CriticalDance Forum

Miami City Ballet 2011-12
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Author:  balletomaniac [ Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Query - To those familiar with MCB - Do you know if MCB announces casting (particularly Giselle casting) in advance, and, if so, how far in advance? I'm hoping to get to So. Fl. briefly sometime in late Jan-Mar, and would like to coordinate around MCB perfs that I'd like to try to see. I've written to the company pr, but have received no response.

And Buddy - I read your comments. I agree. And if you feel inclined, see my review of MCB's Fall for Dance performance last year re: Sara Esty. With NYC Opera now gone from the DHK Theater at Lincoln Center, there's space to fill (which Paul Taylor is partially filling this Spring). It would be great if MCB could come up to NY for a one or two week annual season (they'd sell out), though I don't know if NYCB would be happy with that, and with Villella gone, I'm not sure that MCB would want to. But the company, at least as Villella molded it, is one I wish I had some opportunity to see, and to watch dancers like Ms. Esty grow.

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Hi, Jerry.

A quick partial response for the moment. Possibly in the spirit of George Balanchine and probably of Edward Villella, with the 'no stars' philosophy, the MCB seems not big on announcing the casts in advance. I can't be sure of this as I never check, but I've read this several times. Because of the uniform high level of talent I take what I get and have never been disappointed by whoever shows up.

I hope to be in West Palm Beach, January 27-29 for the performances.

"The highlight of Program II is Viscera, a World Premiere ballet by Liam Scarlett, The Royal Ballet of London's most successful young choreographer. Also on this program are In the Night, Jerome Robbins' valentine to love, experienced through three glamorous pas de deux to Chopin's ravishing piano music, and masterpiece Ballet Imperial, Balanchine's tribute to Petipa and Tchaikovsky."

Maybe I'll see you there. I usually get together with an active poster at another forum, who is a big MCB fan, and we chat about it all at intermissions. It's good fun. Maybe you, or anyone else who happens to be there, would care to say hi.

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

balletomaniac wrote:

And Buddy - I read your comments. I agree. And if you feel inclined, see my review of MCB's Fall for Dance performance last year re: Sara Esty....

But the company, at least as Villella molded it, is one I wish I had some opportunity to see, and to watch dancers like Ms. Esty grow.

Hi, Jerry (cont.)

Ah yes, the Esty Sisters. I know them well from my audience sightings and various musings. It makes me proud to be a grandfather when I see them. You can't help doting over them like a loving parent. (When I mentioned them once to a lady siting next to me at an MCB performance in Florida, she said, "Oh yes, you mean "The Twins".")

They used to be the streak-of-lightning-pair-of-cross-stage-comets in Twyla Tharp's "In The Upper Room." I once broke out applauding after one of their cross stage bursts, much to their surprise and probably everyone else's.

I read your review from last year.

"I have not seen MCB enough to comment on the company’s overall quality (many have already done so), but from my observations previously, and after seeing last night’s performance, the MCB dancers are superb, and they gave Ms. Tharp’s dizzying choreography the energy it required. But more than that, they gave the piece an unexpected intimacy, as if the choreography and its execution by the appealing MCB dancers created an irresistible centripetal force. And as good as all the dancers were, one stood out. Sara Esty, only in the corps, is a fearless little firecracker of a dancer who moves across the stage and propels from one partner to another as if energized by lightning bolts, all the while looking like the dancer next door. [Though they do not look alike, she reminds me a bit of NYCB’s Tiler Peck.] I look forward to my next opportunity to see MCB, so I can see Ms. Esty and the other MCB dancers in other pieces in the MCB repertoire."


Sara Esty also reminds me of when Ashley Bouder (NYCB) did her Broadway-could-never-have-done-it-better "Tarantella" at the Mariinsky last April. (One of Rebecca King's (MCB) video blogs shows Jeanette Delgado (MCB) and her partner, collapsing on the stage (mostly in jest, I think) after the curtain came down on their Paris performance of this work, but you get the idea.)

Anyone who saw the PBS showing will know exactly what you mean about Sara Esty. She was the not-tall second dancer out of the chute towards the end of Twyla Tharp's "Golden Section." [Finding her at this point is not as easy as I thought. At the beginning of the work she is the one with the longer hair in the second group of two women. Because she is somewhat more compact than the other women, her limbs aren't flying around as much and yet her dynamics are explosive. Also physically and facially she makes this athletic whirlwind look as natural and effortless as a walk in the park.]

