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MCB 2003-2004 Season

Guest after5

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Guest after5

I just got a notice in the mail of the MCB 2003-2004 season.

Program I

Allegro Brillante - Tchaikovsky/Balanchine

Sylvia Pas de Deux - Delibes/Balanchine

New work by Villela

Symphony in Three Movements - Stravinsky/Balanchine

Program II - Balanchine Centennial Celebration

Ballo Della Regina - Verdi/Balanchine

Starvinsky Violin Concerto - Stravinsky/Balanchine

Stars and Stripes - Sousa-Kay/Balanchine

Program III

Giselle - Adam/Coralli and Perrot

Program IV

A Midsummer Night's Dream Act I - Mendelssohn/Balanchine

Diamonds - Tchaikovsky/Balanchine

For more details see: http://www.miamicityballet.org/mcbdev/index.shtml



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Two things of note:

No new choreography whatsoever. Alas, and this is coming from a choreographer, new choreography is an expensive risk that doesn't always pan out.

Why not just do Act II of Midsummer - why tack Diamonds on to the program? I wonder if again this is cheaper than learning both acts (MCB already has Diamonds in rep)

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There is a new work by Villella.

In a recent interview with a choreographer who had pitched his work there, I was told that the company has put a temporary moratorium on outside choreography while it consolidates its mission and its style. It's not a permanent moratorium. And I'd say this is a defensible idea.

I agree on Midsummer II though. This is a bad idea, to me, that's gaining momentum. The second act is lovely -- perhaps too difficult for smaller companies to do? And the first act by itself is not only not what Balanchine intended, but it's not a complete ballet.

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If a company can handle Diamonds, it can handle Act II of Midsummer's, don't you think? It's just an odd subsititution of one "closer" for another - it feels like putting Act III of Sleeping Beauty at the end of Coppelia.

And whoops on the Villella. I was forgetting in-house efforts, which are important.

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Guest after5

My complaint with the new season is the repeat of Giselle, which I saw last season(2001-2002). I admit it is probably my favorite ballet, but after watching MCB perform Balanchine works live (and IMO, really well), I prefer my Giselle on video.

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It might be frustrating for subscibers to see something they saw last year or the year before, but I think it's important for dancers to be able to develop a role, such as Giselle, rather learn it, dance it once or twice and go back to it five years later (if at all). This happens all the time and the reason directors always give is, "Well, our subscribers don't want to see it again."

What happened to Coppelia? That seems to be one and done. I think the combo of Midsummer and Diamonds is odd, but it also cuts down on 1 set of scenary that the company doesn't have to rent or pay for. Things are really tight for MCB. And maybe Villella wants to give Lopez another shot at Diamonds before she retires.

And more Ballo... that's becoming a nice little egg for Ashley. The problem is from reviews of SFB and BB, not many dancers are right for the lead role. Maybe MCB, with their Balanchine training, will be.

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Copellia was this year--based on the Giselle every other year we will see it again the season after nest.

I was also disappointed to see Giselle on the schedule again. With Three venues--Jackie Gleason, Broward Center and Kravis, they could rotate and mix it up a bit. But instead they did Giselle at all three venues in 2001-2002 and they will do it again at all three venues 2003-2004. So there are really three separate times it is presented a year, now twice in three years. Not a lot of variety. Why not Giselle at one, Coppellia at another etc. With only four programs a year, Giselle twice in three years (at all three venues) is repetative for us:the average patron (who also saw Orlando Ballet do Giselle in 2002-2003 the year MCB rested!)

I know it is expensive to mix it up. But it offors more variety and might sell more tickets.

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Guest after5

You bring up a good point, nlkflint. If they had different programs for the three venues, I would consider driving to Miami or West Palm to see the other performances. As it is, I only buy one subscription.

People of South Florida are truly missing out on this great company. It amazes me everytime I see the empty seats around me. So I understand that the repertoire is limited by the financial situation.

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I, too, found the programming of half of Midsummer and Diamonds a bit odd. But I'll take it! I plan to be there. And I do think that the concept was to give Illiana Lopez a truly bravura role with which to make her exit.

Insofar as the new work by Villela, I don't know that that is a definite. When I called the box office (to ask for a subscription brochure. Yes. This lunatic from NY is considering subscribing to MCB! Couldn't do it without the cheap airfares from Southwest.), the woman said it would either be that new work or a Bournonville work, perhaps Italian Suite?

In any case, I was particularly interested in what MCB will do for the Balanchine Centennial, and in what Lopez will do for her last performances. After having seen MCB do 4 Ts at the Kennedy Center, I remain even more convinced that this company is one of the true lights--a keeper of the Balanchine flame. More power to them.

I saw their Giselle last year and was captivated. I have never been disappointed by them, and I am hoping to get to Philadelphia for Jewels. This is a stellar company.

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Just to tie the themes of money and Giselle a little more tightly together, MCB says their ticket sales for Giselle broke all records and they were able to add performances of it. As Lincoln Kirstein would say, "When you got a good thing going, don't mess with it." Or was it somebody else? (Thinking of going to see MCB again makes me a little light-headed.)

I do agree that "Diamonds" in place of "Midsummer" II is odd, but their schedules have changed between this time of year and actual performance season before, and could again, IMO. Similarly with regard to Villella vs. Bournonville in Program I. Some of Gamonet's dances drove me out, but Villella's have so far been better than inoffensive. But Bournonville? Even if performed no better than their Taylor or Ashton - Villella has good taste in non-Balanchine choreographers, IMO - it might make a better program.

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Has anyone else noticed the revised schedule at http://www.miamicityballet.org/mcbdev/ps_s...h_florida.shtml ? "A Midsummer Night's Dream I" has been replaced by "Symphony in C", no less! What do you think of that? Does somebody at MCB read our discussions and take them to heart, or is this another example of how great minds run on the same track?

Whatever, I think it's a considerable improvement, not that I don't like MSND I better than II, though I'd like to see the concluding divertissements to fill out the overall form properly. I agree with the discussion of this above. Now, IIRC, "Sinatra Songs" is in black costumes, so we have a black-and-white evening, although it remains to be seen whether they think that's an angle to promote.

But there's another aspect, for me: A few years ago, Villella told us before a performance he had wanted to mount "Symphony in C" in celebration of the completion of MCB's new building, the Roca Center, but instead he was being forced to let some dancers go because the company's financial situation was so bad. Now he is getting what he wanted, and I for one am glad for him.

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