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Wanted dead or alive: Giselle and SolorReward offered.


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#1 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:36 AM

Miami City Ballet's new season will face a challenge, the fact of having lost the majority of its male force. Started with the departure a while ago of Principals Jeremy Cox-(the most charismatic dancer of the troupe)-and Isanusi Garcia, the exodus just took a new force after the newest absences on the roster-(Quenedit, Wong, Baker, Sarabia II and Sarabita). As I pointed earlier in another thread, this leaves this already small troupe even smaller, and definitely without some of its best men.
When I decided to give MCB a second try after my first exposure/disappointment 9 years ago-(Giselle)-,it was mainly out of curiosity-(and much more after my discovering of BT)- on Balanchine's repertoire. Then, little by little I started to grow a new sympathy not only toward these new to me ballets , but mostly to the great dancers that made me "eat" Balanchine just as a kid gets convinced little by little to "eat your vegetables because they're good for you". I'm sure that I'm not an isolated case, and there are many ballet lovers here in Miami who, even still mourning the absence of the "war horses", took enormous pleasure in the artistry, energy and devotion of these men and women.
So now...what? Yesterday I passed by the MCB building and on top of it there's a big poster announcing the 25Th anniversary of the company. Albertson, Panteado, Jeanette, Kronemberg and Guerra are the only ones on it. And thinking of it, I don't really think all of them will be able to carry on the weight of certain demanding roles.
Now, I have mixed feelings about this whole situation-(and one can only especulate on the causes of this sudden exodus of dancers)-so I thought about putting in writing some of them.

-MCB is a Balanchine-focused company, and there's not too much visible intention to diversify it.

-Dancers/audience are not being exposed to the very basis of every T&V, Pas de Dix or Diamonds. Does the 2010 ballet dancer not want to try an Albretch, Odile or Colas at some point before being too old for it...? Don't we think, as ballet lovers, that this highly enjoyable repertoire ought to be preserved so is not permanently forgotten either by audiences and dancers?

-Could it be happening that Miami City Ballet has been actually losing dancers and audiences because of it...?

Just recently we witnessed the very last perfomances of newly retired Principal Deanna Seay. At this point of Seay's career, I don't think she was offered a proper role to dance her farewell. I might add that she was the ONLY MCB ballerina that I could picture in the role of the Sylph or in Chopiniana. Her very last performance-(along with that infortunate accident)-was "Who Cares...?", which I don't think gave her the opportunity she deserved to show her artistic maturity.

I have a friend who's always defending the idea that MCB does not need the war horses and that he's fine with the repertoire that we have down here. What he does not explain is why then does he jumps on a plane to NYC every time there's a Nikiya, Medora or Giselle announced at ABT. I wish I could do that too, but I can't afford it...and so I truly feel that I'm missing a lot. Could a dancer be actually experiencing a similar sense of loss...?

Have you, as audience-(or maybe as a dancer)-ever been faced with a company that doesn't fulfill your needs...?

#2 mira

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:56 AM

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't sell MCB short now! MCB is considered byt the NY Times critic, Alastair Macaulay, as one of the best "Balanchine" companies - he reviews them regularly and with enthusiasm. I think they'll continue to shine without the dancers you mention. You may have read that former MCB Principal Yann Trividic has rejoined MCB after his guest lead in Villella's Neighborhood Ballroom this spring. He is amazing. Edward has also hired Reyneris Reyes. And don't be surprised when Isanusi Garcia (one of my favorite male dancers ever!) is on the roster this year too. I think Miami (and New York) audiences are in for a big treat. Who knows who else Mr. Villella has in mind! :-)


Miami City Ballet's new season will face a challenge, the fact of having lost the majority of its male force. Started with the departure a while ago of Principals Jeremy Cox-(the most charismatic dancer of the troupe)-and Isanusi Garcia, the exodus just took a new force after the newest absences on the roster-(Quenedit, Wong, Baker, Sarabia II and Principal Sarabia). As I pointed earlier in another thread, this leaves this normally short troupe even smaller, and definitely without some of its best men. When I came back to give MCB a second try after my first exposure/disappointment 9 years ago-(Giselle)-and of course, my introduction to Balanchine via BT, little by little I started to feel new sympathy feelings not only toward this new to me repertoire, but mostly to the great dancers that made me "eat" Balanchine just as a kid gets convinced little by little to "eat your vegetables because they're good for you". I'm sure that I'm not an isolated case, and that there are many ballet lovers here in Miami who, even still mourning the absence of the "war horses", took enormous pleasure in the artistry, energy and devotion of these men and women.
So now...what? Yesterday I passed by the MCB building and on top of it there's a big poster announcing the 25Th anniversary of the company. Albertson, Panteado, Jeanette, Kronemberg and 'Guerra are the only ones on it. And thinking of it, NOT EVEN all of them are able to carry on the weight of certain demanding roles. All of this made me think of certain points, which maybe at this very moment could be getting replicated in other places.

