CriticalDance Forum

Miami City Ballet 2011-12
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Jordan Levin reports on the 2011-12 Miami City Ballet season announcement in the Miami Herald.

Miami City Ballet

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Miami City Ballet has commissioned a new work from British choreographer Liam Scarlett, which will be premiered in January 2012. Jordan Levin reports in the Miami Herald.

Miami Herald

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Miami City Ballet announces the retirement of artistic director Edward Villella at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season. Jordan Levin reports for the Miami Herald.

Miami Herald

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

The Miami New Times talks to principal Jeanette Delgado about performing in Paris and opening the 2011-12 season with Balanchine's "Square Dance," October 21-23 at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

Miami New Times

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Jordan Levin reviews the Friday, October 21, 2011 performance of "Square Dance," "Afternoon of a Faun," "Liturgy" and "In the Upper Room" for the Miami Herald.

Miami Herald

Another review in the Miami New Times.

Miami New Times

Lawrence Budmen for the South Florida Classical Review.

South Florida Classical Review

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Miami City Ballet performs Balanchine's "Square Dance" and "Western Symphony" and Twyla Tharp's "Golden Section" on PBS' "Great Performances," Friday, October 28, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. on KCTS-TV Channel 9 in Seattle. (Check your local listings.) Here is a link to PBS' preview.

Miami City Ballet on PBS

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

For the Miami Herald, Jordan Levin previews the Friday, October 28, 2011 PBS "Great Performances" broadcast of Miami City Ballet.

Miami Herald

Author:  Buddy [ Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Tonight will be the big night for MCB as the company makes its TV debut in a 1 1/2 hour special on many PBS stations performing George Balanchine's "Square Dance," and "Western Symphony" plus Twyla Tharps "Golden Section."

Rebecca King, a dancer with the company and an avid documenter and poster of its activities, described the making of the program in a series of posts. It is interesting and fun reading. ... 02811.html

Click on "I shared my experiences" in the second paragraph to read about the rehearals and filming and to read an interview with the PBS film producer of the show, Matthew Diamond. At the bottom of that page click on "Older Entries" to get back to the first days of rehearsals.

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

"PBS Great Performances"

"The Miami City Ballet"

An Instant 'Entertainment and Artistic' Classic !

Simply Remarkable !

Totally Lovable !

Author:  Buddy [ Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

One thing that just becomes more noticeable each time that I see the MCB artists is how natural and human they are, how spontaneous they seem, how expansively warm and 'lovable' they are. And yet they are so totally right on as professionals and accomplished artists. An amazing and wonderful combination.

On more thought, since Edward Villella is about to retire. I hope that he at least plans to continue contributing to the company and/or the artistic and humanist world in some major fashion. In Paris, at one of his customary question and answer sessions, he responded to a question about how he selects his dancers. He replied with the rather unexpected and candidly heart touching answer that his first criteria is how 'Nice' the dancers are, because it is essential that everyone should get along with each other as well as possible. It certainly shows in the performances and what a fine testimonial it is to the fine work that he and the company have accomplished.

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

After several weeks I'm finally allowed to try out the candy supply for tonight. Chocolate. Great ! I'm not usually into candy, being in training as a ballet fan, but for one night?

Children will be arriving soon. I've sent the few spiders residing outside the house on vacation for the day and the one remaining has promised to behave her or himself.

I've got my costume. It's my "Surf City" formal t-shirt and my baseball cap from Saint Petersburg, Russia, sideways. We adults sometimes don't have too much imagination, but hey, we try.

Oh yes, the Miami City Ballet.

It's about the only company in the world, where I search out every corp de ballet dancer during a performance, like a proud parent, to see how they're doing.

They're doing great ! This PBS broadcast proves it.

I've adopted the Esty twins, Leigh-Ann and Sarah (in alphabetical order), so many times in my dreams that I've stopped counting. I would even marry one if she really wanted to. I'm a very slowly maturing 68 year-old, but, hey, I'm almost old enough. And can they Burn-up-a-stage! Good Golly Miss Molly!

