A toast to the next steps! Miami City Ballet (MCB) offers its hometown public another weekend to celebrate its 25th anniversary before honeymooning in Paris. This Friday and Saturday at MCB's Wolfson studio theater in South Beach, the company performs excerpts from George Balanchine's The Four Temperaments and Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room.
Raise a cocktail glass in the lobby ("open bar" sponsored by Bacardi USA) and preview the repertory the company will bring overseas. Read on to see what you're in store for.
Théâtre du Châtelet invites MCB for an unusually long run, July 6 to 23,
during which the company will present an impressive 14 ballets in 17
performances. "Never having danced in a single city for three weeks,"
remarks Edward Villella, MCB's artistic director, "it gives us the
opportunity for Paris to have a complete insight into who we are." Along
with eight ballets by Balanchine, works by Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor,
Christopher Wheeldon and Tharp comprise the tour -- " a wonderful
overview of the company's style and of the challenges that we have
undertaken," Villella says.
Open Barre is a dress rehearsal for Parisian performances.
Participation in the seventh annual Étés De La Danse festival marks
MCB's Paris debut as well as their first foreign tour since 9/11.
Following a sensational critical triumph in 2009 in New York City, MCB
is poised for success in another of the world's dance capitals. (The
illustrious Théâtre du Châtelet has hosted other important
introductions: Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes premiered there in
The tour provides a meaningful homecoming for husband-and-wife MCB
dancers Yann Trividic and Suzanne Limbrunner. French-born Trividic will
perform several favorite roles on the tour (catch him in the Phlegmatic
temperament at Open Barre). His twin brother, Alain Trividic, who
dances with the Ballet du Rhin in Strasbourg, will be watching in the
audience alongside other family members. With only a couple of days off,
Trividic hopes he'll be able to take a group wine tasting in
Saint-Émilion. ("It's like a Medieval village," he says, complete with
vineyards and castle.) Limbrunner, born in Oregon, danced with the
Ballet de l'Opéra National de Bordeaux. Asked what attractions she would
recommend to colleagues, she names the Palais Garnier and Musée
MCB has not performed on foreign soil since before 9/11.
The pair is excited to perform in France "with the company we love the
most," notes Limbrunner. Trividic, who returned to MCB in 2010 after a
seven-year absence, felt freshly inspired by the MCB dancers and moved
by "how musical they are and the energy, the speed with which they
dance. What you feel is people excited to dance." After the company's
more than decade-long absence from Europe, does Villella have any
thoughts on how his company has changed? "Oh, sure. We're much better
than we used to be! That's the point -- to get better each year."
Miami City Ballet's Open Barre takes place Friday 7 p.m., and Saturday
at 2:30 and 7 p.m. in the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Theatre, 2200
Liberty Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $35. Call 877-929-7010 or visit
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--Emily Hite, artburstmiami.com