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sohalia

MCB On Tour 2016

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If I'm reading the cast list correctly, Simone Messmer is getting the Waltz Girl in Serenade. Congratulations to her. Her NYC fans (including me) will be there to cheer her accomplishments.

I remember Maya Collins from the corps of NYCB and wondered what happened to her. I see that she is now with MCB.

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I remember Maya Collins from the corps of NYCB and wondered what happened to her. I see that she is now with MCB.

I think she joined MCB in the fall of 2011.

I really wish they had danced Serenade down here this season. It is one of the Balanchine ballet on top of my list to see, and I couldn't make it to any of the NYCB performances, and now will miss it with MCB! Jealous of everyone who will get to see it on the tour, especially with Messmer.

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MCB did Serenade a couple of seasons ago and will do it again next season, so don't worry, Sohalia. You'll get to see them do it.

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MCB did Serenade a couple of seasons ago and will do it again next season, so don't worry, Sohalia. You'll get to see them do it.

I may not be in Miami anymore by the time it comes back :( One day.... one day!

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MCB made a great impression with their 1st program here last night.



What a privilege & a pleasure it was to watch Simone Messmer as the Waltz Girl in Serenade. She was incisive, musical and full of mystery. I don't know most of the MCB dancers but I think it was Nathalia Arja as the Russian Girl (and also the girl with the red star at the end of Symphonic Dances). If so this soloist needs to be promoted to pricincipal ASAP! She is a small, speedy technical powerhouse also capable of great delicacy and full of charisma . My only quibble with Serenade was the casting of the Dark Angel ( I think it was Emily Bromberg). She was fine, but she faded into the background compared to the other two. Not particularly tall (about the same height as Messmer) and certainly not possessed of the imposing presence and glorious arabesque of Dark Angels we get to see in NY like Kowroski, Mearns and Reichlin.



I loved Symphonic Dances. There is so much going on in this ballet that I'd like to see it multiple times, unfortunately I only get to see it once more. It uses many dancers in different groupings and changes of costumes, and they all looked wonderful. Among the principals I recognized G. Delgado and Albertson, and I think Arja was the girl with the red star at the end but I'm not sure, and I couldn't identify any of the men.


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MCB made a great impression with their 1st program here last night.

What a privilege & a pleasure it was to watch Simone Messmer as the Waltz Girl in Serenade. She was incisive, musical and full of mystery. I don't know most of the MCB dancers but I think it was Nathalia Arja as the Russian Girl (and also the girl with the red star at the end of Symphonic Dances). If so this soloist needs to be promoted to pricincipal ASAP! She is a small, speedy technical powerhouse also capable of great delicacy and full of charisma . My only quibble with Serenade was the casting of the Dark Angel ( I think it was Emily Bromberg). She was fine, but she faded into the background compared to the other two. Not particularly tall (about the same height as Messmer) and certainly not possessed of the imposing presence and glorious arabesque of Dark Angels we get to see in NY like Kowroski, Mearns and Reichlin.

I loved Symphonic Dances. There is so much going on in this ballet that I'd like to see it multiple times, unfortunately I only get to see it once more. It uses many dancers in different groupings and changes of costumes, and they all looked wonderful. Among the principals I recognized G. Delgado and Albertson, and I think Arja was the girl with the red star at the end but I'm not sure, and I couldn't identify any of the men.

From what I gathered through social media, I think you are correct in that Bromberg is the Dark Angel (seen rehearsing the role on MCB's Instagram account) and Arja is the Russian Girl (again seen rehearsing on MCB's Instagram).

Arja is one of my favorites at MCB along with the Delgado sisters, and I'm hoping that with some of the departures and shuffling, she will get a promotion. She is delightful to watch, and her love for dance and ballet just transcends through each of her movements.

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I was there for opening night too - Bravi! And a huge congrats to Lourdes! She was there in a stunning, tightly fitted, classy red dress. Of course! Just like her direction of the evening. Everything was tight (no messes, no messy, out of control tempi) and clean (Serenade was amazing in this regard.... everyone was in total sync and pointe shoes were not tap dancing throughout). Lourdes did not take a well deserved bow in front of the stage curtain. But she was there afterwards to meet and greet audience members and those on their way to the Gala dinner.

Serenade was beautifully done with Simone Messmer making her debut as the Waltz Girl. I would never have known that it was Simone's debut if I hadn't read it in the program. Wow! She was very impressive. Simone was radiant, confident and handled every demand of the role as if she had done it dozens of times before. Her bows seemed very emotional and full of humbling gratefulness. She seems very much at home with MCB. It's been quite a journey for her to finally arrive at Balanchine's house.

I thought Emily Bromberg was lovely and managed a most beautiful, smooth promenade with a very large arabesque partnered

by an excellent man underneath her skirt. This moment can often look nervous and awkward for the girl as she gives full control to her partner. Last night it was so easily and grandly done, I wanted to applaud as sometimes happens at NYCB.