Author:  Buddy [ Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

" Fifty Dancers - One Soul "

This is printed on the top of the Miami City Ballet Studios. It's so appropriate. I wonder who's idea it was ?

I just happened to find this brief and very nice video about the design of this very pleasant modern, yet in character with the historic Art Deco neighborhood, facility. ... tudios.asp

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Steven Caras reviews the Friday, December 9, 2011 Palm Beach performance of "Square Dance," "Afternoon of a Faun," "Liturgy" and "In the Upper Room" for the Palm Beach Daily News.

Palm Beach Daily News

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

J. W. Arnold previews MCB's Program II, which features the premiere of Liam Scarlett's "Viscera."

South Florida Gay News

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

In the Miami Herald, Jordan Levin reviews the Friday, January 6, 2012 premiere of Liam Scarlett's "Viscera," on a program with Jerome Robbins' "In the Night" and Balanchine's "Ballet Imperial."

Miami Herald

Author:  Buddy [ Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Thanks, Francis, for citing Jordan Levin's very enthusiastic review of Liam Scarlett's "Viscera."

"...a whole new sense of possibility for the company."

"....not only brought out MCB’s considerable dynamism, but amped it up several levels, revealing new facets to the company’s already prodigious character."

"Artistic director Edward Villella’s impulsive decision two years ago to commission a work from Scarlett, a 25-year old choreographic prodigy at England’s Royal Ballet, turns out to have been a prescient one....Scarlett built on the attack, musicality and intensity that Villella has honed in years of coaching MCB’s dancers in demanding repertory by Balanchine and others, opening a path that

could take the company in a new creative direction."

Sounds fascinating! I haven't had the good fortune to see a live dance performance in about a half year. I hope to be able to see this one at the end of the month.

Added comment:

In addition to 'exciting dancing' I also look forward to seeing MCB continue to develop the great sensitive beauty that it has shown with performances by Haiyan Wu, (now at Oregon Ballet Theatre), and the depth and beauty exemplified by Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg and others.

Also hoping that Edward will continue to be a significant part of the company in one way or another.

Lovability, as well as great talent, is what makes the company so special.

Author:  Buddy [ Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Brief video clip of Liam Scarlett discussing his Viscera (filmed by Rebecca King, MCB dancer).
(top of page)

Also there are a few seconds of performance footage. It's received very good Florida reviews (see above). I look forward to seeing it myself Friday.

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

In the Naples News, Harriet Howard Heithaus previews the triple bill of Balanchine's "Ballet Imperial," Robbins' "In the Night" and Liam Scarlett's "Viscera" which will be presented in Naples on January 31 and February 1, 2012.

Naples News

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Jan Sjostrom previews Liam Scarlett's "Viscera" for the Palm Beach Daily News.

Palm Beach Daily News

Author:  Buddy [ Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Francis Timlin wrote:
Jan Sjostrom previews Liam Scarlett's "Viscera" for the Palm Beach Daily News.

Palm Beach Daily News

And, with a big smile, a preview for Criticaldance.


"Viscera" --World Premiere (Scarlett/Liebermann)
"In the Night" (Robbins/Chopin)
"Ballet Imperial" (Balanchine/Tchaikovsky)

I arrived in Florida late last night and I'm greatly looking forward to this series of performances. I haven't seen any kind of live performance in about six months, so this is exciting. In addition I'm hoping to see Veronika Part (ABT) in DC next weekend. MCB is famous for high energy enchantment and ! Veronika ! is of the Heavens. This should make for a wonderful contrast.

Possibly the closest dancer to ! Veronika ! at MCB is the depthfully poetic Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg, who will be dancing a very 'artful' duet in the middle of a whirlwind at tonight's West Palm Beach debut of Liam Scarlett's "Viscera."

Also among the women, ,Jeanette Delgado (the company's star firecracker and much more) along with Helen Ruiz (corps de ballet (talent is everywhere at MCB)) will also be dancing this lead at other performances. Jeanette Delgado, along with Sara Esty, will be dancing the second 'ballerina' as well. I believe that Jeanette's sister, Patricia Delgado, whom I like very much, also 'starred' in this, but she isn't listed for any West Palm Beach performances. (She is injured according to the Miami Herald. I hope that she is fine again as soon as possible.)

