Review: Richard Alston’s ‘Carmen’ in Fort Lauderdale

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.

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Swan Song

Miami City Ballet wraps up its season in style with star choreographer Justin Peck.

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Carmen by Miami City Ballet

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.

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Miami City Ballet aptly tells Balanchine’s stories

When Balanchine stated that two dancers on stage make a story, he opened up new possibilities in storytelling and in ballet choreography. In Vancouver, Miami City Ballet presents three of Balanchine’s most succesful stories spanning over forty years — Ballo della Regina (1978), Symphony in Three Movements (1972) and Serenade (1934).

The evening opened with Ballo della Regina, created as a virtuoso ballet for then-principal dancer of New York City Ballet, Merrill Ashley. The pomp of Verdi’s score and the choreography set high expectations, that were met with a few challenges in this performance.

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George Balanchine Still Thrills in Miami City Ballet’s Crisp, Polished Renditions

A Miami City Ballet production. Presented by Ballet B.C. At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Friday, February 20. Continues February 21

When the curtain rose on George Balanchine’s masterwork,Serenade, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre emitted a collective “Ahhhhhh” and broke into applause before the piece even began.

In front of the enraptured audience, set against a dusty blue screen, were five diagonal rows of white-tutu’d, bunned ballerinas, frozen in position. This was the almost mathematical precision and feminine perfection the crowd had come for, presented with crispness and polish by the Miami City Ballet.

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Ballet BC: Miami City Ballet’s Balanchine

Miami City Ballet stole the heart of the audience tonight. The evening, entitled Balanchine, offered three ballets choreographed by the legendary George Balanchine. Ballo della Regina with music by Verdi from the opera Don Carlos; Symphony in Three Movements with music by Stravinsky from Symphony in Three Movements and Serenade with music by Tchaikovsky from Serenade in C Major for String Orchestra.

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Ballet BC Miami City Ballet’s Balanchine

It must be a bit hard being the new kid in town, but Vancouver gave Miami City Ballet a warm welcome on the opening night of Balanchine.The evening, presented by Ballet BC, was an opportunity to not just witness renowned international talent, but also for audiences to experience the awe-inspiring choreography by the Russian-born “father of American ballet” himself, George Balanchine. Though Balanchine passed away in 1983, his work has continued to be produced in his legacy.

What is most exciting about Miami City Ballet’s package of Balanchine is that audiences have an opportunity here to see some exquisite and, in some cases, exclusive performances. The opening act of the evening, “Ballo della Regina”, is owned by Merrill Ashley, the ballerina that Balanchine choreographed this for personally. Luckily for Miami City and their audiences, Ashley has granted exclusive rights to this piece for them.

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A Contemporary Take on the Classic Carmen

A high-intensity drama about spirited Spaniards seems like such a good fit for Miami City Ballet, you’d think company artistic director Lourdes Lopez ran out looking for Carmen. But in a way it was Carmen that came to her.

As the centerpiece of MCB’s third program of the season, this story ballet by contemporary British choreographer Richard Alston has all the elements to give it prominence in the troupe’s repertoire. And, luckily for the choreographer, MCB has the craft and personalities from corps to principals — with force, speed, flair — to offer Carmen interpretive luxury in its first artistic home in America.

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Miami City Ballet to present ‘Carmen’

Miami City Ballet dancer Jeanette Delgado is not someone you’d tend to overlook, but she’s taking no chances on this steamy August afternoon. She steps challengingly to the front of the company’s studios — then stomps in defiance, planting her hands on out-thrust hips; inviting, no, demanding that we pay attention.

“This is when you go hello Miami!” smiles choreographer Richard Alston.

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Miami City Ballet excels in three world-class ballets

From Stravinsky to Sinatra, Miami City Ballet’s Hear the Dance has everything for a memorable night of great theater.

Three world-class ballets burst on to the Kravis Center’s Dreyfoos Hall stage Friday night demonstrating the tasteful bravura and vast technical prowess contained in this jewel of South Florida’s cultural crown.

At the helm of this jewel sits Miami’s own, Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez. Since taking the reins in 2012, she has compiled and nurtured a new crop of virtuosic dancers who can deliver artistically technical performances worthy of these esteemed choreographers’ visions.

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