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 Post subject: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2001 7:59 am 
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<A HREF="http://www.miami.com/herald/content/news/local/dade/digdocs/099367.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.miami.com/herald/content/news/local/dade/digdocs/099367.htm</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2001 4:28 pm 
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Image <BR><fontsize=1>Eve Lawson, Principal Ballet Mistress</fontsize><P>Jordan Levin writes about the internationality of MCB:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Miami City Ballet gets newly international flavor</B><P>JORDAN LEVIN, Miami Herald<P>In Miami City Ballet's modern new studios in Miami Beach, you're as likely to hear French and Russian spoken as Spanish or English these days.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.miami.com/herald/content/features/critics/dance/digdocs/043825.htm target=_blank><B>More</B></a><P><BR>And a bit <a href=http://www.miami.com/herald/content/features/critics/dance/digdocs/008366.htm target=_blank><B>more</B></a>.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited September 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2001 4:31 pm 
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And a press release:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>A United Nations Of New Dancers Arrives For The 2001-2002 Season<BR>August 3, 2001<P>“Miami City Ballet is looking at a season with some of the strongest male performers in our history” <P>Edward Villella, <BR>Founding Artisitic Director. <P>They’re back! Miami City Ballet dancers returned to work at the Company studios on Miami Beach recently. Joining the Ballet for its 16th season are several new dancers from around the globe.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.miamicityballet.org/mcbdev/nr_united_nations.shtml target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2001 10:57 am 
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A review from opening night:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Ballet gives audience a night worth celebrating<P>Jordan Levin, Miami Herald<P>Miami City Ballet opened its 2001-02 season Friday night with a verve that made a defiant statement on the recent worries plaguing the nation.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.miami.com/herald/content/features/critics/dance/digdocs/010932.htm target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2001 9:16 pm 
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'Stars and Stripes' has become quite popular nowadays:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Light vs. darkness: Patriotism replaces women's theme in ballet<P>Guillermo Perez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel<P>Old Glory was saluted to the strains of John Philip Sousa as an excerpt from Stars and Stripes raised the curtain on Miami City Ballet's all-Balanchine season opener at the Gleason Theater Friday night. It was a rousing bit of Americana with added significance these days. Yet the national spirit received higher honor with the equally celebratory but more sophisticated Who Cares?, which closed the program.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://sun-sentinel.com/entertainment/stage/sfl-mcbprog1oct03.story?coll=sfla%2Dentertainment%2Dstage target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2001 10:15 am 
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MCB is currently in the midst of a West Coast tour. They performed a mixed rep program at UC-Davis this past Tuesday and are at UCLA's Royce Hall tonight (10/12) and tomorrow (10/13); in Santa Barbara on Sunday (10/14). Any Angelenos or Santa Barbarans attending? (The program for those performances is the complete Jewels.)<P>Next week, they will be in Olympia with a mixed rep (including Rubies and two Villella works) -- Tuesday, 10/16, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m. (I plan to attend.)<P>The tour closes with performances of Jewels in Anchorage on Friday/Saturday, October 19/20.<P>For more complete program, venue and ticket information see:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.miamicityballet.org/mcbdev/ps_touring.shtml" TARGET=_blank>http://www.miamicityballet.org/mcbdev/ps_touring.shtml</A>


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2001 11:00 am 
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I highly, highly recommend this company's "Jewels." Please, all Southern Californians, treat yourself to a wonderful evening of ballet. My impressions from ages ago:<P> <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/reviews/mcb-jewels.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.criticaldance.com/reviews/mcb-jewels.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited October 12, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2001 1:41 pm 
