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Miami City Ballet 2015-2016 season

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Interesting choices:

1 – Swan Lake (Balanchine)

Viscera (Scarlett)

Fancy Free (Robbins)

2 - Barber Violin Concerto (Martins, company premiere)

In the Upper Room (Tharp)

La Source (Balanchine)

3 - Year of the Rabbit (Peck, company premiere)

Sunset (Taylor, company premiere)

Bouree Fantasque (Balanchine)

4 – Midsummer Night’s Dream (Balanchine, new designs)

Pacific Northwest Ballet is getting Peck's Year of the Rabbit as well -- I have a feeling that this will be his calling card work for a few years.

(We're also doing Fancy Free, leading up to the Robbin's centennial. Are other companies starting this process too?)

I'm glad to see La Source and Bouree Fantasque in the listings. They don't get out as much as other works from the Balanchine rep.

But I was very interested in this notice:

"MCB will bring in two collaborators to help re-imagine the work in a South Florida context: acclaimed Miami playwright and director Tarell Alvin McCraney, who will do the dramatic direction, with renowned Miami Beach-born visual artist Michele Oka Doner creating new costumes and sets."

When PNB got permission to re-design Midsummer (with Martin Pakeldinaz) it was considered a big deal. I like that version very much, but think it will be interesting to see a Floridian version as well!

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Broadwayworld.com had a very enthusiastic preview today on the new season, and an overwhelmingly positive view of the company's performance & artistic direction under Lopez's guidance. Worth a read.

..Miami City Ballet has not only survived, but in the last two seasons has begun to thrive like never before.

For the last few seasons, Miami City Ballet (MCB) has been in a period of transition, a transformation if you will, and a seamless one at that. A transformation that has been unsurprisingly effective in reinventing the company and catapulting it to the world-class ballet company that it has always been on the verge of becoming. The arrival of Lourdes Lopez in 2012, as well as a complete overhaul of the company's branding and business model, has reinvigorated an organization that only about five years ago was beginning to be a blur to Miami audiences.

..There is a renewed and exhilarating energy when watching MCB's programs this season, having been in the audience for three of their last four. For a long time, nothing about the programming excited or felt as if one would have a new experience in the theater. Yes, there were company and world premiers, elite dancing, and wonderful choreographers, but it became flat and predictable. Some of the problem possibly stemmed from having the responsibility, as the only ballet company in South Florida, of catering to such large and diverse communities of ample tastes while simultaneously trying to stay true to the paradigms of what a Balanchine Company should be."

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I see on the company website that they are premiering a new commissioned work by Justin Peck called Heatscape. I alerted a friend who is in West Palm for the winter and encouraged her to see it at the Kravis Center this weekend. Is anyone going to see it? Do you know anything about the piece?

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CTballetfan -- it's a new piece by Justin Peck, inspired by Miami's "Wynwood Walls" district which is a sort of living outdoor museum featuring 'street art' by leading contemporary artists. Shepard Fairey (he of the"HOPE poster" and "Obey Giant" campaigns) collaborated with Peck on set design, which is a first!

A first for Fairey, yes? Peck's not new to that process.

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As a footnote to the announced repertory, the scheduled number of performances is adjusted from what it has been for many seasons, including the current one. There are only two performances of each repertory program scheduled for Broward (Ft. Lauderdale), in contrast to the four they have been giving there. West Palm Beach, which saw cutbacks years ago which have been restored in recent years, continues with the most, five each repertory weekend.

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A big thumbs up for the decision to program Paul Taylor's magnificent Sunset! I know ABT performed it about five years or so after Taylor premiered in 1983, but I don't know if any other companies have tackled it. It's nice to see a ballet company get out of the Company B rut. Company B is a sure-fire audience pleaser and well deserves its place in the repertory, but Sunset makes me cry every time I see it. (Not that making me cry is somehow the final determinant of greatness ... but it's special when a work touches your heart as much as it delights your eye. I've been known to cry during Company B, too of course.)

Here are two video clips:

Christopher Gillis & David Parsons

Vail Dance Festival 2013

It's easy to see from the second clip especially that the work will likely get "balleticized," but I think that's OK. I prefer Taylor danced by Taylor dancers, but most of all I prefer that Taylor is just danced, period.

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Oh, Christopher Gillis -- I still miss him.

I agree that some of the details will likely get polished off in transferring this to Miami, but it was made for a generation of Taylor dancers who had extensive ballet training, so it's not quite as tricky as the earlier works. I get especially depressed watching Aureole performed by ballet dancers -- they miss almost all of the weight.

And yes, it seems like Company B has become the default Taylor work for ballet companies, which makes me wonder. Wasn't Roses made to transfer as well?

I prefer Taylor danced by Taylor dancers, but most of all I prefer that Taylor is just danced, period.


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