Sunday, 26 February 2017

Miami City Ballet

Standard YouTube Licence

With any luck, a member of Team Terpsichore will be in her seat at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach to watch Program 3 of the Miami City Ballet's repertoire by the time this post appears.

Program 3 is a triple bill consisting of:
Christopher Wheeldon is, of course, English and Polyphonia has been performed at Covent Garden. Walpurgisnacht Ballet was premiered by New York City Ballet in 1980. I have been searching the internet like mad to see whether this piece has ever been performed in England. I can find no evidence that it has. Outside interest in Program 3, therefore, focuses on The Fairy's Kiss which was premiered in Miami on 10 Feb 2017. The New York Times sent the eminent ballet critic Alastair Macauley to Florida for its first performance. In Review: An Old Ballet Is Kissed Into New Life 12 Feb 2017 Mr Macaulay detects weaknesses in the ballet but concludes:
"My guess is that any flaws in “The Fairy’s Kiss” will fade. Already, it proves grippingly imaginative."
Balletomanes in England of a certain vintage will remember Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Le Baiser de la fée which was premiered at the Royal Opera House on 12 April 1960. Svetlana Beriosova, Meriel Evans. Donald MacLeary, Lynn Seymour and Jacqueline Daryl danced in that performance. I can't remember seeing it first time round or when it was re-staged in 1986.  However, I did see an attempt to reconstruct a bit of it in Anna Pavlova's former sitting room by Donald MacLeary for James Hay with the assistance of choreologist Diana Curry on 1 June 2014 (see A Minor Miracle - Bringing Le Baiser de la fée back to Life 2 June 2014.

Miami City Ballet was formed in 1985 with a mission to:
"produce and present the highest level of dance performances throughout Florida, the United States and abroad, train young aspiring dancers, and develop Miami City Ballet School into a leader of dance education."
According to Wikipedia the company has 45 dancers which makes it roughly the same size as Northern Ballet. Its artistic director is Lourdes Lopez who danced with the New York City Ballet.  Miami City Ballet has toured extensively in the USA but appears to have made only two trips here. These were to the Edinburgh Festival in 1994 and 1995.  Its school seems to offer very much the same sort of training to local kids as Northern Ballet Academy offers to our children in Leeds.

Like Northern Ballet Miami City Ballet has Drop-in classes for adult ballet students though it does not seem to cater for the Over 55s unlike Northern Ballet (see Realizing a Dream 12 Sept 2016). Since a lot of people from the North-Eastern seaboard retire in Florida it may be that the Miami City Ballet is missing a trick. North Americans, like us, are living up to 30 years after retirement age nowadays and they need to keep active and busy. A silver swans class could be a nice little earner for the Miami City Ballet.

In the 4 years and a day that this blog has existed, we have posted nearly 900 articles.  We have reviewed performances by the Royal Ballet, the Bolshoi, the Mariinsky, the Dutch National Ballet, the Hungarian National Ballet and the Ballet of the Paris Opera and many other companies but this will be the first time that we will have reviewed a performance by an American classical company in the USA itself. We are very excited about this evening on both sides of the Atlantic.

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