Profile of a Great Ballet

Profile of a Great Ballet: Apollo

Posted by on 01.19.2013

I am ashamed to admit it, but until the beginning of this season, I had never seen George Balanchine’s Apollo. OK, well maybe I had seen it, but I had never really seen it.  Life changed for me on that Thursday evening sitting in the house of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it gave me a whole new respect for Balanchine’s choreography (and if you are a regular reader, you know I am already a big fan.) The morning after my first real viewing of Apollo, I sat with my coffee and my Balanchine books to study up on the ballet’s story and history before seeing it again that evening.  I...

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Profile of a Great Ballet: Coppélia

Posted by on 03.20.2012

Coppélia first premiered May 25, 1870 at the Théâtre Impérial de l’Opéra in Paris.  This classic ballet in three acts was originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon and set to a score by Léo Delibes.  The plot follows a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann: The curtain opens on an European town as an old man, Dr. Coppélius hobbles out of his house.  The town is mystified by this elderly citizen, as no one really knows exactly what he does.  A beautiful young woman is sitting on the balcony of his house reading a book.  As he looks up at her with delight, he renters his home. Our story’s heroine, Swanhilda, now enters.  Dancing around the stage in search...

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Profile of a Great Ballet: Theme and Variations.

Posted by on 11.10.2010

In 1947 Ballet Theater commissioned George Balanchine to create a ballet on their dancers.  They requested “ballet in the grand manner” and they got exactly what they were looking for.  With Tchaikovsky’s Suite No. 3 to inspire him, Balanchine created a ballet that some will say is closer to Petipa than any other ballet he created.  The ballet premiered in November 1947, starring Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch. Theme has always been an important part of American Ballet Theater’s repertory.  Balanchine brought this ballet to his own company in 1960, with Violettte Very and Edward Villella in the principal roles. Dancers who have performed...

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Profile of a Great Ballet: John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet.

Posted by on 08.29.2010

Friday marked the end of Miami City Ballet’s one month Romeo and Juliet marathon.  Over the past four weeks we learned and rehearsed all of John Cranko’s Three-hour, Three-act masterpiece.  Naturally, the ballet follows the same tragic plot we are all familiar with.  So, while including a brief story line, I want to give you a little insight into this ballet we will be premiering March 25th.  The production first hit the stage in Stuttgart in 1962.  The score by Serge Prokofiev is tremendously moving and powerful, as is the choreography.  The curtain rises on a market scene that quickly turns into a sword...

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Profile of a Great Ballet: La Sonnambula.

Posted by on 08.02.2010

Day One of our 2010-2011 season is over. It was a long day of rehearsals and now its time to kick back, relax, enjoy a delicious dinner, and perhaps a glass of wine? (It helps to relax the muscles right?) It is always fun and exciting to start working on a new ballet and right off the bat we started with a Balanchine ballet that I have yet to see, but already can’t wait to perform. ©Miami City Ballet This season in Program II we will be performing “La Sonnambula.” Our first rehearsal today was for the corps dancers, or “The Guests,” and I thought I would take a moment to share with you the story and premise behind this ballet. New...

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