Posted by Rebecca King on 01.16.2012
Professional ballet dancers live for ballets that challenge them, excite them, and promote them to grow as artists. There is nothing quite like preparing for, and conquering meaningful works. Last weekend’s shows were exceptionally special for the company, as well as for me.
Having the opportunity to take part in a World Premier is a very unique experience, but our newest ballet is something extra special. Liam Scarlett’s Viscera premiered at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami on Friday January 6th to resounding applause and a standing ovation. Though this piece was inspired by the movement qualities of Miami City Ballet dancers, that does not mean that mastering this work came easily to us. Mr. Scarlett challenged our minds, our dancing abilities, and our artistry with this calculated piece developed very specifically around the music. We spent months obsessing over Viscera: working on the steps to make them work in our bodies, thinking about the music, and developing a strategy for portraying what Liam wanted.
After months of preparation and one week after a vacation packed with holidays and family fun, we hit the stage in minuscule velvet leotards to make Liam Scarlett’s vision a reality. Before my first performance of Viscera on Saturday night, I stood in the wings feeling so humbled to be a part of this experience; to be allowed to attempt to move outside my comfort zone and conquer something that is new to me is an honor. To have had something to work on and something to look forward to means the world to dancers. That night was a performance I will never forget: it was some of the most fun I have ever had on stage- albeit nerve wracking fun, but fun just the same.
Jerome Robbin’s trio of pas de deux’s, In the Night, followed Viscera, touching the audience as it always does. George Balanchine’s Ballet Imperial rounded out this weekend of dance as the grand finale. This has become a very special ballet for all of the dancers. This ballet will forever remind us of Paris, as we began and ended our three week festival with this exceptionally gorgeous ballet. As the curtain fell on Friday night’s performance, we all found ourselves missing the confetti that fell on us our last night in Paris. What wonderful memories that ballet will always hold.
All in all, the highlight of the audiences’ evening was surely Viscera, illustrating that new works are desired and enjoyed. Fresh works by new, young choreographers are the art form’s future. All industries have to look into the future to survive. So should we.