Then there's the amazing Jeanette Delgado who couldn't turn off that mega-watt smile if she wanted to. And who would want her to! Sister, Patricia Delgado, I just love.

Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg is the one who turns on the stars each night.

And on and on it happily goes.

Want to rock on with the angels? The nicest kids on the block and superstars of dance.

MCB is the word. Happy holidays!

Author:  Dean Speer [ Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

“Slower Is Faster”
Miami City Ballet on PBS, Friday Evening, 28 October 2011
“Square Dance,” ‘The Golden Section’ from “The Catherine Wheel,” and “Western Symphony”

by Dean Speer

I don’t recall exactly when he said it – either in our class with him or later in remarks to us teachers at the annual Tennessee Association of Dance Conference in Nashville, but I was very impressed by the wisdom of Edward Villella – Miami City Ballet’s Artistic Director’s observation that “Slower is faster!”

He meant by this, of course, that you have the lay the proper foundation for something in order for it to build the right way and to succeed. This especially resonated with us teacher-types, as all too often we find ourselves in the unenviable position of having to explain – mostly to families – why talented little Suzie cannot go up onto pointe, why she doesn’t have a solo in the recital, or how come Level 5 Ballet is still working on the same steps! [They do the same steps every day, folks.] Or educating even those who love the dance just how long it does take to make and build a dancer – about eight to ten years.

He also meant his remark in terms of building a ballet company. You have to plant the seeds the right way and to water and mulch it the right way. Laying the groundwork allows you to really take off when everything is in place.

The ascendancy of Miami City Ballet in its relatively short life span has been remarkable, no doubt due in large measure to the personality, drive, and vision of Mr. Villella but also ,I am sure, of its team of artists, staff, and supporters who have helped put MCB on the ballet cultural map. There have been some troublesome growth spurts along the way, particularly during the company’s “teen” years, but things seem to have settled down and now they are planning for the future – Mr. Villella’s announced retirement and the hiring of a new Executive Director.

That’s the backstory. PBS’ national broadcast of three ballets, each strongly performed by Miami City Ballet, certainly is a testament and I enjoyed each: Balanchine’s sunny “Square Dance,” his amusing “Western Symphony,” and an except from Twyla Tharp’s “The Catherine Wheel,” the so-called ‘Golden Section.’

One of my retired dance teacher friends jokingly commented that the first 32 bars of “Square Dance” would have worn her out. This ballet certainly is filled with many, many types of jumps and allegro – beats, relevé, turns, leaps – all done very quickly and smartly, within the context of square dance patterns. [It was originally done with a Caller, and some companies do it this way today.]

Jeanette Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro had the duet lead. She was sharp on the piqué backward step into arabesque penché, while he was a strong and sympathetic partner. I found Cerdeiro to be perhaps a little young for the male solo. My suggestion would be more use of rubato and contrast, as I found this fairly dramatic, soulful solo to be a little bland. As thin and lanky as he is, I'd like to see him work on his extension à la seconde. Never the less, he made an impressive television debut.

My only real fuss is that I found the backdrop to have been visually distracting. I would have preferred a plainly-lit blue backdrop and felt we didn’t need the clouds coming up over the horizon effect. You can see what I mean on their website:

Guest Daniel Baker and Patricia Delgado were featured in 'The Golden Section' and displayed an understanding of the nature of Tharp’s mercurial work. My same teacher friend was struck by how creative it was and you can see this imbedded in the movement motifs Tharp gives the dancers.

“Western Symphony” is very rarely performed in its original set of all four movements, with the word on the street being that Balanchine felt like no one could jump like Patricia Wilde [third movement]. Jump they did in this broadcast of the complete ballet. It was fun for me, partly because I really like “Western Symphony,”enjoying its humor, wit, and plain old good dancing and strong choreography but also getting to enjoy the “missing” movement was an education, never having seen it.

