Miami City Ballet dancers spend their days rehearsing in sunlit studios surrounded by swaying palm trees. But this winter, our dancers dig out their winter coats and boots as they embark on a tour of Canada with stops in Vancouver (Feb 19-21) and Ottawa (Mar 5-7).
Post by Zoe Zien, Corps de Ballet
We are now in the third and final week of our tour. We’ve put on fourteen ballets and danced seven shows a week,sometimes with dancers in three pieces a night. Oddly enough, even after all that work, everyone still seems to be smiling. Every morning I wake up thinking I’m going to be exhausted, but then without fail, by showtime I’m eagerly ready to do it all over again. Anyone visiting Paris will allude to a certain magic the city provides. Whether it be the narrow streets lined with quaint cafes or the museums and monuments with so much art and history, there is always something to stimulate the senses.
The stage of the Théâtre du Châtelet is a perfect place for the dancers to feel the fulfilling dynamics that Paris has to offer. The curtain rises and you immediately become aware of the importance of the surrounding space. The orchestra, sounds full and vibrant, reiterating the significance of the dancer/musician relationship. The crowd, regardless of their individual opinions, always appears to be extremely attentive provoking a certain energy amongst the dancers.
Being here these three weeks has brought so much new discovery — from the taste of a never before tried French pastry to rediscovering yourself on stage under new light. I think my fellow colleagues, from the very experienced to the new professionals, would agree that this experience is one that will be cherished for a lifetime.
So far the Company’s tour to Paris has been a huge success! If you weren’t able to travel to France, have no fear. Zoe Zien has already started giving us the play-by-play on the tour. The second installment of Zoe’s Paris coverage takes us into the dressing rooms, reveals what the dancers do on their free day, and listens in on conversations!
Check back with us for more Paris happenings!
As you may have heard, MCB is currently on a three-week tour in Paris! Corps dancer Zoe Zien is bringing us all the action and keeping us in touch with the Company! Follow Zoe and the rest of the dancers through her virtual tour journal. Stay tuned for more!
In just 24 hours the Company will be boarding a plane to Paris! There has been so much excitement about this tour and it doesn’t end here. Zoe Zien, corps dancer and our Paris correspondent, will be bringing us all the Parisian happenings through iPhone videos, photos, and blog entries.
Zoe began her Paris coverage recently in the studios with some pre-tour action.
Stay tuned for more!
A three-week tour to Paris is oh-so glamorous — but it is also a huge behind-the-secenes undertaking! We took a couple minutes from Production and Lighting Director John Hall’s busy schedule for a Q&A on the Paris tour.
MCB: What will Production be taking on the Paris tour?
John: We are carrying all the costumes, scenery, props, dance floor, music, and supplies we need to perform the 14 ballets in the repertory for the three weeks in Paris. Due to the difference in electrical power between the United States and Europe, our lighting system is not compatible and will stay home.
MCB: How are you getting it all there?
John: All the equipment was previously loaded into two 40’ cargo containers at our warehouse. It was taken to the Port of Miami on June 1st and loaded on an ocean freighter that sailed to Le Havre, France. From there it cleared customs and was placed onto a tractor trailer to be taken by truck to Paris. The ocean part of the trip is about 20 days. The rest will be trucking. It will arrive at Le Théâtre du Châtelet on July 2 for our load-in. The return trip is the same.
MCB: What is Le Théâtre du Châtelet like?
John: The theatre was built in 1862 and it’s right on the Seine. My impressions after the February scouting trip I took to Paris is that Le Châtelet is a well run professional facility that is well equipped to handle MCB. The performance space will be comparable to the Broward Center, while the auditorium seats approximately 2,000 people. The theater got a renovation in 1999.
MCB: How will it be different working in a foreign theater?
John: The first difference will be language, of course. There was a lot of English spoken when I went in February, but I’m sure there will be a lot of finger pointing and head nodding! We are learning the basic theatrical terms in French to try to help the process; we are in their country after all! After that there are work rule differences and different departments have different responsibilities. For example, in the U.S., our props department is responsible for the orchestra pit setup among many other things. At Le Châtelet, the props department only handles actual performer used props. There is a separate department for the orchestra pit.
MCB: How many people from Production will be traveling to Paris?
John: We have seven members of the Production team coming along: myself, our stage manager, carpenter, head props, head electrician, electrician, and head sound. Two members of the Wardrobe department will travel with us as well: the costume designer/director and the wardrobe master.
Post by Sara Esty, Corps de Ballet
Hi everyone! Well I am happy to report that Miami City Ballet had a successful and fun trip to NYC for City Center’s Fall for Dance festival. It was an honor to share the stage with so many different and amazing companies. Merce Cunningham Dance Company opened the evening with an interesting and powerful piece, which was eye opening for all. A personal and crowd favorite was a company called Gallim. Their dancers were not only incredible and gave off the most amazing energy, but they were really nice and genuine people!
The whole experience of being back in New York was special for all of us. There is just something about that city – the sparkle and excitement presents a magical feeling that we all felt and made for really special performances. Here is a video of our journey. Enjoy! I hope you have had fun coming along with me for the past few weeks on The Road to City Center. Until next time!!!
Post by Sara Esty, Corps de Ballet
September 24, 2010
It’s finally here! Tomorrow is our last day of rehearsals until we get to New York! We have been running through “The Golden Section” every day this week and have been adding the finishing touches to make it its best. Everyone is excited and ready…there are even a few members of the cast who have never been to NYC! Renan Cerdeiro is one such member and can barely contain himself. Even though we will only be there a short time, there is so much everyone wants to see and do. But first things first: kick butt as the closing performers in the sold out opening night shows of City Centers’ Fall for Dance festival (Sept. 28 & 29)! I will be bringing MCB’s flip camera to the Big Apple with us so stay tuned for some highly entertaining footage!
Post by Sara Esty, Corps de Ballet
It has been a while since my last post, but for good reason. The company has been in the process of filming an upcoming special for PBS (Great Performances: Dance in America)! Everyone has been so busy, spending everyday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the TV studio dancing our butts off! It has been some of the toughest, hardest days any of us have experienced, but what an incredible opportunity and amazing life adventure it has been. The first two days of filming focused on “The Golden Section.” This really has allowed all of us to feel extra-prepared and ready for our upcoming tour to New York City Center (Sept. 28-29). Not only is our stamina and endurance up, but the performance quality is looking top notch…thanks to a bunch of cameras in our faces! I think it has been great practice, and I can’t wait to bring this piece back to the stage. Stay tuned as we get closer to our departure!