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MCB Program Three. T&V/The Concert...and something else.

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Program Three

Program Three juxtaposes the old and the new, featuring George Balanchine’s classic masterpiece Theme and Variations, with soaring music by Tchaikovsky, as well as Jerome Robbins’ lighthearted The Concert (Or, the Perils of Everybody), universally acclaimed as the funniest of all comic ballets. This program also features a world premiere by contemporary choreographer Brian Brooks, with a commissioned score by American composer Michael Gordon.


Theme and Variations

Balanchine / Tchaikovsky

Set in a spectacular 19th-century ballroom to the soaring music of Tchaikovsky, this is classical ballet at its grandest. The cast is large, the costumes lavish, the dancing technically demanding yet joyous and serene – and with a thrilling finale. Long recognized as a Balanchine masterpiece.

George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


World Premiere One Line Drawn by Brian Brooks

Brooks / Gordon

Known for his contemporary work in dance and theater, choreographer Brian Brooks expands his adventurous collaborations with classically trained dancers in his first piece for Miami City Ballet. This new work, One Line Drawn, is conceived and choreographed by Brooks, Inaugural Choreographer in Residence at Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance, with a commissioned score by Michael Gordon, American composer and co-founder of Bang on a Can.

Brian Brooks

Michael Gordon

The Concert (Or, The Perils of Everybody)

Robbins / Chopin

Jerome Robbins’ The Concert (Or, The Perils of Everybody) is universally acclaimed as the funniest of all comic ballets, a light-hearted exploration of human relationships – and the surprising tricks the mind can play while enjoying the simple pleasures of an outdoor concert, complete with folding chairs, rain that comes and goes and an enraged pianist.

Jerome Robbins

Frédéric Chopin

Edited by cubanmiamiboy
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I went to today's matinee, to be honest, just because of T&V...my absolutely Balanchine favorite.  Up and coming Principal Jennifer Lauren and fantastic Kleber Rebello reappraised Alonso and Youskevitch roles, and even though she didn't make the speedy chainees from her first variations as devilish and fast as in the clips of Alonso or even Kirkland, she definitely honored the part with dignity. Rebello, in his first variation, didn't complete the whole 8 segments of pirouettes by doing a little walk onstage to the strings music before starting.  He completed I believe like 6 out of the 8.  The pdd was absolutely beautiful, and the final polonaise truly fantastic.  I usually sit in orchestra, but for this performance I chose second tier, so I could follow the choreography intricate patterns.

The end of the performance was Robbins' The Concert.  Light and not to be taken too seriously, I liked it, even not being too fond of ballet parodies.  But one can detect the real artist behind something as simple as this ballet.  Witty and just with the right dosage of comedy.

In between the two there was a horrid contemporary thing called "One line drown" by one Brian Brooks that really tested my patience.  Boring as hell, with a monotone score, it was just a torture to watch.

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I saw today's matinee of MCB's Program 3.  Katia Carranza and Renato Penteado were the leads in Theme and Variations, and, although they did not exhibit the speed of New York City Ballet dancers in their turns I thought they did wonderfully. Carranza managed the gargoulliades well. Penteado was energetic and a great partner. I wish I could have seen the other cast (Lauren and Rebello), but I was on the other coast until this morning seeing Sarasota Ballet's The Dream and "Still Life" at the Penguin Cafe as well as Sarasota Opera's Norma.

The second item was Brian Brooks' One Line Drawn. They start in a line, do their own freestyle variations and then start in small groups and then as a whole always returning to a line. I am not sure what it all meant but it seemed to say that each individual makes up part of a whole. However, the music (reminding me of Phillip Glass) by Michael Gordon was sort of a humming drone that got old and the same with the choreography. I give Miami City Ballet kudos for trying something new, but I heard lots of complaining during intermission. I think most people did not like it. I liked it for about 10 minutes and then I grew tired of it.

Last was The Concert, and I was happy to see Emily Bromberg in yet another main role. A friend's son danced with her. She is lovely. However, I fail to find The Concert humorous no matter who is dancing. The audience laughed out loud just like the other times I have seen this, but to me it seems like slapstick which I never find funny. There are a couple of moments that made me smile, but overall it is a work I respect but do not really "get."

For me this was a weak program, and I just went for Theme and Variations mainly. I spent the weekend in Sarasota and decided to try to drive across the state and attend the matinee of this plus visit a friend.

More later.....the friend is picking me up for dinner......

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