Miami City Ballet: The ballet company has big plans for its 2022/23 season of dance. Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, who has been leading the organization for the past 10 seasons, has been honing her artistic choices in order to “rebrand” the company. MCB has been on the road touring and earning new critical acclaim for its youthful energy, high level of artistry as well as its distinct Miami flavor.
The four programs that will be offered this season — all performed to live orchestra — cover a wide spectrum. There will be an epic and lavish evening-length story ballet and there will also be some noteworthy collaborations with modern twists that see the worlds of fashion, technology, and music intersect in creative ways. As usual, there will be a complementary array of ballets the company’s large George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins repertoire to fill the breath of the range.
MCB’s 37th season at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach opens Nov. 11-13 with the world’s greatest love story, Romeo and Juliet. John Cranko’s outstanding evening-length masterpiece brings Shakespeare’s classic work to the stage in a grand full-length ballet with opulent sets and costumes masterfully choreographed to Sergei Prokofiev’s beautiful score.
In the second program, Modern Masters (Feb. 17-19), the company will mark the occasion of the first Martha Graham work to enter MCB’s repertory with the premiere of one of her most joyous dances —- Diversion of Angels. Also on the program is the dramatic The Moor’s Pavane, choreographed by José Limón, another one of America’s most iconic modern dance makers. Based on Shakespeare’s Othello, it is a pivotal modern dance work and it was one of the first modern works to be included in the repertory of many classical ballet companies.
Also included in the program are two world premieres by two of today’s most inventive choreographers. Swedish innovator Pontus Lidberg will create a work set to music by minimalist composer Philip Glass that melds film and technology with costumes by Andrea Spiridonakos (former Miami City Ballet soloist turned fashion designer). Still TBA is a new work by Amy Hall Garner that will explore the interplay between modern dance and classical ballet.
The third program, Fresh and Fierce (April 21–23), is an action-packed program that will appeal to fashion lovers, fans of musicals, and dance aficionados. Jerome Robbins brings Broadway to the ballet in his popular West Side Story Suite, which retells the story of Romeo and Juliet from a more contemporary point of view. Set in 1950’s New York City and performed to Leonard Bernstein’s famed music, the cast of MCB performers must not only dance up a storm, they must act and sing as well.
George Balanchine’s exhilarating Symphony in C features more than 50 dancers and is set to the enchanting score of the same name by Georges Bizet, which was composed in 1855 when the future composer of the opera Carmen was just 17. However, it was never performed during his lifetime, having its first performance only in 1935. Symphony in C was originally choreographed for the Paris Opera Ballet in 1947 but the following year, Balanchine revived the work the very first program for the company he founded — the New York City Ballet. Rounding out the evening will be a premiere of a newly commissioned work by Durante Verzola (a MCB School alumnus) that celebrates his adopted home of Miami and features music by beloved Cuban/American composer Ernesto Lecuona and designs by the Colombian/Miamian fashion icon Esteban Cortázar.
Entradas, the fourth and final program (May 12–14), once again puts on works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, but this time focuses on early works that were seminal in their artistic careers. Special guest conductor Tania León, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and 2022 Kennedy Center Honors, recipient will lead the orchestra through Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements, with music by Igor Stravinsky, and Square Dance, which is set to music by Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli. Also planned is the company premiere of Robbins’s Antique Epigraphs and of Afternoon of a Faun, both with music by Claude Debussy.
Balanchine’s Square Dance, which pays homage to the American folk dance, has gotten a Miami-inspired update. Balanchine’s choreography remains the same but the work itself has been re-imagined. The role of the square dance caller has returned in this version but has been rewritten by Nicaraguan-born, Miami-raised lyricist, rapper, hip-hop dancer and playwright Rudi Goblen. Tony Award-winner Montana Levi-Blanco was enlisted for costume design, Mariana Sanchez for the sets, and Maria-Cristina Fusté for the lighting design.
Kravis Center: Don’t miss the Alonso King LINES Ballet, which will be performing March 3 for one night only at Dreyfoos Concert Hall as part of the Kravis Center’s PEAK Series. This outstanding company based in San Francisco is celebrating 40 years of presenting evocative dance by master choreographer Alonzo King, who has been bending the lines between classical and contemporary ballet and amazing audiences everywhere.
Drawing on the strengths of his extraordinary dancers, he has forged his own unique style and altered the way we look at ballet today. The performance will feature King’s newest evening-length creation, Deep River, in collaboration with composer Jason Moran and vocalist Lisa Fischer.
For tickets to Alonso King LINES Ballet at the Kravis Center, please call (561) 832-7469 or (800) 572-8471 , or visit www.kravis.org.
