In honor of our People Issue, which will hit newsstands and computer screens November 25, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes in random order. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the whos and whys.
80. Jennifer Kronenberg
This season, Miami City Ballet will be presenting one of the most believable renditions of Romeo and Juliet of all time. How do we know this? Because the title roles of star-crossed lovers will go to principal dancers Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Miguel Guerra, a real-life couple from two different worlds. They fell in love in the practice studios of Miami's most-acclaimed dance company.
For her part, Kronenberg never imagined she'd find herself gracing stages in the Magic City. The Queens native began dancing at a young age, training at the School of American Ballet. In 1994 when she was 17, a friend asked that she accompany her to an audition at the Miami City Ballet. The young ballerina agreed, more out of a sense of duty than any belief she could actually be picked. Much to her own surprise, she was offered an apprenticeship and has called South Florida home ever since.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Kronenberg
The Balanchine-trained ballerina quickly moved up though the ranks,
becoming a principal dancer in 2001, and performing with the company all
over the world at the Torino Festival in Italy, the Aspen and Vail
Festivals in Colorado, the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, and others.
Around the same time, she was placed with a young dancer who had
defected from Cuba. The first day, they danced the entire day together.
Six and a half years later, they became husband and wife. "It's a dream
of mine that is finally coming true," she says about the upcoming
production of Romeo and Juliet where she'll dance alongside her husband
and dance partner.
1. List five things that inspire you.
-Being young, alive, healthy, and living out my dream.
-Having artistic freedom, and being surrounded by all of the amazing
people and artists that I work with and learn from everyday.
-Being a part of history in the making -- the growth of Miami City
Ballet into a major world renowned and respected institution, and the
growth of Miami itself into a city that not only appreciates, but loves
and respects the arts.
-My honest love and passion for ballet and music is a constant daily
-My partner onstage and off, my husband Carlos Guerrra, inspires me to
be a better person and a better dancer every single day. The thought of
working together to make the world a little bit richer culturally for
our future children is definitely a great source of inspiration.
2. What was your last big project?
My last big project was completing my book So, You Want to be a Ballet
Dancer? Part memoir, part how-to guide, it is a source of reference
for all young aspiring dancers who are looking for tips, hints, and
advice from a professional dancer on how to succeed through the grueling
years of training and onto the path of a professional career. I have
just signed a contract with Diversion Books for its electronic
publication, and it should be released in the very near future.
3. What's your next big project?
My next big project will be taking on the role of Juliet for the
company's premiere of the work this coming March. It is a role that is
both technically and dramatically challenging, and it is one that I have
dreamed of dancing for quite sometime. It will definitely be a
milestone in my career. I am so excited to be getting the chance to
finally dance it...and, above all, I'll be dancing it with my real life
4. Why do you do what you do?
Because it is who I am. Dancing is a part of me, of my soul, and it has
been for as long as I can remember. I would be a different person if I
didn't dance. It sustains and fulfills the artistic and expressive sides
of me, while also catering to the perfectionist workhorse that I have
inside. It provides me both discipline and freedom. It allows me to be
selfless and narcissistic at the same time. It liberates me, yet I am a
slave to it everyday. I am one of the fortunate few in the world who was
given the opportunity to do what they love most for a living...how
could I not do what I do? How could I not take complete advantage of
such an amazing gift? I guess I do what I do for the sheer love of it,
and because I am lucky enough to be able to do it.
5. What's something you want Miami to know about you?
That I love it here. I love the weather, the beach,
and the diversity of culture. I have grown to love Miami so much that I
really haven't had the desire to go back and live in New York City.
Miami has changed so much for the better over the last 15 years,
and I'm so happy that it is finally becoming a place that supports and
appreciates the arts. Now I'm proud to tell people that I'm from Miami.
you don't want Miami to know about you?
I don't want Miami to know that I'm actually a complete clutz when I'm
not dancing. I walk into walls, fall down stairs, trip over my own
feet, the works! There may be some other things that I don't want Miami
to know, but if I wrote them down here, I guess they'd know then,
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wouldn't they? Very tricky, New Times. Nice try.
The Creatives so far:
81. Farley Aguilar
82. Colin Foord
83. Karelle Levy
84. Matt Gajewski
85. Antonia Wright
86. Charles Allen Klein
87. Christy Gast
88. Gustavo Matamoros
89. Shareen Rubiera-Sarwar
90. Kyle Trowbridge
91. Clifton Childree
92. Jessica Gross
93. Danny Brito
94. Nektar de Stagni
95. Anthony Spinello
96. Vanessa Garcia
97. Justin Long
98. Rosie Herrera
99. Rick Falcon
100. Ingrid B