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O good, I’m glad to see that Miami City Ballet’s tour is getting noticed. Gripped in another me, too, compulsion after reading Azlan’s review, I’m posting some excerpts of my notes from Miami City Ballet’s performance earlier in the year in Washington, D.C. O yes, and I am planning on seeing them on this tour.<P>Jewels Notes 6/1/01 to 6/3/01<P>Miami City Ballet at the Kennedy Center<P>“Emeralds”<P>Mary Carmen Catoya and Carlos Guerra<BR>Shannon Parsley and Yann Trividic<BR>Tricia Albertson, Arnold Quintane, Callye Robinson (Friday)<BR>Paige Fullerton, Arnold Quintane, Callye Robinson (Saturday matinee)<BR>Corps of 10 girls<P>At the Friday evening show, I was in the third row center, which is good to see detail but at my height, the strip of lights at the front of the apron cut off my view of the floor (couldn’t see any pointes except in the back). At the Saturday and Sunday matinees, I was in row L and the people sitting in front of me were also at the perfect height so I could see over their heads.<P>The curtain raises to reveal the ensemble of the corps behind Mary Carmen Catoya and Carlos Guerra. The backdrop is black with a nebula of green stars behind the dancers making the dancers look like they’re dancing somewhere in space with that superblack black that is infinity behind them. However, upon closer look (row G or Row L) I can make out a grid that is probably part of the material of the backdrop. The backdrop is what really seems different from the New York City Ballet production where the back is a beige backdrop with greenish metal diamonds arranged in a pattern. In other words, the New York City Ballet production looks like it is on a stage rather than in outer space.<P>The entire audience went, “oooooo,” both times upon seeing the ensemble. Mary Carmen is exceptionally focused and beautiful. She looks every so often at Carlos and at the audience. That awareness is what seems different from her portrayal versus Merrill Ashley’s on the video and the performances in New York. The first movement is a subtle drama of romance and this is the act that I think of with Mimi Paul’s words that the dance is “underwater quality.” I caught how the girl finds and leads the boy through and around the corps. Particularly like when the corps form in a diagonal line with the principal couple backstage right. The corps line separates into two lines through which the couple dance while the corps girls slip through the form of their raised arms. Another place, can make out where Mary Carmen holds her hand up, palm outwards and is met by Carlos’ hand up, palm outwards to meet her palm. Makes me think of the line from Romeo and Juliet’s first meeting.<P>2nd movement is for Mary Carmen. This emphasizes the port d’ bras. I think this is the movement that the reviewer was thinking of when comparing this movement to what Balanchine thought a beautiful woman did in the privacy of her bedroom. But, as in the first movement, Mary Carmen looks out at the audience as if sharing a secret and the secret is herself. She shows one arm to the audience first across her body then out to the front side, then this arms is hidden so she can show the other arms with beautiful ballet hands. Later on, she poses in 4th position one foot in front and gathers the very edge of her tutu skirt to present steps to the audience with a little look conspiratorial look or perhaps teasing look out at the audience.<P>“Rubies”<P>1st movement: The curtain rises to reveal the stage darkened except for bright red on the back of the stage and the back drop. The back drop has changed into a red nebula of stars. The girls and boys of the corps are visible backlit for a moment. As the piano starts the light changes to we can see the corps dancers clearly. The back drop now has red sparkles that make out the image of three arches with three chandeliers. With the lighting change it’s easy to make out the corps dancers dressed in red with red gemstone trim. No skirts but red tag tassels that make little clipping noises as the girls dance jauntily. The two lines of the corps form a “v” with the soloist at the middle. For Friday and Saturday performances, the soloist is Michelle Merrell and for Sunday matinee is Andrea Spiridonakos. Michelle is terrific, dancing with a lot of verve and panache. Andrea reminds me very much of Julie Diana as a soloist. She has that same, lean, beautifully proportioned ballet body and projects a very similar sense of personality that says, watch me dance because I love dancing. She appears to be shorter than Michelle though neither appear to be tall. I am trying to remember who I have seen dance the soloist part in San Francisco Ballet and I am thinking that Yuan Yuan Tan was a soloist when Elizabeth Loscavio was a principal during the 1997 season with “Rubies” performed either at Zellerbach Hall or Yerba Buena.