The Neighborhood Ballroom

Frank Regan returns to the Ballroom

We were lucky enough to have Frank Regan, Period and Stylistic Choreographer of The Neighborhood Ballroom, join us once again to put the final touches on the ballet. Frank was here working with the dancers the week before Ballroom opened. Although he was very busy, we were able to steal a few minutes to chat with him!

From the Studio to The Neighborhood Ballroom

Post by Principal Dancer Deanna Seay

Ah…full-length story ballets. Often beautiful, always entertaining, audiences love to watch a story unfold onstage during an evening. Someone is always dancing, whether the corps de ballet or the principals, and the corresponding narrative seems to help the audience understand the dancing language. One of the six full-length works in our repertoire, The Neighborhood Ballroom is unique in its focus on several different time periods (the Belle Epoque, Jazz Age, 1940s war years, and the 1950s) and the related dance rage of each era). Edward Villella’s tribute to these different eras is a product of his extensive dance knowledge, and it is his vision that is fully realized with this production. His sense of detail brings to life four different acts dance trends, spanning from 1912 to the 50s.

Any full-length narrative work requires a lot of preparation, and The Neighborhood Ballroom is no exception. There are many details that must be polished to allow the story to emerge. Working these things out takes time; long rehearsals with intense focus are required to absorb these details, and while the process is ultimately rewarding, it is also exhausting. Each era must be recreated so as to be able to distinguish one from the other; the restrained behavior during the days of Absinthe and the Boston Waltz differs from the crazy experimentation that occurred during the Jazz era and the Quick-Step. One of the wonderful things about The Neighborhood Ballroom (or just “Ballroom,” as we call it) is that these nuances are achieved through the choreography, with the mood of each period expertly conveyed through its corresponding style.

It would not be possible to perform this work if the dancers in it did not love to dance so much. To begin with, there is so much dancing involved that several dancers are required to appear in all four acts. After many hours of rehearsals learning very detailed, style-specific choreography, watching the company members transform themselves from one period to another is very similar to watching a chameleon change colors – they fit themselves into the style instantly and effortlessly. The principals in each act work out the details of their individual characters, adding further dimension to the wonderfully-inventive pas de deuxs that occur throughout the evening. The technical side of this production is also very complicated; the level of excitement in watching the production crew accomplish the many special effects backstage nearly rivals the excitement of watching the dancers onstage. It never ceases to amaze me how much goes into the ambiance onstage; those beautiful serene moments that people see are the product of much more than meets the eye.

Deanna Seay in The Neighborhood Ballroom. Photo © Joe Gato.

Getting Ready for Ballroom – Part 3

After seeing the costume bibles and costumes for the first two acts of The Neighborhood Ballroom, we are sure you’ve noticed that the attire changes with each era. In this installment of the series, Haydee shows us the costumes for “THE FOX-TROT” and some of the accessories the women wear. It is incredible the amount of details that go into all the dresses!

Don’t miss The Neighborhood Ballroom this weekend at Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Crista Villella – Ballroom Ballet Mistress

Since the summer she’s been spotted watching videos of The Neighborhood Ballroom and taking notes. Finally the time came when Crista Villella, Ballet Mistress, began rehearsing the Company for the ballet which will be performed as Program III. Originally choreographed by her father, Edward Villella, Ballroom became one of her projects for this season. We caught up with Crista at Adrienne Arsht Center to talk about her experience with Ballroom.

Miami City Ballet will present The Neighborhood Ballroom this weekend (February 5-7) at Adrienne Arsht Center, on February 12-14 at Broward Center, and on February 19-21 at Kravis Center.

Getting Ready for Ballroom – Part 2

Now that you’ve seen the costume bibles, take a look at the costumes the dancers will be wearing on stage during The Neighborhood Ballroom! Haydee actually went to the vintage shops of Miami and found amazing attire for the ballet. But not all the pieces were purchased – some were made by the wardrobe department. See if you can tell the difference.

In this installment of the costume series, Haydee shows us what the dancers will be wearing in the first two acts of the ballet.

The Poet returns to the Ballroom

Yann Trividic is back to dance the principal role of The Poet in Edward Villella’s The Neighborhood Ballroom. We caught up with the former principal dancer earlier in the season to see how it felt to be back. But now it’s almost show time! In a couple days, Yann will take the stage to reprise the role that was created on him. We sat down with Yann to talk about taking the stage again.

Don’t miss your chance to see Yann dance this weekend (February 5-7) at Adrienne Arsht Center, at Broward Center on February 12-14, and at Kravis Center on February 19-21.

Getting Ready for Ballroom

This weekend, the dancers will hang up their tutus and tights and suit up in dresses and jackets — The Neighborhood Ballroom opens Friday night at Adrienne Arsht Center! Haydee Morales, MCB Costume Designer and Director of Wardrobe, designed the costumes for this full evening ballet. It took lots of hard work and long hours, but with the help of her team, Haydee created an entire wardrobe for this piece.

Here’s a sneak peek at what went into designing the costumes for The Neighborhood Ballroom.

Stay tuned for more of our costume series.

Yann Trividic Returns to MCB

Yann Trividic, former MCB Principal Dancer, has returned to the Company as a guest artist. Yann joined Miami City Ballet as a Soloist in 2000 and was promoted to Principal in 2003. Since his departure from Miami, Yann has been residing in his native France and studied osteopathic medicine.  He is back to dance a leading role (The Poet) in Edward Villella’s The Neighborhood Ballroom, which is Program III of the 2009-2010 Season.

We caught up with Yann to talk about his return to MCB.