The Source for Media Coverage of The Arts in Miami.
Articles, reviews, previews and features on dance and music performances and events.
Sign Up
No one logged in. Log in

MCB and NWS Collaboration: ‘Inside the Music’


Photo: Leigh-Ann Esty
Written by: Octavio Roca
Article Rating

It was the first time this ever happened, and it was pretty wonderful. March 18 at the New World Center in South Beach, dancers of Miami City Ballet and musicians from the New World Symphony got together for Inside the Music: Movements, a surprising program boasting seven ballet world premieres -- including one ravishing short dance film -- plus music spanning four centuries, and some of the most exciting musical performances of the season. These two neighbors should get together again. Soon.

These were well-made dances, promising and occasionally more. The language of the seven young choreographers was conservative, thoroughly grounded in and seldom deviating from the Balanchinean mold, yet never less than entertaining. Most promising of all is this glimpse at a possible future in dance, at the sort of experiment that has paid off elsewhere.

William Forsythe, one of today’s leading choreographers, began just this way, making dances among friends within the young Noverre Society inside the Stuttgart Ballet with its orchestra players. Musicians also surely benefit from this. NWS Fellows already enjoy an enviably wide repertory, but collaborating with another kind of artist can only broaden their own artistry. Inside the Music was a win-win proposition.

Sara Esty’s Road Movies, set to the opening movement of John Adams’ s 1995 score, opened the show. A luminous Chase Swatosh stepped out first, joined in time by Renan Cerdeiro, Bradley Dunlap, Leigh-Ann Esty, Jennifer Lauren, and Nicole Stalker. Kelly Bunch’s violin and Michael Lenville’s piano breezed through Adams’ complex score, making it sound easy and at one point near the end making the dancers hit one last gorgeous stage picture just as the music stopped. Esty’s choreography throughout was sensitive to the music, and if she hasn’t yet found a language of her own, she has a beautiful way with the language she’s inherited.

Ariel Rose’s Dyad followed, set to Johann Sebastian Bach’s popular Concerto No. 5 for Harpsichord and Strings, exquisitely played by Nina Zhou at the piano backed by the NWS Fellows. Shimon Ito, Alex Manning, and Damian Zamorano, all shirtless wearing black pants, had a few sexy little shoulder shimmies, then joined Nathalia Arja in Rose’s fluid dance. The lively Arja has real chispa, and Ito was a strong, attractive partner. The first of three tiny, clever Interludes by Tricia Albertson and an irresistible Christie Sciturro followed, one or two-minute whimsical encounters of ballerina and oboist all over the house. The NWS oboist, Kevin Pearl, showed wit, a luscious mellow tone, and not bad-at-all legs (yes, they made him dance at the end as well).

Cerdeiro’s Preludes, set to George Gershwin’s  Three Preludes, was a little tame for this music. The musicians more than made up for it, though. Robert Smith’s jazzy piano, Audrey Wright’s easy violin, and especially Jeremy Morrow’s incredibly precise yet sensual trombone and Henrik Heide’s flute with its shades of Claude Bolling all got to the heart of Gershwin’s score. The 10 dancers were splendid.

A new short film followed called Danse sacrée, choreographed and directed by  Zoe Zien with videographer Bruce Pinchbeck, set to the first movement of Claude Debussy’s (1904) Danse sacrée et profane. Shot in a dream-like atmosphere at Fairchild Botanical Garden, with the score played live by the NWS Fellows, the dance began at a huge banyan tree and moved through the grass as the dancers seemed to float through a tribute to Nijinsky. Brianna Abruzzo, Cerdeiro, Ito, and Helen Ruiz were stellar, and the camera obviously loves Patricia Delgado. It is a lovely film.

A very academic duet by Eric Trope called Nine Chapters, set to Johannes Brahms’ moving Sonata No. 1 for cello and Piano, seemed not quite finished, and not up to the score’s emotional breadth. Still, Aaron Ludwig’s burnished cello sounded like a what every dramatic tenor aims for. Colorful in every way, from the tight choreography to the colorful tights, Leigh-Ann Esty’s The Cantina Band had everyone smiling and set the joint jumping to John Williams’ bar scene in Star Wars. No surprise, the NWS Fellows make one hot jazz band.