Nathalia Arja had a very demanding night first as Russian Girl in Serenade and then in the very difficult dancing part in Ratmansky's Symphonic Dances. She was truly amazing in the later. Symphonic Dances is full of weirdness..... hoodies on the guys at times.....what? Puffy, very full and light, crayola colored dresses for the girls. But somehow it all worked. I thought this ballet was a bit too long.... but it was entertaining for the most part.... again because of the excellent dancers.

Two others who stood out for me during the evening were Jeanette Delgado and Kleber Rebello, both were in lead parts of Ratmansky's. Such strong personalities and gorgeous technique. I would have loved seeing the two of them dance the Mozartiana piece that was given to us on the program as a Musical Interlude. Odd for me, to attend a ballet and not see the ballet danced.....but I closed my eyes and recalled several dancers I have loved in the ballet recently and in years past. I thought the Musical Interlude was MCB's respectful nod to Balanchine.... music first! The best intermission ever!

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I was there Thursday night and had a wonderful time. As a New Yorker I'm so glad I got the opportunity to see this beautiful and engaging company.

1st - Symphony in Three Movements. Everyone danced with wonderful attack and energy. Overall I think the women stronger than the men and also more varied in body type. I wish I knew better who was who, but I'm pretty sure the woman with the gorgeous jump is Nathalia Arja (correct me anyone, if I'm wrong)

Next - Sweet Fields, Twyla Tharp always constructs clear and entertaining ballets. It was well done by the company and I particularly liked the way the dancers related to one another on stage and brought so much humanity to the piece.

Last - Symphonic Dances. True confessions. I know I am in the minority but I am not a big Ratmansky fan. I like the Bright Stream, but other than that I mostly like the ballets he did for the NYCB. This was well danced by everyone with appropriate technique and drama. The 3 principal women were great - Arja again, Patricia Delgado and Ashley Knox. But for me the piece was too long. It has a dramatic tone but doesn't go anywhere. There were several time when I would have been fine with it ending. Never-the-less the dancing was very fine. Congratulations to MCB and Lourdes (and the legacy left by Edward Villella).

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The professional division students at PNB did Sweet Fields a couple years ago, and I thought it was such a good choice for them. It made them look clear and capable, but also let them work with the strong relationships they had with each other.

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Also there on Thursday night. What an amazing and exciting group of dancers! Thrilling to watch. I too do not know many of these dancers, but felt the overall quality to be of a very high standard. An extraordinary group! "Symphony in # Movements" came on like shot from guns; very high energy. Everyone jumps amazingly here. Musicality and cleanliness of technique was very much in evidence. I wanted to see it all over again the minute it ended. "Sweet Fields" was shown to wonderful effect. One of Tharp's most wonderful of works (why don't we see this more?), it had many of her signature squiggles, but with a certain fluidity of movement that related well to the music. Dancers looked so happy to be doing this work. Just wonderful. Ratmansky's Symphonic Dances" had an awful lot going on and nothing going on. Very busy. Lots of emotional moments that didn't seem to be rooted in much of anything. Lots of symbolism; not sure what it all meant. Some wonderful dancing however, and proved that this company is one of our very best. MAybe I need to see it again. It just seemed overly long and convoluted to me. But all in all a most wonderful evening of ballet. Cheers to Lourdes Lopez for bringing us this company. Please return soon! Looking forward to Saturday PM when a more contemporary rep will be given. Plus the most wonderful "Bourree Fantasque". I remember seeing LeClerc in this ballet many years ago. Does any other company still dance it? Kudos to all at MCB!!

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Tharp has been having her work staged on multiple groups, but there seems to be trends in who gets what. Upper Room is in several difference ballet company reps now, but Sweet Fields seems to have been mostly staged on students. (Indiana, Purchase, American Dance Festival, Utah, Interlochen, NC School of the Arts, Marymount Manhattan) Miami City seems to be the only professional company in the US who is currently dancing it.

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I loved the Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performances of Bourree Fantasque, Symphony in Three Movements, and works by Peck, Tharp and others. Such remarkable dancers, not only in Balanchine but in contemporary works as well. Lourdes Lopez must be doing something right. I can only echo Alastair Macaulay's hope that MCB will visit NYC more often.

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I thought the company did a fantastic job, and I very much liked the rep they brought. I was especially interested in Symphonic Dances and Heatscape, both of which I wish I could have seen over and over again. Both were fascinating ballets. I'm happy to give Lopez credit, but I think Vilella also deserves at least as much praise.

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I couldn't agree more about Villella. What a fantastic company!

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I triple giving mega credit to Villella and applaud Lopez's wisdom in continuing his legacy while adding her own stamp on the company. Not all former Balanchine dancers have the talent for understanding and imparting his spirit on their dancers, but Villella and Lopez both certainly possess it.

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I’m just back from Program A at the Harris Theater in Chicago and starting to fade, but it was Jennifer Kronenberg’s evening, for my money - she’s going out strong.

Symphony in three Movements opened, and I thought it was very, very good - if not quite great, a little “careful” - not that it was careless under Villella or under Mr. B., which is my background, but a little “bigger” and more energetic - even more energetic, then. Tricia Albertson subbed for Patricia Delgado in the central role, and acquitted herself very well; but in the 70’s Sarah Leland, the originator, dancing on the larger stage of the theater fka the New York State Theater, made it larger, bolder, along with everyone else.