<P>I don’t understand why only “Rubies” and “Diamonds” got separate curtain calls in front of the curtain for the principals.<P>“Diamonds”<P>Friday and Saturday were Deanna Seay and Mikhail Nikitine<BR>Sunday was an unexpected casting of Iliana Lopez with Franklin Gamero who was listed on the program.<P>1st movement: This is essentially the corps’ movement though there are two demi-soloists. They appeared to be the same two girls but weren’t listed separately on the program. Backdrop had the white star nebula. No chandeliers or arches. Balanchine can handle group movement better and more inventively than anybody. The music and the mood of the piece reminds me of the section for “Odette’s friends” in Act IV of “Swan Lake.” It’s like the girls are dancing for themselves as a group. There are little quotes from “Swan Lake.”<P>2nd movement: The grand, “Diamonds” pas de deux. Clearly this is the central movement of the ballet. Though Suzanne Farrell’s and Peter Martin’s performance is well documented on the Balanchine video, video pales in comparison to live performance (even with larger than life performers like Farrell and Martins). Deanna Seay is the most beautiful and composed of ballerinas and Iliana Lopez as well. Deanna’s performance is more legato and smoother, her turns and poses are perfectly thought out to draw our attention to the quotations from Swan Lake and other Tschaikovsky/ Petipa ballets. Hers is a very regal Odette. Iliana’s performance is somewhat more breathtaking, especially her balances on pointe. Where even the tiniest little wobble, bob, or correction can be seen clear to the back of the house, Iliana has none. I have only seen 4 “Diamonds” ballerinas—Kyra Nichols, Wendy Whelan, Iliana Lopez, and Deanna Seay, but there is no comparison between any of them because all were fantastic. The only thing that occurs to me is that it’s easier to see the Suzanne Farrell in the New York dancers, Kyra Nichols and Wendy Whelan—a tendency to emphasize the larger than life. All dancers seem to project a better sense than the video of the court and courtship ritual that is inherent in the both the music and the steps particularly in the opening sequence where the ballerina and the danseur approach each other carefully. Compared to the New York dancers, the Miami dancers are a little more compact (shorter) and this makes them resemble Suzanne Farrell a little less, too.<P>In the way the ballerina is held by the danseur is unmistakably from the White Swan pas de deux and there are occasionally brief almost split second quotes of swan arms port de bras. When the music swells and Deanna/Iliana run forward to the danseur only to fall forward so he catches her and turns her body in a wide back arch, that is pure WSpdd.<P>3rd movement: 4 demisoloists, so much like the 4 cygnets in Swan Lake, set the atmosphere and theme for this movement. The theme is supposed to be “Polish,” and when the trumpet gives the theme, the 4 demi-soloists use the character arms, shoulders, and legs (though they are still in pointe shoes).<P>4th movement: As the program notes describe, the last movement has the grand marches (like in “Theme and Variations” and “Raymonda” seemingly de riguer for any wedding/ coronation scene in ballet) as it is the “Tempo di Polacca.” Begins with 2 lines of the corps in promenade across the stage. Now the corps girls are wearing elbow length gloves except for the principal ballerina who appears without gloves as she has been all along. The gloves turn the ballet scene into a formal, social occasion.<P>Ends with the corps around the sides and back and the principal couple flanked by the demi-soloist girls. The principal couple up front and center. They kneel next to each other, holding each other with one arm and make a broad sweep in front of them with the other arms and that is the finale. Ending with the formal device of the promenade and the principal couple’s presenting the entire tableaux points towards ballet central tendency towards organizing the group and particularly the group into a hierarchy.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2001 3:15 pm 
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Jeff - thank you so much for that wonderful view through a window of what you saw....I especially enjoyed the 'little quotes from Swan Lake'.<P>I have only seen Miami City Ballet once, when they filled in for a cancelled date by another company at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, California. I thought they were terrific and I would love to see them again. <P>A true testament to Edward Villella's dedication, skill and artistry.


