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XIII International Ballet Festival of Miami 2008.

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The Festival closed with a beautiful Gala offered at the Fillmore. The night was full of great dancing, and if I just could find the program then I would be hopeful that Alzheimer is still out of sight, which I'm doubting lately. Still, I'll do my best to search for it and honor the participating dancers. Only a couple things I want to highlight out of my short term memory-(which still kinda works). The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami's rendering of "Majisimo", Hayna Gutierrez dancing "Flower Festival" with footwork to die for and the stunning Jordan Elizabeth Long as Diane, from D&A. (Oh, boy, did I loose my voice screaming "Bravo!" :yahoo:

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“Definitely Mamicha is doing a hell of a job”, I thought after seeing Miss Jordan Elizabeth Long's performance in the "Diane and Acteon PDD" at the closing Gala of the XIII International Ballet Festival of Miami last night. Miss Long, a very sweet young lady and a member of the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Magaly Suarez'-(AKA Mamicha)-troupe, has definitely channeled herself , going from the lovely but a bit shy Nikiya that she danced last time I saw her during the CCBM's production of "The Kingdom of the Shades" to the powerful and commanding Greek goddess that I was expecting.

To make a bit of history, I would like to share some info on Long, who began her training at age 7 at the Southwest Virginia Ballet, to keep going to Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, North Carolina School of the Arts and most recently to our great Mamicha at her “Art of Classical Ballet” School.

But back to last night. There and then, she reminded the audience that the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami is definitely hot, hot, hot right now, as the perfect Russian-Soviet-Cuban compliment to our Balanchinized MCB public, and a perfect vehicle for which we are getting to see works that otherwise would be totally unknown to the young Miamian audience. For pure spectacle, the highlight of the night was definitely the "Diana and Actaeon PDD", in which Long's partner, elegant Miguel Angel Blanco's pyrotechnics were matched by Miss Long’s radiant precision and stage command. Raised on pointe and showing beautiful and effortless balances, Long drew cheers as she finally spun herself through a dizzying number of fouettes at the Coda, which were preceded by some well extended and elevated noiseless jetes, as a substitution for the usual but extremely hard diagonal of fouettes “avec le tir a l’arc” that the Cubans perform.(Psst, Jordan, try and do it next time…I KNOW you can! ). Long, a stern and pale Diana, was Blanco’s perfect foil, matching his airborne stunts with a whirl of supported pirouettes in which she.totally commanded the trick and flickered through the end of the piece like a shaft of sunlight, utterly assured. It was a great pleasure to have her beautifully made offering of this piece, and more in my case since I hadn’t seen it live ever since my days in Havana some years ago.

To wrap things up, I should also mention that Miss Long has danced with the Southwest Virginia Ballet, the North Carolina School of the Arts and in August 2006 performed in Balanchine’s “Don Quixote” with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland.

I really hope to see more of Jordan Elizabeth Long in the future dancing more of this kind of daring, demanding roles . Thanks, Jordan, for the beautiful dancing last night, and good luck in your future, which I can envision belonging to the great leagues! :clapping:

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Found the Program! :)

So here's a little review...

XIII International Ballet Festival of Miami Closing Gala.


Ballet Nacional de Espana, Spain

"El Albaicin". Estevez/Albeniz

Jonatan Miro

Another rendition of flamenco dancing, highly praised by the audience, but didn’t do anything for me.(Never been particularly fond of flamenco myself)

Northern Ballet Theater, England

"Three Preludes'. Nixon/Gershwin

Keiko Amemori/Keneth Tindall

This was the same couple that danced “M. Butterfly” the night before. I found the same lyrical qualities on their dancing, although the choreography was of high resemblance of that of the night before. Kind of repetitive, lifts and acrobatics. Still nice to watch.

Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, USA.

Flower Festival of Genzano PDD.

Hayna Gutierrez/Raydel Caceres

Beautiful rendition of this piece. Hayna, as usual, brilliant on her footwork and speed, and with the lyrical qualities that makes her such a distinctive dancer. She enjoyed every bit of the choreography, and didn’t omit one accent. Bournonville at its best. Caceres was a good partner, but I missed Blanco with her.

Compania Nacional de Danza, Mexico

"Symphony for String: Adagio", Clifford/Mendelssohn

Mayuko Nihei/Hector Jimenez

The same girl that did the Dying Swan the night before. Very young, and well as her partner. A little anecdote. While at the theater I recognize Jose Zamorano, an ex Principal from Alonso’s Company from the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s, and approached him. As happened, he’s in Mexico, and among all the gossips that I got from him from his past within the Cuban Company, he told me that he was the coach of this Mexican couple. Cute piece. Bravo Zamorano!

Houston Ballet, USA

"Don Quixote PDD". Petipa/Minkus

Nazomi Lijima/Randy Herrera

Wow, what a great technician this girl is. She brought the house down with her coda of triples/singles all the way to the end, with minimal traveling, leg a la second-(I always watch for this detail, I know…sorry), although I prefer when they finish the sequences on pointe rather than the alternative flat position. Still, it was spectacular. I can’t remember her partner…sorry again.

Martha Graham Dance Company, USA

“Conversation of Lovers”. Graham/Nielsen

Jennifer Palo/Maurizio Nardi.

For Graham’s fans, there was this piece. I’m not one of them, so I proceeded to daydream through the piece, although I found it fluid and very well danced.


“Flames of Paris PDD”. Vainonen/Asafiev

Misty Copeland/Joseph Philips

Same as the night before, Philips not as spectacular, but still putting a great show. I still don’t get used to Copeland’s image.

Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Canada

“Tango” Caniparoli/Rodgers

Vanessa Lawson/Jaime Vargas

Another tango…nothing different. I kept reading the program meanwhile.

INTERMEZZO. (To be continued)

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