Palm Beach State College: Mark Alexander, the intrepid executive director of Palm Beach State College theaters, has some new and some familiar offerings for the loyal audiences who return year after year to Lake Worth Beach for the Duncan Theatre’s Friday and Saturday Night Modern Dance Series.
Alexander is the host for the lively post-performance talk-backs that follow the shows with the performers, choreographers, artistic directors and technicians and give a behind-the-scene take on that night’s performance to curious audience members.
First up at the Duncan Theatre — and for the first time as part of the series –- is Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, founded in 2016 by former Miami City Ballet principal dancers Carlos Guerra and Jennifer Kronenberg. Hailed by The New York Times as “strong, sexy, and athletic,” the small contemporary ballet company will perform on Jan. 20 and 21 showing a collection of their diverse and vibrant signature works that have been thrilling South Florida audiences.
Momix, an absolute audience favorite, will return once again Feb. 3 and 4 with its elaborate production of Moses Pendleton’s newest creation, Alice, inspired by Alice in Wonderland. As Alice falls down the rabbit hole in true Momix style, the audience will experience a fun-filled journey full of eccentric mystery as the dancers magically transform themselves in the most imaginative ways.
Then on Feb. 17 and 18, Ailey II (which is absolutely not second fiddle to its parent company Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre) will light up the stage with the synergy of its young dance talent performing the works of some of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Ailey II has been performing nationally and internationally since 1974 and has earned its own critical acclaim dancing its own distinctive repertory.
Closing the season March 17 and 18 will be Malevo, a thrilling all-male group that specializes in malambo — a traditional Argentine folk dance of great virility and dexterity. The South American sensation created by director, choreographer and dancer Matias Jaime will leave audience members with their adrenaline running high as it takes a modern, avant-garde approach to the traditional gaucho art form creating an exhilarating and engaging show with live percussion and virtuosic dancing.
Just a few days later (Monday, March 21), the Duncan Theatre will present a special dance event, a one-night performance by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, a company of professional male dancers who dance en travesti, performing a lighthearted and entertaining view of traditional classical ballet as well as modern dance repertoire in parody form. The highly trained dancers of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo have established themselves as a major dance phenomenon.
For all inquiries regarding these dance events, please call the box office at (561) 868-3309 or visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/theatre/duncan-theatre/friday-night-dance-series.aspx. The Duncan Theatre is located on the campus of Palm Beach State College, 4200 S. Congress Ave., in Lake Worth Beach.
Harid Conservatory: The Harid Conservatory will present its annual two shows at the Countess de Hoernle Theatre, 5100 Jog Road, Boca Raton. Featuring the talented dancers who come from around the world to train on scholarship at this world-class ballet school, the Winter Performances on Dec. 17 and 18 will include Act II of The Nutcracker as well as ballet, character and modern dance works. The Spring Performances — which will feature the 2023 graduating class in classical and contemporary ballets — take place May 26, 27 and 28.
Tickets are available now either online at www.harid.edu/performances or by calling (561) 998-8038.
Boca Ballet Theatre: The Boca Raton company and school’s 32nd season of dance will be performed at the Olympic Heights Performing Arts Theater, 20101 Lyons Road, in Boca Raton and will feature full-length classical favorites and contemporary ballets from the company’s extensive repertory, as well as a brand-new work.
On November 25-27, BBT will present its version of the holiday classic The Nutcracker, which will feature professional guest artists together with a cast from Boca Ballet Theatre, all of which will unfold under the direction of Dan Guin.
On April 22 and 23, the company will present one of the most beloved ballets of all time, Giselle, which tells the tragic story of a peasant girl who falls in love with a nobleman disguised as a villager. Choreographed to the Romantic score of Adolphe Adam, the story covers the full spectrum of love and betrayal, life and death, and vengeance and forgiveness. And then on July 29 and 30, the company will present Summer Dreams, a blend of classical and contemporary pieces that is designed to give audiences of all kinds something to enjoy.
For tickets, please contact the Boca Ballet Theatre box office at (561) 995-0709 or visit bocaballet.org.
Ballet Palm Beach: The Palm Beach Gardens company, directed by Colleen Smith, will present a four-show season at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. The classic fairytale Snow White (Oct. 26) and the family favorite The Nutcracker (December 3-4) will be performed at the Dreyfoos Concert Hall. A tale of Biblical proportions, Queen Esther (Feb. 11-12), and the timeless tale of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (March 31-April 2) will be performed at the Rinker Playhouse.
For information on tickets, please call Ballet Palm Beach at (561) 630-8235 or visit www.balletpalmbeach.org. To buy tickets for the performances at the Kravis Center, please call (561) 832-7469 or (800) 572-8471 , or visit www.kravis.org.