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2001 3:25 pm 
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From the Los Angeles Times:<P><B>Miami City Ballet Makes 'Jewels' Glisten<BR>The troupe's control and pacing do justice to Balanchine's elegant choreography.</B><P>By JENNIFER FISHER, Special to The Times<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>On days when the news is almost all harrowing, there's a lot to be said for encountering the securely interlocking structures and radiant beauty of Balanchine ballets. Often credited with capturing the vigor and optimism of America, while retaining the haunting elegance of imperial Russian classicism, George Balanchine was a choreographer who courted transcendence--and often delivered.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.calendarlive.com/top/1,1419,L-LATimes-Search-X!ArticleDetail-45266,00.html?search_area=Articles&channel=Search" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A> <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2001 10:33 pm 
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Writing about one of E.M. Forster’s novels, Lionel Trilling said, it is irritating to be promised a principle and then to be given a hypothesis.” This thought crossed my mind momentarily as I sat down for Miami City Ballet’s Friday (10/12) performance at Royce Hall, UCLA. What I’m getting at is MCB’s glorious performances of Balanchine’s “Jewels” was to taped music. While performance to taped music is a reality for the many if not the majority of smaller companies, this expedient is fortunately not resorted to by most of the larger companies (2 recent tours of the National Ballet of Cuba excepted though I understand that the upcoming performances of “Coppelia” will feature the Pacific Symphony Orchestra). Dancing of MCB’s quality really deserves the live orchestra—without it is like gemstones without a setting, caviar without champagne, Laurel without Hardy, etc (any other clichés?) [OK, ok, I understand about how tight money is…]<P>But, once I set aside the delicious memory of MCB’s “Jewels” at the Kennedy Center (with the Kennedy Center Orch., I believe) in June, the taped music was no obstacle to enjoying Balanchine’s glorious choreography or MCB’s many talented dancers.<P>Happily, the casting was basically the same at UCLA as it was at the Kennedy Center. I’ll quote Jennifer Fisher from the LA Times review: “Mary Carmen Catoya’s lyrically unfolding arms traced romantic wreaths around her body; and in the regal “Diamonds,” Iliana Lopez caught a few balances in arabesque that hung in the air like a benediction. Lopez’s version of a princess seemed very approachable because of her ability to combine serenity and vibrancy. Her partner, Franklin Gamero, carried off his serious spins in a second position well, but the carat power in this section really belongs to the ballerina.” Fisher’s comparison of Iliana Lopez “like a benediction” is an intriguingly subtle insight into the ineffable quality of the artist’s interpretation, almost finding a state of grace. I thought of Shakespeare: “The quality of mercy is not strain'd, / It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven” and Sitwell: “Still falls the rain…”<P>A few more notes: Again, when the curtains came up on “Emeralds” the audience went, oooooo… both performances. Shannon Parsley was again cast on Fri as the 2nd ballerina and was a pleasure to watch, and Iliana Lopez danced that role on Saturday. In “Rubies” the opening tableaux was very effective--the slightly curved line of the dancers holding hands and posing jauntily. Silhouetted by the black backdrop with red stars, it looked both mythopoeic and modern, an image that might have been called “Birth of the Jazz Age” if F. Scott Fitzgerald had been a painter. Jennifer Kronenberg danced the pdd with Eric Quillere both nights with Andrea Spiridonakos (Fri) seeming to find especial delight in the “coltish” quality and Michelle Merrell (Sat) dancing the soloist role with especial gusto. <P>On Saturday, Deanna Seay and Mikhail Nikitine danced “Diamonds” and I continue to find riches in both their performances and the choreography. This time I was struck by the ritual, almost liturgical aspect of the “Diamonds” pdd (also the “Emeralds” pdd) though it is true of “Jewels” as a whole. In each of the “Jewels” three sections, there is a pas de deux clearly meant to be the central movement-- a distillation—maybe a telescoping—of the balletic art. Consider in the Baroque era, balletic movement was the courtier’s province and participated in social discourse, but with its evolution through subsequent epochs, ballet increasingly abandoned its courtly function for an artistic one. If the pdd was once a stylized version of courtship, it is recognizable to us only as a highly refined aesthetic object. (Think of how the finest Ta’ang porcelain is more an objet d’art than something to serve food on or put flowers in.) Moreover, more than merely participating in balletic discourse, ritual, in a sense, defines it. I’ll paraphrase Bronowski on the ancient art of the samurai sword: “The making of the sword like all ancient metallurgy is surrounded by ritual. That’s because when you have no language, no chemical formulas, you must have a ceremony that fixes the secrets of the ages so that they are exact…” He might have been talking about the ballet master and the ballet teacher, both charged with passing not just the choreographer’s steps but the spirit of those steps from generation to generation.<P>Though I gassed on about having taped music instead of live, the only other quibble is that the Royce Hall stage looked a little tight. Also, the company looked like they might not have sufficiently warmed up during Friday’s “Emeralds” but these are small points more than forgotten in the glory that is “Jewels.” In the post-performance Q&A, MCB’s artistic director was asked when the company would be back. His answer, “when we’re asked” should be a big hint to UCLA Performing Arts on what to do.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2001 11:49 am 
