Showcasing the Genius of Balanchine: Interview with Miami City Ballet

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Dance lovers! Miami City Ballet is coming to town for the first time ever! Presented by Ballet BC, the renowned company will grace the QE stage for four performances only on February 19 to 21.

We’ve got a great interview with Miami City Ballet’s Artistic Director, Lourdes Lopez. Lopez brings a nearly 40-year career in dance, television, teaching and arts management.

As a Soloist and Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet, she danced for two legends of the art form, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She co-founded Morphoses with Christopher Wheeldon in 2007 — a New York-based dance company aiming to revitalize dance through innovative collaborations with important artists from the worlds of music, visual arts, design, film and fashion; and by inviting younger and broader audiences to engage in and actively experience dance.

Miami City Ballet dancers in Serenade. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Daniel Azoulay.  2 4x8

1. What’s unique about this performance of Balanchine?

The three works we are performing show off different aspects of Balanchine’s genius and come from different periods in his career. Two of the works are masterworks – Serenade, created in 1935, was Balanchine’s first work in America, and Symphony in Three Movements, created for the 1972 Stravinsky Festival. And Ballo della Regina, created in 1978 for Merrill Ashley, is a high-speed dance for a bravura ballerina.

2. How are the dancers feeling?

The dancers are excited! This is the first time the Company is touring internationally since 2011 when they performed in Paris for Les Étés de la Danse. For many of our newest dancers, it will be their very first time on tour. To travel to new places and show new audiences what we can do is such a treat.

3. What does a normal training day look like?

Every morning starts with Company class. It is usually an hour and a half and it prepares a dancer physically and mentally for the rest of the day. From there, rehearsals for various ballets will be occurring simultaneously. If a dancer is not rehearsing, he or she may get a massage, work with our physical therapists, or cross-train. Even when they are not dancing, they are training.

Miami City Ballet dancers in Symphony in Three Movements. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Joe Gato 4x9.

4. Why should Vancouverites come see the show?

The performances will truly showcase the strength and beauty of our dancers and are the perfect introduction to the company for Vancouver audiences. It’s a company’s repertoire that shapes its identity, and the works of George Balanchine have long been at the core of Miami City Ballet’s identity. The ballets we are performing in Vancouver are part of MCB’s heart and soul, and therefore, we are so pleased to have the opportunity to share them with you.

Balanchine runs for four performances, February 19-21, 2015 at 8 p.m. plus Saturday, February 21 matinee at 2 p.m. at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tickets range from $40 to $98.50 (including service charges) and can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-2787 (1-855-985-ARTS) or online at ticketmaster.ca.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7e93tHkh88

Photo Credit: Daniel Azoulay

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