XXV International Ballet Festival of Miami in full swing until Sept. 13
Ballet Philippines perform “Opera,” choreographed by Rheda. (Photo courtesy of Jojo Mamangun)
One of the most anticipated dance events of the year for South Floridians, the International Ballet Festival of Miami (IBFM), is in full swing, reinvented as an exhibition, a virtual encounter, and a fundraising campaign.
Through the digital platform PLAY.ticketmundo.com, enjoy 20 prerecorded programs until Sept. 10, and three live “Gala” performances on Sept. 11 to 13. At $10 per program (which includes 24-hour access), the money raised will directly benefit participating companies.
“We already had everything prepared to celebrate the 25th anniversary with presentations at the Arsht Center, the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, the Fillmore and the Broward Center … but with the situation created by the pandemic we had to change the plans and make it virtual,” said Eriberto Jiménez, the festival’s artistic director.
On the IBFM Facebook page, watch dance workshops, interviews with artistic directors, and other collateral activities including the festival’s Aug. 15 inauguration, with the presentation of the commemorative poster and the documentary, “La Amable Euforia de la Danza,” by Miguel Castañet Jr., about IBFM founder Pedro Pablo Peña (1944-2018).
Also available online: the event’s traditional gathering with book authors, which took place Aug. 29. The evening’s discussions centered around Daniel Lewis and his recently published biography, “Daniel Lewis: A Life in Choreography and the Art of Dance” (McFarland, 2020), and Jennifer Kronenberg with “So, You Want to Be a Ballet Dancer?” (University Press of Florida, 2013).
Kronenberg considered it “a great honor to be presenting my book at the festival. When I wrote it eight years ago, I did it intending to mix memories with advice, to create an ‘evergreen’ guide for young dancers.”
Her participation was “a wonderful opportunity for me to revisit the book and check its relevance.”
For his part, Lewis will receive the “A Life for Dance” Lifetime Achievement Award at the start of the Grand Gala of Stars on Sept. 12.
“Being recognized by your peers, in your community, is a high tribute to your life’s work,” he said. “I am moved and delighted to be the recipient of such an award.”
Despite any challenges, this virtual edition of IBFM could end up being a truly memorable event for Miami ballet fans, because they will have the opportunity to appreciate the performances of participating artists in recordings they chose themselves, which should provide a guarantee of quality.
In the absence of a playbill, our recommendation is to learn about the participants before choosing what to watch. To facilitate your search, here is a list of all invited companies and their works – listed by country.
Ballet Folklórico del Parque del Conocimiento with a program consisting of “Prince Igor: Polovstian Dances,” “Les Sylphides” and “Boleros de Amor.”
Ballet Metropolitano de Medellín with “Encuentros.”
From Dominican Republic:
Ballet Nacional Dominicano with “La Llamada;” “Una Vida, Dos Vidas;” and “Nunca Como en la Noche los Colores son tan Brillantes.”
Estonian National Ballet with “Coppelia”
Lyric Dance Co. with “Caravaggio, Amor Vincit Omnia”
Roma City Ballet Co., with “Swan Lake”
ARB Dance Co. with “Re-live”
From the Philippines:
Ballet Philippines with “Opera”
SNG Opera Ballet Ljubljana with “The Great Gatsby”
Octavio de la Roza & Almamia Dance Project with “Carmen”
From the United States:
Ballet Inc. (New York) with “667 Miles Away”
Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami with two programs, “Carmen” by Alberto Alonso and “Le Corsaire”
Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida (North Miami Beach) with “Shostakovich Suites”
Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami with three works including Gerald Arpino’s “Light Rain”
Karen Peterson Dancers (Miami) with “Showcase”
Ballet Flamenco La Rosa (Miami) with “Señorita Julia”
Dance Now! Miami with “The Book of Psalm”
Brigid Baker WholeProject with “Remain in Light”
As for the live entertainment portion of the festival, the Gala performances will be presented across three days, starting Sept. 11.
The first Gala, dedicated to contemporary ballet, will feature Dance Now! Miami, Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Brigid Baker WholeProject, Ballet Inc. and Dancetown Miami.
The other two Galas will showcase performances from Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, Miami City Ballet, Houston Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and The Washington Ballet.
“Only duets or solos will be presented in the Galas,” Jiménez said. “But it must be clarified that the duets will be performed by dancers who are a couple in real life, or who have been together all this time. We have tried to keep everything as safe as possible.”
For more information on participating groups, activities and scheduled performances, visit Internationalballetfestival.org. Tickets for prerecorded programs and live broadcasts are on sale at PLAY.ticketmundo.com.