-MCB is a Balanchine-focused company, and there's not too much visible intention to diversify it.
-Dancers/audience are not being exposed to the very basis of every T&V, Pas de Dix or Diamonds. Does the 2010 ballet dancer not want to try an Albretch, Odile or Colas at some point before being too old for it...?
-Could Miami City Ballet been actually losing dancers and audience because of it...?

I have a friend who's always defending the idea that MCB does not need the war horses and that it is enough for him with the repertoire that we have down here. What he does not explain is why then does he jumps on a plane to NYC every time there's a Nikiya, Medora or Giselle announced at ABT. For once, I can not afford to do that...and I truly feel that I'm missing a lot.
Have you, as audience-(or maybe as a dancer)-ever been faced with a company that doesn't fulfill your needs...?



#3 Hans

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 11:13 AM

Are the MCB dancers really capable of performing the 19C classics? Is the company large enough to do them justice?

Ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadère, &c require an enormous cast and a very large budget in order to be performed properly. They also need dancers who are familiar with Petipa's stately style, who are strong actors, and who can mime at least competently. A significant number of MCB's dancers comes from SAB, where they are not taught any of that--witness NYCB's attempts to take on evening-length productions of Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.

That said, it would be an interesting exercise for MCB to perform excerpts from these ballets on a mixed bill. That could provide an opportunity to gauge the dancers' affinity for the style as well as audience reaction and receptiveness toward seeing the full ballet.

#4 volcanohunter

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 11:31 AM

Have you, as audience-(or maybe as a dancer)-ever been faced with a company that doesn't fulfill your needs...?

The short answer is, yes. So I'll admit to jumping on planes to New York also.

Are the MCB dancers really capable of performing the 19C classics? Is the company large enough to do them justice?

Ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadère, &c require an enormous cast and a very large budget in order to be performed properly. They also need dancers who are familiar with Petipa's stately style, who are strong actors, and who can mime at least competently.

Yup. Consider what I have to look forward to season: a company of 30 dancers, not remotely competent in the Petipa style, attempting Sleeping Beauty, a lousy production of The Nutcracker and a trashy pop extravaganza for the third year in a row. If not for a program that includes Balanchine's Serenade and a couple of touring (modern) companies, it wouldn't even be worth the effort.

#5 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 03:29 PM

Just my opinion, but I wouldn't sell MCB short now! MCB is considered byt the NY Times critic, Alastair Macaulay, as one of the best "Balanchine" companies - he reviews them regularly and with enthusiasm. I think they'll continue to shine without the dancers you mention. You may have read that former MCB Principal Yann Trividic has rejoined MCB after his guest lead in Villella's Neighborhood Ballroom this spring. He is amazing. Edward has also hired Reyneris Reyes. And don't be surprised when Isanusi Garcia (one of my favorite male dancers ever!) is on the roster this year too. I think Miami (and New York) audiences are in for a big treat.


I hope to see Isanusi back. As per Reyes, I'm happy to see again a dancer that was very promising in Havana during the early 90's and then suddenly dissapeared. But at the same time, I wish I could see them doing the big roles. And then, there's Jeanette, who was AMAZING as Kitri, and I'm sure would do a marvelous Aurora or Nikiya. Will she ever have the chance...? If so...down here...? If not, that would be a real pity.

#6 carbro

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 05:08 PM

Are we living in the real world? Because I want to take a trip to fantasy land, where it's not deemed necessary to add new ballets to existing repertoire.

I'd want NYCB to forget everything that is not by Balanchine or Robbins. Two Robbins ballets a season, and everything else Balanchine. That would make me so happy. :yahoo: :wink: I can't think of a single ballet I'd grow to miss.

#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 06:14 PM

I'd want NYCB to forget everything that is not by Balanchine or Robbins. Two Robbins ballets a season, and everything else Balanchine.


...and for the rest, there's always ABT right next door, right...? :wink:

#8 carbro

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 06:29 PM

Well, that depends on what you mean by "the rest." In the '70s, every summer a different major opera-house ballet company -- sometimes two! -- would have seasons at the Met. I miss seeing a variety of styles and approaches -- Royal, Stuttgart, Royal Danes, POB, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, etc., even the Bolshoi (but until the late '80s, not the Kirov). From where I sit, ABT has been abandoning its heritage of de Mille and Tudor, too. I'm happy that this season, they have a variety of mixed bills (including an excerpt from Tudor's Romeo and Juliet).

But Balanchine's my oxygen.


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