(Casting for all four performances has just been anounced and can be found here.)
(referred here by posts at balletalert)

The other two works, "Ballet Imperial" and "In the Night," are very interesting to me as well since I've seen them both magnificently performed by the Mariinsky. MCB, of the Joy of Life, and the Mariinsky, of the Heavens, make "Ballet Imperial" so different, yet equally compelling. If you think that equating in any way the MCB and the Mariinsky is a bit extreme, Liam Scarlett has this to say.

"[MCB]....the most talented group of dancers I've ever worked with .... the company really needs to be shown to the guys can elevate yourselves to one of the best companies that are in the world today."

(thanks bart (balletalert) for printing this out from the video interview cited above)

" guys can elevate yourselves to one of the best companies that are in the world today."

I, personally, think that they 'Are' and have been for a number of years -- "one of the best companies that are in the world today."

I've also seen "In the Night" beautifully done by the Mariinsky and the Paris Opera Ballet and look forward to seeing how the MCB does with it. It would have been perfect for Haiyan Wu, former MCB celestial 'classcist' (now at Oregon Ballet Theatre). Some of the company's more 'sensitively' beautiful stars, Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg, Mary Carmen Catoya, Tricia Albertson, along with Jeanette Delgado, Katia Carranza, Callie Manning and Jennifer Lauren will be doing their distinct interpretations. "In the Night" is a poetic masterpiece, which also contains some real physical challenges. The MCB interpretations should be very interesting, hopefully wonderful, to see.

Among the men I will quickly mention Renan Cerdeiro (poetic, a personal favorite) and Kleber Rebello (speed of light! plus), both from Brazil, both with the company for only a year or two and both made solists last year. They have added greatly to the male presence of Renato Penteado, Carlos Miguel Guerra, Jeremy Cox, Yann Trividic and the many other fine men dancers.

One reviewer from the Miami performances greatly praised the Corps de Ballet. I guess that I just take them for granted, but will try to watch them as carefully as possible this time around.

Author:  Buddy [ Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Another very beautiful evening with the Miami City Ballet.

Liam Scarlett's "Viscera" is a brilliantly crafted work that was brilliantly performed -- perhaps an instant classic.

"In the Night" and "Ballet Imperial" once again showed the MCB dancers as their typically fine selves.

Edward (Villella) was sitting a few rows in front of me looking as young and fit as I've ever seen him. I guess there is a divided opinion about his 'leaving' the company. I happen to like him very much, but there are often at least two sides to an issue. I wish him and the company all the best for the future and continue to hope that there will be an important place remaining for him at the company.

I look forward to seeing and enjoying much more in the next two days.

Author:  Buddy [ Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

Thumbs up again to this most wonderful of dance companies !

I wrote that I was going to try to concentrate more on the Corps de Ballet dancers this time. Not necessary ! There was no way not to love them. There were extremely fine highlight performances, of course, but it's the Corps de Ballet, as much as anything, that fills my mind with beautiful memories.

Corps de Ballet -- "Ballet Imperial"

So Magnificently Together !

Earth Angels in Airy Waves of White Chiffon !

Dreams of Heaven on Earth.

Just Absolutely Uplifting


Lovely, Lovely, Lovely, Lovely.

Author:  Buddy [ Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Miami City Ballet 2011-12

One of my heroines from this series is Tricia Albertson. In Saturday's six works she danced three leads and then stood in for another yesterday. Of the twelve performances, she danced a lead in five and participated in another two. I have to add that in this forty member (plus or minus) company it is not uncommon. Jeanette Delgado danced six leads. These leads could be completely different, sometimes two in the same work.

Tricia Albertson danced the leads in "Ballet Imperial" several times and just got better and better. Yesterday her imagery was as Gorgeous as it gets !

I would also like to clarify something about my previous post praising the "Corps de Ballet." When I wrote "Corps de Ballet" it was actually the 'large group' dancing that I was referring to. This would include all the participating principals and soloists as well.

It seems that George Balanchine, at times anyway, choreographed for his corps groupings with the same attention and detail that he would give the soloists and at times the distinction between the principals/soloists and the corps dancers almost disappears. This happens even more so in Liam Scarlett's "Viscera," when the large group would often break up into numerous distinct parts.

Also my post is describing the women, but the men are a most valuable underpinning that makes much of the women's wonderful beauty possible with their lifts and overall partnering. Bravi to these gentlemen, who not only helped the women shine so brightly, but did just fine on their own. Their group dancing was as together as I've seen in any company.


Today the beautiful waves of dancing 'angels' have ended for awhile, but outside my window a magnificent silver lit ocean is 'dancing' across the horizon.

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