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MCB tour to Paris, July 2011

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... "Theme and variations" (with Jeannette Delgado and Renato Penteado).

How was it...? :wub:

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Estelle, I'm glad you are gaving such a good time, revisiting works you love. MCB's Facebook page links to a review in the Financial Times. The photo is from Four Temperaments (it looks like Phlegmatic) with Jeremy Cox at center. It occurs to me that most of the rep they brought to Paris comes from two transcendent seasons (2007-2009). Those seasons had so many major 20th-century works, especially Balanchine, and such a fascinating group of dancers.. This means that most of the dancers on the Chatelet stage had the chance to perform this rep fairly recently. Only the youngest corps members and apprentices had to learn the parts specifically for Paris.

http://www.ft.com/in...l#axzz1SE0Caqv3

It was quite a bet: a little-known ballet company from Florida touring Paris for three weeks in the middle of the summer. And yet Miami City Ballet is pulling off some of the most refreshing performances seen here in a while. With 14 ballets scheduled, it may be an unprecedented undertaking for the company’s founder and director, former Balanchine star Edward Villella, but this tight-knit troupe has coped, and the audience’s reaction to the unfamiliar repertoire has been rapturous.

Under Villella’s guidance, Miami City Ballet has built a reputation for illuminating aspects of Balanchine’s style often overlooked by others. The dancers’ exuberance and faith in the steps are infectious, and theirs is an all-American musicality that sheds new light on ballets that have grown formulaic and dull on this side of the Atlantic.

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Here's a summary of the season in Paris from the Miami City Herald.

This is a brief quote:

A feature this week in Le Monde, one of Paris’ leading newspapers, cited MCB as a prime example of Miami’s cultural explosion, and praised the troupe’s “sophisticated elegance, with a je ne sais quoi of modesty and generosity that makes all the difference.” London’s Financial Times described the audience’s reaction as “rapturous,” noting that “the dancers’ exuberance and faith in the steps are infectious, and theirs is an all-American musicality that sheds new light on ballets that have grown formulaic and dull on this side of the Atlantic.”

I'm sure Mr. V. is bursting with pride, and that Mr. B. is smiling as well.

Edited by ViolinConcerto

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Thanks for the link, Violin Concerto. I was especially interested in Elizabeth Platel's comments in Villella's choice of repertoire for the Chatelet:.

Elizabeth Platel, director of the Paris Opera Ballet school, said MCB's expertise and aplomb in the works of George Balanchine, and a repertoire that struck a balance between dense, powerful Balanchine works new to Paris, such as Symphony in Three Movements and Ballet Imperial, and his beloved, lighter ballets, such as Tarantella, Western Symphony and Square Dance, had proved to be a smart and appealing mix. The Balanchine works are balanced by masterful, modern dance crowd-pleasers such as Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room and Paul Taylor's Pomethrean Fire, and lyrical Jerome Robbins ballets such as Afternoon of a Faun.

Also, referring to the sophistication of Paris audiences:

"Audiences are very demanding because they have a lot of choice and they know a lot of different companies," Platel said. "They know Balanchine, and [the Paris Opera Ballet] has a very high level, and we have a lot of Balanchine and Robbins. [MCB has] a different way of dancing from what we are doing in Paris ... and the energy given by the dancers is great."

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MCB has a different way of dancing from what we are doing in Paris ... and the energy given by the dancers is great."

That's the effect of the year around sunny, hot days and salty water of the beach..!! :thumbsup:

Congrats, MCB... :clapping:

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MCB has a different way of dancing from what we are doing in Paris ... and the energy given by the dancers is great."

That's the effect of the year around sunny, hot days and salty water of the beach..!! :thumbsup:

Congrats, MCB... :clapping:

Cristian, the temperature/humidity index along the So. Fla. coast has been in the 100's recently. Not a source of "energy" for ME, at least. :sweatingbullets: But, then, I don't actually live on Miami Beach, so I may be missing the key ingredient. AND I'm a good deal older than the MCB dancers. So, who knows? :wink:

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MCB has a different way of dancing from what we are doing in Paris ... and the energy given by the dancers is great."

That's the effect of the year around sunny, hot days and salty water of the beach..!! :thumbsup:

Congrats, MCB... :clapping:

Cristian, the temperature/humidity index along the So. Fla. coast has been in the 100's recently. Not a source of "energy" for ME, at least. :sweatingbullets: But, then, I don't actually live on Miami Beach, so I may be missing the key ingredient. AND I'm a good deal older than the MCB dancers. So, who knows? :wink:

Oh, it is GORGEOUS here today-(and for a little "gossiping around town", me being a permanent staple at the beach during my days off, I've spotted some dancers indulging there sometimes... :thumbsup: )

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Thanks for all the reports from Paris.

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Last night we saw Western Symphony, In the Night, and In the Upper Room. The line for last minute tickets was out the door, down the block, and around the corner. The only seats that I saw empty were those behind the famous poles in the Chatelet. Imagine opening with Western Symphony. This really warmed up the audience. In the Night was also well received. But, Upper Room brought down the house. I lost count of the curtain calls.The entire place was on its feet for minutes and minutes.

This was the last performance that I'll see here. It was an experience that I'll never forget and I'm sure that MCB won't either.

Villella told the Herald that its invitation to participate resulted from the greater international notice the company earned during its well-received New York debut in 2009. The company has been asked to consider returning to Paris in 2014, and a similar festival is interested in luring the troupe to Spain, he said.

From the Palm Beach Daily

Here is a recent blog post leading up to week 3 in Paris.

Here is what is being danced today (the last day).

