Miami City Ballet opened the season last night with a program of favorites that covered a wide range of modern and contemporary ballet choreography from classic Balanchine to sexy Jerome Robbins and from stately Christopher Wheeldon to sassy Twyla Tharp. The Friday night performance also revealed that the company's greatest strength may also be its greatest weakness.
Miami City Ballet is unabashedly bright and beautiful. One prime representative of the company spirit is principal Jeanette Delgado, whose smile alone could power the Arsht Center lights.
While my companion found her execution of the light passages of
Balanchine's "Square Dance" too labored, I enjoyed the joyous power with
which she leapt and turned, especially when she traced a circle around
the edges of the stages, stretching her legs like the needles on a
Her partner Renan Cerdeiro, with his impossibly long legs and
arms, brought a lighter touch to the Balanchine's intricate passages,
but if their energy was mismatched, they were both a delight to watch.
Jennifer Kronenberg was stunning as always as the love object for Jerome
Robbins's young male dancer caught in a narcissistic moment in the
studio in "Afternoon of a Faun." Carlos Miguel Guerra lent himself
easily to the role of male object of desire, transferring the audience's
longing for him to his partner with a chaste kiss on the cheek.
Partners in Christopher Wheeldon's darker and more interior duet,
"Liturgy," Katia Carranza and Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez struck the poses
called for Christopher Wheeldon, who at times appears to be more a
kinetic sculptor than a choreographer: he is less interested in how
bodies move, than in the shapes they make in space. These shapes brought
audible gasps from the audience, as though suddenly revealing unknown
depths drawn from the human body.
If Miami City Ballet evoked exactly the right mood in the first three
pieces, Twyla Tharp's "In The Upper Room" suffered, and such a thing is
possible, from being too pretty. Here Delgado's perpetual smile
undermined the playful bite of Tharp's choreography, one emblem of an
approach to the piece that lacked the weight and release that would make
this piece exciting.
MCB has established that it can be, and nearly always, is breathtakingly
beautiful. Only sometimes beauty is not the only goal worth striving
--Celeste Fraser Delgado, Artburstmiami.com
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