But “careful” is not all bad, by any means: A friend in the crowd, a professional with a dancer’s acute eye - much more acute than mine, and with intimate knowledge of this ballet - was pleased by the accuracy of the detail throughout, spotting few lapses. So this is probably still some of the best Balanchine on stage today, and if it doesn’t quite draw this old Balanchine addict to Florida, it’s worthwhile for those without my experience to see.

This is the fifth time I’ve looked at Viscera, and either I don’t get this busy, narrow ballet to similar music, also limited in range of expression, or there’s just not much to get; but Kronenberg’s superb dancing of the second movement - made possible by the superb partnering of Carlos Guerra - gave me the thought at one point that if I’d never seen her dance before, I would want very much to see her again: She articulated the movement in a continuous and what would have been a cumulative flow, had not the choreography been rather lacking in point, as far as I was concerned.

But of course I have seen her before, and that this is the last season with MCB of a dancer still with this ability is saddening. Still, it was the most rewarding dancing for me and my friend this evening, approached only by Kronenberg’s smaller role in the last ballet:

Ratmansky’s choreography for Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances struck me as better than the music: He’s appealingly and attractively inventive most of the time, though sometimes literally demonstrating what he hears, while Rachmaninoff goes on saying what he’s said often before, in other compositions, if maybe not so insistently as in his symphonies and concertos. Pretty costumes and lighting, too. I could even look at this again someday. But Viscera without Kronenberg, after seeing her in it tonight - I don’t know.

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Jack, I also liked the slightly more feel of abandon that existed when Edward (Villella) was in charge. There was a certain spark and excitement in addition to the excellence. He taught this "jazziness" (as I believe he called it). I saw him do it at his open to the public training session during the Paris performances. It was more fun and almost as exciting as the actual and outstanding performances. The dancers, and the audience, seemed to be having the time of their life. Once again, the sense of family, delight and love of what they were doing shone through.

The company seems a little more ‘refined’ at the moment. This is just fine, but I do like the traditional ‘high energy’ of the company. This is one of the things that made it so special, for me, and this may now be best seen with the Delgado sisters, who I hope are as high profiled as possible along with dancers like Jennifer Lauren, whose absolutely lovely Divertissement duet from A Midsummer Night’s Dream reminded me of all that I love so much about the Mariinsky.

I don’t know how you feel about Simone Messmer, but I adore her ! Her two lead performances in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I thought was brilliant, but also subtle. I think that it might be best to let her ‘run wild’ if possible. This is where she has the freedom to try whatever she likes, and this is where I think that she’s a Genius !

I can’t fault the company at all. I think that it’s excellent and I think that Lourdes Lopez is doing as good a job as she can in merging her perception with what she inherited. What she inherited, though, was super special to me. I’m a Mariinsky, and now Bolshoi, devotee, a rather different world of ethereal grace and refinement, but I was excited by MCB from the first and liked and prized it at almost the same level. I hope that that something special will always be there and be valued and nurtured as much as can be.

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Just coming back for a moment to confirm what I implied by not mentioning her name above, that Messmer was not to be seen here last night. She was, a couple of years ago, briefly, in Ballet Chicago's The Nutcracker, in the pas de deux, (the only Balanchine part of it), and I thought I saw somebody with great potential but a little underprepared. Maybe she'll be on tonight; I gather Kronenberg and Guerra are off. (Pity.)

I'll add in that vein that Nathalia Arja, in the orange leotard in Symphony in Three Movements, fulfilled now the promise I saw in her when she first appeared on stage (under Villella) a few years ago. (My guest, a Joffrey watcher I gathered, also enjoyed Arja.) For that matter, Albertson's power grew under Villella since I first saw her years ago - still quite clean, but larger effect.

So there was a lot to like, but the memory of their impact in Symphony in Three Movements in the Auditorium several years ago was not replaced.

Edited by Jack Reed

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Just coming back for a moment to confirm what I implied by not mentioning her name above, that Messmer was not to be seen here last night. She was, a couple of years ago, briefly, in Ballet Chicago's The Nutcracker, in the pas de deux, (the only Balanchine part of it), and I thought I saw somebody with great potential but a little underprepared. Maybe she'll be on tonight; I gather Kronenberg and Guerra are off. (Pity.)

Jack, Simone Messmer is listed tonight for the lead in Serenade and is appearing in the second part of Bouree Fantasque.

http://cdn.miamicityballet.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/MCB-Casting-for-Spring-Tour-at-Harris-Theater-041216.pdf

You have plenty of time to run over and see for yourself. If you don’t like her, I’ll pay for your ticket.

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Just coming back for a moment to confirm what I implied by not mentioning her name above, that Messmer was not to be seen here last night. She was, a couple of years ago, briefly, in Ballet Chicago's The Nutcracker, in the pas de deux, (the only Balanchine part of it), and I thought I saw somebody with great potential but a little underprepared. Maybe she'll be on tonight; I gather Kronenberg and Guerra are off. (Pity.)

Jack, take theater glasses if you have them. Getting a close look at her facial expression might add considerably to what you see.

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