d he score this gig? Piazza’s six-year-old daughter Nicoletta is a student at the Miami City Ballet School and conspired with the ballet’s artistic director Lourdes Lopez to get him involved…read more
Mike Piazza has hung up his baseball cleats, but he’s putting on his dancing shoes.For one night only, the former Mets catcher will have a bit part in a performance of ‘Slaughter on Tenth Avenue’ at the Miami City Ballet on May 3. Piazza, 44, will play the role of ‘The Gangster’