The most satisfying new dance came at the end, Acantilado by Adriana Pierce, set to Alberto Ginastera’s 1953 Variaciones Concertantes. Tricia Albertson, Emily Bromberg, Sarah McCahill, Leslie Overholt, and Chase Swatosh -- all with ideal follow-though in every phrase -- created delicious tension in this dance, which was not exactly plotless and suggested an outsider and the community that made him that. As that outsider, Jovani Forlan looked like a starlet, danced like a star, and stole the show with a touching fusion of innocence and desire. Here is a dancer to watch.

Leave a comment...
Must be Logged in
No one logged in. Log in
Leave a comment...
Was this helpful?
No Very

Captcha Image

About The writer

Dance and music critic, assistant professor of philosophy at Miami Dade College

Octavio Roca, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Miami Dade College, was music, dance and theater critic for The Washington Post, The Washington ..

About the Writer

The career of Puerto Rican pianist, composer, and arranger Jose Negroni exemplifies the predicament -- and options -- of the musician of the 21st Century. The impact of new technologies in the mus..

Many people look at an evening of chamber music as the kind of torment only to be suffered when trying to impress first dates. Marina Radiushina, artistic director of the Mainly Mozart Festival, k..

The name Bang on a Can brings to mind a robust cacophony of sound. Far more than noisy spectacle, the New York-based band produces a lush landscape of music running the gamut of orchestral t..

There were a few big bangs that happened when Carson Kievman, Ph.D., first began work on his chamber opera, Intelligent Systems, 35 years ago. For starters, there was Stephen Hawking’s research on..

It is true that music is soothing and relaxing, that it is comforting and helps us reminisce. Music is an indulgence, but more importantly, it builds relationships and communities, making people t..

Working in a traditional genre like flamenco and creating a personal path while dealing with history is hard enough for any artist. But if you are José Enrique Morente, 25, and are a budding canta..

Flamenco singer, guitarist, and composer José Enrique Morente, 25, is the youngest member of one of the most decorated flamenco dynasties. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of hi..

When Florida Grand Opera gets a production right, it’s usually with candid panache. Closing its 2014-15 season with Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul, the company weaved its elements into a cozy rob..

The different qualities of time at the basis of visual art and music guided the thinking of Marina Radiushina, artistic director for the 22nd Mainly Mozart Festival, when she set the venue f..

El pianista, compositor y arreglista puertorriqueño José Negroni es un prototipo del músico del siglo XXI. El impacto de las nuevas tecnologías, incluyendo el desguace de las viejas estructu..

Suena a desafío. Conjugar una obra literaria austera y trágica con una expresión musical y bailable de gran riqueza y pasión, buscando unirlas de manera coherente y emotiva. El reto, sin..

Bajo agua. Así se estima quedará Miami Beach a fines de siglo si no se toman medidas drásticas. De ahí que la organización artística sin fines de lucro FUNDarte y el grupo activista sobre sus..

La guerra no necesariamente termina sólo porque uno vuelve a casa. Eso queda claro en una pieza teatral como Basetrack Live (http://basetracklive.com), en la que se pone en relieve el hecho..

En los años 1970, la salsa alcanzó su pico como expresión sociocultural latina. Hoy día, para la coreógrafa y bailarina cubano americana Ana María Á..

El secreto del éxito de competencias de canto en televisión como American Idol, The Voice y Rising Star es obvio: A millones de nosotros nos gusta cantar. No importa si alguna ve..

Al mirar el calendario de espectáculos de esta temporada, uno podría decir que Miami está experimentando un verdadero furor por todo lo español, especialmente el flamen..

La inspiración puede venir de cualquier lado. Y en el caso de Sorolla, la puesta en escena que presenta el Ballet Nacional de España desde este jueves 6 y hasta el 9 en el Adrienne A..

Ser amante del tango conlleva sentir la pasión, los quebrantos, y la nostalgia del amor. Por eso este baile y su música nunca pasan de moda. Y de la mano -- y pies -- de jóven..