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Talk about the 2011-2012 SEASON


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It might be a good idea to concentrate our pre-season conversation in a single thread. So ... if you all agree ... let's do it HERE:

Here is the program. (Check the MCB website for performance dates at each of its four venues.)


Square Dance.

Balanchine/ Vivaldi, Corelli

Afternoon of a Faun

Robbins/ Debussy


Wheeldon/ Part

In the Upper Room

Tharp/ Glass


New Ballet by Liam Scarlett

In the Night

Robbins/ Chopin

Ballet Imperial

Balanchine/ Tchaikovsky



Coralli and Perrot/ Adam



Saint-Leon/ Delibes

Big Plusses: Jeremy Cox is back. Catoya and Jeanette Delgado were back in health and dancing beautifully in Paris. The national broadcast of MCB dancing Square Dance, Western Symphony, and on Dance in America (October 28) should be a big high for company and audience both.

Possible Minus: the much discussed new work by Alexei Ratmansky seems to have been shelved, postponed, or something.

Don't know: MCB suprprised me with a stylish, lively, beautifully danced version of Cranko's Romeo and Juliet last season. Will the life and authenticity they brought to R&J rub off on the revivals of Giselle and Coppelia? I hope so.

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Just received a brochure commemorating July's Paris trip. On the back page, above a listing of all dancers and staff who attended and a photo of everyone on the Chatelet stage, is the large headline:


The brochure includes commendations from the French Minister of Culture and from Marina de Brantes, the President of the presenting organization, Les Etes de la Dance. Mme. de Brantes, praises the company, expresses joy at the public response, and invites them to return in 2014.

As we told some of you in Paris, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Les Etes de la Dance in 2014, and would like to invite those companies who have marked our festival since the beginning. We would love to have Edward Villella return with his Company to Paris and hope you will all join us in this celebration. In the meantime, we are planning to be in Miami on October 1st to celebrate with you Edward's 75th birthday ....

Wow! It sounds like the plans for 2014 are very elaborate. This made me wonder about costs. As I understand it, the costs of this summer's 3-week visit were paid by Etes de la Dance. It would be impossible to provide significant runs in Paris for all the companies who have performed in the past years. If MCB intends to return, there may be some serious fund-raising needed.

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My first two cents.. Jeanette for Giselle...Jeanette for Coppelia...Jeanette for Sugar Plum...!! clapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gif Ok...this is from another post, but since some of the names I had are not longer in the roster I made some changes, so here it goes. I tried to use most of the potential of the company.

Ideal casts for Giselle:

Giselle-Jeanette Delgado-(and still mourning the fact that Sarabita is not here now for her)

Albrecht-Reyneris Reyes-(does he still has the technique...? Don't know, but he looks good onstage and THAT is needed here)

Myrtha-Callie Manning, of course.

Hilarion-Isanusi Garcia

Zulma/Moyna- The Esty Sisters

Giselle-Jennifer Kronemberg

Albrecht-Carlos Guerra

Myrtha-Zoe Zien (Corps member)

Hilarion-Renato Panteado

Zulma/Moyna-Jennifer Lauren, Nicole Stalker

Giselle-Patricia Delgado

Albrecht-Yann Trividic

Myrtha-Tricia Albertson

Hilarion-Didier Bramaz

Zulma/Moyna-Amanda Weingarten, Zoe Zien

Giselle-Katia Carranza

Albrecht-Renato Penteado

Myrtha-Jennifer Kronenberg

Hilarion-Reyneris Reyes

Zulma/Moyna-Ashley Knox/Nathalia Arja

Giselle-Mary Carmen Catoya

Albrecht-Kleber Rebello-(I think his main problem which is not being too tall could be bypassed if casted with Catoya)

Myrtha-Callie Manning

Hilarion-Isanusi Garcia

Zulma/Moyna-Zoe Zien/Nathalia Arja

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A Catoyia Giselle. Interesting. I like it.

I also like the counter-intuitive casting of a Kronenberg Myrthe -- a chance to stretch her stage personality. (In 2007, Callie Manning and Andrea Spiridonakos, a dancer I miss very much, had the role.) Manning could be a superb Myrthe if some encouraged her to let loose the strong side of her stage personality and releases the power of gesture and jumps, as we've seen her do in more contemporary works.