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Miami City Ballet brought a mixed repertory program to the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia on Tuesday, October 16. Performed were two completed sections of a work-in-progress by AD Edward Villella to consist of four sections with the overall title, "The Neighborhood Ballroom," plus Balanchine's "Rubies."<P>What Mr. Villella is really producing is a character ballet using waltzes, tangos, mambos, and other American social dances, in place of the mazurka, czardas, Spanish, etc., used as the charcter base in the Fokine/Massine works of the Diaghilev era.<P>The program credits many "consultants" (e.g., Frank Regan on the Boston Waltz used in the first work; Jorge Nell and Marta Mandel on the tango-waltz) which has the effect of blurring the lines between who is responsible for what percentage of the choreography. I think it is fair to surmise that this work is quite a collaborative endeavor overall.<P>The first work, "The Waltz - Our Lady of Oblivion" uses a slow waltz as its point of departure toward some commentary on illusion/reality, good/evil, and the fictive need for intoxicants (absinthe) to enhance the artist's sensibilities. A bit pretentious, overall, for what the work is ultimately able to deliver...some nice, patterned ensemble work; women in long gowns and Greek sandals; men in jazz shoes; the vision of the unattainable ideal on pointe; the vision of earthiness in character shoes. With original music performed onstage by company pianist Francisco Renno. Visions of Todd Bolender's "Souvenirs" drifted through my mind.<P>The middle third of the program was given over to the first of the four "Neighborhood Ballroom" works completed -- "Mambo No. 2 a.m." This work is, of course, nonstop mambo bounce, aided by brilliant costumes in in a rainbow of tropical hues. Just the thing for an audience in the great grey Northwest. And the audience heartily approved. Iliana Lopez and Franklin Gamero were predictably steamy in their pas de deux.<P>Neither of the above works, however, would have induced me to make a 120-mile round-trip after work in the midst of a busy week. "Rubies," however, did so. MCB's greatest strength clearly lies with Balanchine works from the Villella era at NYCB. The ensemble work and overall style on display in Rubies was of the highest order. Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg and Eric Quillere performed the McBride/Villella roles and Michelle Merrell performed in the "tall" lead role. <P>I hope that a presenter in this region will invite MCB to return with the full Jewels in the near future.


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2001 1:51 pm 
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I didn't see the recent show in Washington, but know a good friend who did. He said that the dancers were stellar, but he found the programming quite "ho-hum"; not very adventurous, I presume. Anybody agree, disagree?


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2001 4:58 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>MCB, Ballet Florida leap the county lines<P>Lawrence A. Johnson and Guillermo Perez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel<P>Dance is leaping across county boundaries to establish a firm toehold in new venues. In Boca Raton, Florida Atlantic University's fall "Celebration of the Arts" Festival will present the Miami City Ballet in a newly orchestrated version of a work by the ballet company's pianist and music librarian, Francisco Rennó.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://sun-sentinel.com/entertainment/stage/sfl-dancebrfsoct22.story?coll=sfla%2Dentertainment%2Dstage target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Miami City Ballet 2001 - 02 Season
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2001 12:41 pm 
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Sorry it took me so long to get this one posted, from the Anchorage, Alaska stop on their tour:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Mr. B would be proud. Miami City Ballet handled "Jewels" with all the expressiveness, musicality and elegance that imbues George Balanchine's master work.<P>The troupe overwhelmed Friday evening's audience at the Atwood Concert Hall with neoclassical ballet on a par with the New York City Ballet. And why not? MCB's founder/artistic director is Edward Villella, one of Balanchine's major stars and a risk-taking artist for many years.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="http://www.adn.com/life/story/730828p-769372c.html" TARGET=_blank>More...</A></B><P>Many thanks to our alert CD friend who sent me the review!<p>[This message has been edited by mehunt (edited October 29, 2001).]


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