This Week at MCB—YoungArts Salon Series & Justin Peck in Studio

It’s been an exciting week at Miami City Ballet. Our dancers are wrapping up an intense few weeks in the studio rehearsing with choreographer Justin Peck, where they’ve been learning a brand-new ballet that will premiere during the final program of the 2014-2015 Season in March.

After getting a sneak peek into yesterday’s rehearsal, our team headed over to watch Justin speak at the YoungArts Salon Series in downtown Miami. During the discussion, titled, “The Art of Collaboration,” Justin, along with singer-songwriter and musician Sufjan Stevens, talked about their most recent partnership on the ballet, Everywhere We Go, which premiered earlier this year at New York City Ballet and featured a nine-movement orchestral score.

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Dancers’ Picks of Next Season

Our 2013-2014 Season has just come to a close, but we are already gearing up for the new season ahead! Our dancers return to the studios on June 9th to begin learning next season’s ballets, starting with up-and-coming choreographer Justin Peck’s new work with street artist Shepard Fairey! Below, corps de ballet dancer Michael Breeden shares his excitement about the ballets he can’t wait to perform.

MichaelBreeden_HeadshotsAs one season comes to a finish and we reflect on the transcendent moments experienced onstage, it’s impossible for us dancers to not imagine all that’s in store next year. With the 2014-2015 Season beginning in June, we don’t have to wait too long before we get our hands on the most anticipated works of the year.

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Dancer Appearances this Summer!

For most of us, summertime means relaxing vacations, spending time with friends and family, or simply slowing down to relish in the lazy summer heat. For our dancers, summertime means something quite different! While many take advantage of a quick trip for travel or sentimental homecoming, most of them ramp up for a series of guest appearances with other dance companies and teaching gigs at dance studios nationwide. Here is a look at where some of our dancers are performing and teaching this summer!

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A Creative Exchange of Music and Dance

After visiting a rehearsal at Miami City Ballet studios, New World Symphony (NWS) fellows began meeting regularly with a group of our dancers to examine the relationship between sound and movement, resulting in a creative exchange between the talented young artists. Corps de ballet dancer Michael Breeden explains how this organic relationship will materialize onstage in the very near future!

MichaelBreeden_HeadshotsMiami City Ballet and New World Symphony have long been the two pillars of Miami’s arts world, attracting acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The dancers and musicians work in the same neighborhood, frequent each other’s performances, and have always expressed how wonderful it would be to work together. After decades as South Florida’s premier arts organizations, it is with great excitement that we prepare for our first full-evening performance together on March 18th — a creative exchange between the dancers of Miami City Ballet and the fellows of New World Symphony.

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MCB Summer: Michael Breeden in LONDON!

Corps de ballet dancer Michael Breeden tells all about his trip to London and Liam Scarlett’s newest creation as part of our ‘MCB Summer’ series.

Michael Breeden

After the rigors and ecstasies of a season at Miami City Ballet have ended, it has become something of a tradition for me to take a trip to Europe to decompress and soak in the art that we don’t often get a chance to see while we are kept busy dancing. I chose London as my destination this year, having become close to the immensely talented choreographer Liam Scarlett during the creation of his ballets Viscera and Euphotic. I would be arriving just in time for the Royal Ballet’s world premiere of his first full-length Hansel and Gretel.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

We are feeling the ROMANCE at Miami City Ballet! In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we caught up with dancers Michael Breeden, Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg, and  Patricia Delgado to learn about their favorite ballet LOVE stories.  Here is what they had to say!

MichaelBreeden_HeadshotsMichael Breeden, Corps de Ballet – My favorite ballet love story is La Sonnambula. Tragic love stories always have major issues separating their leads, like a curse or feuding families, but in Sonnambula, your heroine is literally in another state of consciousness, unable to fully grasp the poet before her. It’s immensely sad, and the ending where she carries him off into eternity is heartwrenching. Not exactly an uplifting Valentine’s Day story, but beautiful nonetheless!

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From Our Dancers to You on Opening Night!

We are thrilled for tonight’s opening of Program II: Tradition and Innovation.  We caught up with some of the dancers before the curtain so that they could share their excitement about the ballets they are performing with you!

Michael Breeden, Corps de Ballet,on George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 — “Dancing to Mozart is what I love most about Divertimento No. 15. Balanchine rarely choreographed to Mozart, but the marriage of these two geniuses in the ballet provides a wonderful experience for audience and dancer alike.”

Tricia Albertson, Principal, on George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15“I love dancing Divertimento No. 15 because there are so many opportunities to interact with my friends and colleagues.  I have at least one special moment with each principal!”

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No Place Like Home

Post by Michael Sean Breeden, Corps de Ballet

When I joined Miami City Ballet in 2006, I was overwhelmed by the embarrassment of artistic riches before me. I was trained at the School of American Ballet, where my fellow students and I would obsessively watch videos of Farrell, McBride, Martins and Villella, longing to be a part of that era. I didn’t know until I came to this company that the vibrancy, musicality and beauty of those dancers and the wonderful ballets was still so vividly alive. MCB was dancing the most sophisticated repertoire with the utmost respect to the wishes of the choreographers whilst imbuing it with their own sense of daring, rhythm and joy.

Making the decision to leave all this to work for another company last season was one of the most difficult I have ever made. After just a brief time away, however, I found making the decision to come back to be one of the easiest I have ever made.

Being away from Miami City Ballet gave me fresh perspective and appreciation for everything we do in this company. I realized that the qualities I thought to be great in this company are also unique to it. There are some things that no audience member will ever really know; our willingness to help and cooperate with one another to achieve the best artistic product, the comradery among the dancers, the extra care and time we spend learning the history of the ballets, seeking extra information that might enhance our performance. But there are the many, many things which our audience is privy to every evening MCB takes the stage; the richness and quality of movement, the speed and musicality, the detail and nuance that each performer in our company brings to their roles.

Last year I was fortunate enough to be brought back to MCB as a guest in the pas de trois of Ballet Imperial. The experience of performing the ballet was wonderful in all the ways that performing a great ballet with your closest friends promises to be, but it was watching the ballet from the front on my show off that was the more revealing experience.

I could have picked out any one of the 24-strong corps de ballet to watch for the duration of the ballet and it would have been wholly satisfying. Yet, watching them all together, immersing themselves in Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music and Balanchine’s pristine and elegant steps, took me to a place I have never experienced in live theater. Leading the charge was Jeanette Delgado, in her debut in the role, energizing the corps de ballet and setting fire to the famously virtuosic and tricky steps. Famed dance critic Arlene Croce was also in the audience and she told me that, having seen many of the ballet’s performances in its more than 60 year history, she thought this to be the definitive performance of its entire existence.

After all those years wishing I could have been dancing in an era long gone, it was watching this performance that I finally gave in. The only time I want to be dancing in is the present, with this company, alongside my wonderful friends and peers.

There is a wonderful season ahead of us that I can’t wait for our audience to see. Les Patineurs challenges its dancers with stamina-pushing classicism, Piazzolla Caldera promises to showcase the individuality and versatility of our company and Apollo is classic Balanchine that MCB can pull off like no other company. Having now witnessed their magic for myself, I’m so grateful to be back dancing with these incredible artists. I know that the transcendent experience I had watching Ballet Imperial is a gift the company will be giving again and again throughout this year.

Dances at a Gathering. Photo © Leigh-Ann Esty.

Program I: Fire and Ice will be performed at Broward Center on October 26-28, and on November 30 – December 2 at Kravis Center. Click here for more information.

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