Renan Cedeiro for Albrecht. Why not? He has been growing on stage so quickly that it might be very interesting indeed..

Jeremy Cox was the Hilarion in 2007. I'd go for Reyes or Garcia-Rodriguez if they are looking for a "bad" Hilarion. And Cox or Bramaz for a "good" Hilarion. I hope they get a high level mime coach for whomever they choose.

And then there is Coppelia. Patty McBride has been on my mind a lot recently. Right now Jeanette Delgado comes closest to her in personality and stagecraft, with equal or better technique. Albertson has danced it before and I'd like to see her again. Dr. Coppelius: Jeremy Cox or Yann Trividic, to excellent character dancers, capable of being comic and scary at the same time. . I'd cast Franz very young: Kleber Rebello or Chase Swatosh.

The key to both Giselle and Coppelia is coaching. There are plenty of dancers at MCB who might surprise us if the could work intensively with coaches who really know the nuances of these works and who believe passionately in their artistic value. HALF the season is devoted to full-lengths this year -- more if you include Nutcracker. That's a big investment in time. There has to be a comparable investment in coaching and rehearsal time so that this Giselle and Coppelia can rise to the same levels the company achieves in their core repertoire of Balanchine, Robbins, Taylor, and Tharp.

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Coaching is the big word here. Sometimes I think on how great would it be, for instance, if cultural relationships were better and the 45 min. flight Miami-Havana could be done as it was before and, let's say, Jeanette could benefit with great coaching from the wonderful romantic ballerinas of the past still teaching at BNC-(Bosh, Araujo, EVEN Alonso blind and everything...). Now THAT could prove SPECTACULAR results to Delgado. I was observing the ballerinas who played the Sylph during Scott Symphony and there's definitely some work needed.

Catoya as Giselle...? Yes, I think. She's little and everything but I feel she could rise to the role, again, with the right coaching AND the right partenaire. I really liked her Diamonds when she danced it with Sarabita back in the days.

Coppelia is easier. There's no drama and Villella's ballerinas are better in soubrette roles, more than the romantic ones, I think. Here Catoya and Jeanette and Patricia and Katia could do great jobs.

About the Albretchs, well...that's another story. Albretch HAS to look good and romantic onstage, and still has to go thru the Act II solo. That diagonal of triple tours en l'air is certainly not the cup of tea for many dancers. Before and after that the whole thing is basically about partnering Giselle and looking handsome onstage. That's why I vote for Reyes, Trividic and Guerra as my ABC here.

Myrtha is the trickiest role here. She can't get away just with having the right physique/attitude, because there's a lot to dance and jump and turn. Same with the opposite, where many Myrthas, even having the right technique don't deliver the regal, mean attitude required.

Franz, again, is easier. Here Rebello, Cox, Guerra and even pretty boy Chase Swatosh-(just an apprentice)- could do great I think.

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A Catoyia Giselle. Interesting. I like it.

I also like the counter-intuitive casting of a Kronenberg Myrthe -- a chance to stretch her stage personality.


And then there is Coppelia. Patty McBride has been on my mind a lot recently.

I like the idea of a Catoya anything. Personally, I hope to see her do a few, ah, Ballet Imperials. (Nearly called it Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2. Where could I get that idea? Hmm... Of course, that's what it is, but still.) Alternating with Jeannette D. would be fine.

Still remembering the power of Kronenberg's "Siren", I'm not sure her "Myrtha" would be such a big stretch - rather that she'd be suited to it. (And I'd like to see it.) Or do you think I'm missing something, bart?

As for McBride, how much of Balanchine's Coppelia, which I assume is what you're associating her with, was taken over directly from the version by Saint-Leon, the source MCB attributes theirs to?

The main minus for me this season is the dearth of Balanchine, especially by contrast with their Paris season, which circumstances kept me from. So the firming up of their return there in 2014 is good news.

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From an article by Arianna Prothero, posted on the website of WLRN, Miami's public radio station.

For the First Time in 27 Years, Miami City Ballet Performs With New Artistic Director

A key piece of news here is that

... [Lopez] has plans to have the troupe tour through Latin and South America.

Now THAT is excellent news. I assume funding would have to be found, and that this may lie a year or two ahead. But ... outreach to the Hispanic world to the south is a wonderful idea. Reminds me of Balanchine and his American Ballet Caravan in the early 1940s.

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