Lead dancers were: First movement – Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra; Second – Katia Carranza and Cerdeiro; Third – Jeanette Delgado and Renato Penteado; Fourth – Patricia Delgado and Yann Trividic.

Bravo to PBS for giving us this gift and to Miami City Ballet for quickly showing us that a careful foundation allows a tower to stand.

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Thanks so much, Dean, for your detailed and thoughtful comments. It's great to hear from folks who are actually active in the art.

I recorded the program and am particularly enjoying "Square Dance." I have watched the entire evening at least five times. I do tend to look for the general feel of the performances more than for the details and especially the technical ones, which I don't know that well. This is why it's so interesting to hear from someone like yourself and get a somewhat different perspective.

The first times that I saw MCB's "Square Dance" were twice this summer in Paris. What was so noticeable from the beginning was the technical demand and intricacy. For some reason, I don't feel it as much in the filming. The difference between film and live, I guess. Still, I love other qualities that the film offers.

By the way, in total agreement with your "retired dance teacher friend," Rebecca King, dancer with the MCB, has written that "Square Dance" is certainly the most difficult ballet that she has ever danced. ... rt-ii.html

And a few more interesting comments about "Square Dance" from two other MCB dancers. ... dance.html

The more I watch "Square Dance" the more I enjoy the overall tapestry. It's the blending of the details.

I'm very drawn to the male solo, which you commented on. It seems to be such a fine balance between pure expression and the technical demands, in this case, the spins. I've read that George Balanchine added this solo in his revision. It even seems like a step into the future of today's dance possibilities. It's the pure expression that I'm referring to. I'm not sure how it fits into dance history or whether George Balanchine had developed it in other works that I'm not that familiar with, such as "The Four Temperments" and "The Prodigal Son." Maybe you could give us some more insight into this, Dean.

Perhaps somewhat different from your perception, Dean, I am enjoying this solo for its more quiet and poetic possibilities. By the way, I saw the dancer of this solo, Renan Cerdeiro, perform this summer in Paris, more than a half year after this film was made, and I would say that his sensitivity and depth of portrayal were exceptional.

You also metioned some of Jeanette Delgado's technical accomplishments. I would add what I thought was the beautiful clarity of her entrechats ('flickering' the feet together while in the air). This was also noticeable in other female dancers. Maybe this is one of the sort of things that is emphasized in the Balanchine style. The only other dancers that I've ever seen do entrechats as clearly articulated as these are Daria Pavlenko and Anton Korsakov at the Mariinsky.

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

I've been wartching an excellent series on tv called "Sing Off," featuring extremely talented a cappella singing groups, all voice, no musical instuments (NBC, 8pm, Mondays). I record the shows and rewatch them, alternating between these and my recording of the Miami City Ballet.

"Sing Off" had a country music segment Monday and the most charming part, for me, was when all the guys from Dartmouth took off their cowboy hats and held them over their hearts whle Sarah Bareilles, pop singer, a show judge and in-resident sweetheart, did her critique.

Because of this, the first thing that I did this morning was to watch MCB doing "Western Symphony," which seemes so reminiscent of last night. It's also a nice change from the maybe more artistically and technically styled "Square Dance," which I try to watch at least once a day. MCB's "Western Symphony" is great dance, great fun and a nice change from "Square Dance."

Added comment: Jeanette Delgado's entrechats, that I liked so much and mentioned in the post before, occur in "Western Symphony."

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

With 'Edward' probably retiring from the company (I hope not completely), his one comment to the audience in Paris, which I mentioned before, will remain with me.

When asked what his Primary criteria is for selecting dancers, he replied that


is what he most looks for.

* Good Vibes and Amazing Talent *

as much as possible, are hopefully Edward's legacy and something that I hope that the company will always stand for.

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