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Paris audiences seem to be embracing ballet social media much more that we do in the US....see comments from tonight's last performance at twitter.

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I cannot believe that it has come time to write this post. Our Paris tour is over. These past three weeks were truly the highlight of my career and I am sure that every other company member would agree. Three spectacular weeks, 14 ballets, 17 shows, amazing audiences, and packed houses every night. There were lines out the door and around the corner for last minute tickets for our final shows. Miami City Ballet really was the talk of Paris
.

From the most recent Tendus Under a a Palm Tree

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A u-tube video of the final performance. The clip of Ballet Imperial is about 3 minutes the applause is the balance of the 8 minute video.

Final Performance

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If our past experience is any indicator, this will disappear rather quickly from YouTube. So will another posting there, a segment of In The Night with Jeanette Delgado and Renato Penteado.

So, if you want to see this, please click cahill's link quickly. The Ballet Imperial clip is from the final performance of the tour, so the last minute or so of ovation is especially worth watching.

Bravo Catoya and Penteado, and Patricia Delgado, and the lively and impressive corps, in Ballet Imperial. And Jeanette Delgado and Penteado in In the Night..

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I know there were distortions from the angle, but Penteado seems to have wonderful ballon and hang time in the air.

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BRAVI! BRAVI TUTTI! BRAVI, BRAVI, BRAVI! BRAVI TUTTI!

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I know there were distortions from the angle, but Penteado seems to have wonderful ballon and hang time in the air.

On YouTube, Penteado is also seen dancing in the Robbins In the Dark, with Jeanette Delgado. He is without a doubt the best over-all classical dancer/partner in the company. He's quite versatile, too. It's good to see him recovered from the injury issues that limited some of his time on stage last season.

BRAVI! BRAVI TUTTI! BRAVI, BRAVI, BRAVI! BRAVI TUTTI!

Jack, isn't it nice to know that we have Ballet Imperial to look forward to this season? In the Night, too. Did you get to see that clip on YouTube?
Thanks, iwatchthecorps. The writer address the "slow climb" that Villella has had to undertake in the years since founding MCB. Villella's long-term strategy has been paying off. This past two years, with the City Center engagement, the Dance in America taping, and now a world-class triumph in Paris -- he must be thrilled. As are, clearly and deservedly, the dancers.

P.S. The article incorporates a bit of news. soloist Amanda Weingarten (now Amanda Weingarten Goodwin) is retiring to go to Fordham in the fall. Her goal: public interest law. Weingarten was my favorite of the new soloists. It's a loss for Miami and for ballet, but I'm glad she is doing it for good reasons.

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The writer address the "slow climb" that Villella has had to undertake in the years since founding MCB. Villella's long-term strategy has been paying off. This past two years, with the City Center engagement, the Dance in America taping, and now a world-class triumph in Paris -- he must be thrilled. As are, clearly and deservedly, the dancers.

I'm very happy for Villella, but not so happy that I haven't seen the company for five years (googling to find out just how long it had been, I found my own BA post!). I don't see any touring info on the company's site. Are they touring much domestically these days? Or has Villella said that isn't financially feasible? They used to come to the D.C. area every 2-3 years, and they even did a week at the Kennedy Center.

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Jack, isn't it nice to know that we have Ballet Imperial to look forward to this season? In the Dark, too. Did you get to see that clip on YouTube?

Not only that, bart, but Ballet Imperial (or Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, for our friends who know the Balanchine repertory) with Catoya and Penteado, maybe! Not that I never want to see anyone else - who knows? One of the pleasures of seeing the company - or any company - after an interval of six or twelve months is to see how someone has developed and has power and presence in roles they'd not have been right for before. Or as good in, anyway. (Speaking of Penteado, for example, impressive at first and generally gets better and better.)

But I look forward more to Square Dance than to In the Night next season. But that's it for Balanchine in Florida. Two ballets, right? For our French friends, if they're still paying attention, we don't get the repertory in Florida MCB showed in Paris, nor does Florida show the company the enthusiasm Paris did. The same thing was true in New York in January 2009. (I knew it would be as far as audience enthusiasm was concerned.) That's partly why I was happy to watch them in New York and why I wished I was in Paris. (Maybe next time?)

Villella has said in his pre-performance talks in Fort Lauderdale, where I usually see MCB dance, that Balanchine is hard to sell, which he has said also is why they use the name of the previous version of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, and whenever I hear that I wonder how they're going about it. Whether the Balanchine audience isn't there or their marketers can't find it I don't know, and that's a subject - ballet marketing, or performing arts marketing - that deserves its own thread anyway.

I don't see any touring info on the company's site.

I wish I knew about this, kfw, but evidently they self-produced, i.e. paid for their run, in New York, and so the expense of touring may be the explanation. Who paid when they came to Chicago (just three performances) I haven't seen.

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Thanks for the link. It brought me to tears! Can you imagine how each dancer must have felt? A gruelling 3 weeks with everyone giving it their very best for 18 performances! They've truly earned that response. BRAVO from the states.

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... we don't get the repertory in Florida MCB showed in Paris, nor does Florida show the company the enthusiasm Paris did.

...nor is MCB the same company back home sans the touring adittions-(Cox, Baker, etc...). At least, for me, there are two well denoted periods, BC/AC-( before Cox, after Cox).

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That's another very good point, Cristian, thanks for reminding us.

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First time ever at the ballet for the two audience members at the beginning of the clip:

That goes right to the subject of ballet marketing I touched on above. CM - or anyone - is there any indication of how those two neophytes came to be in that audience? (Yet another time I regret not having studied French!)

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