Throughout my childhood one of the things I looked forward to most was my annual dance recital. We prepared all year, my mother made my custom fitted costumes and my grandfather came out from Brooklyn on the train to see me dance. How exciting it was for me.
Imagine then how thrilling it must be to take class with the Miami City Ballet and be chosen to rehearse and perform on a world class stage at the Broward Center. Thrilling for both the children and the parents alike. The children portrayed guests at a party, soldiers, angels, and candy canes. There were dozens of bouquets in the audience in the arms of these children’s parents. Only the principal dancers get flowers given them on stage, but I am sure every child was just as thrilled to get their flowers after the performance.
Not that the Miami City Ballet’s The Nutcracker is an amateur show. Not by any means when you have the sisters Patricia and Jeanette Delgado along with Callie Manning, Carlos Miguel Guerra, Renan Cerdeiro, Yann Trividic and other principals dancing this traditional Balanchine ballet.
Highlights include Yann Trividic’s spidery legged Herr Drosselmeir cavorting across the stage or hiding beneath a scary black cape atop the clock. And a seductive Callie Manning sensually dancing the Coffee segment. There is Kleber Rebello in the all too brief Tea section defying gravity with giant leaps. Renan Cerdeiro led the chorus of Candy Canes with mighty double jumps through a hoop. Jeanette Delgado and her chorus of flowers led by Adriana Pierce and Nicole Stalker danced beautifully. Patricia Delgado was most effective in the finale as The Sugar Plum Fairy, getting more and more sure of herself partnered by her Cavalier Carlos Miguel Guerra. Guerra is the perfect partner, supporting Delgado as he spins her and lifts her effortlessly. He showed his own technique in an all too brief solo.
Special mention must be given to the young stars of The Nutcracker: Natalia Garcia as Marie/The Princess and Henry Galban as the Nutcracker/ Prince. Natalia showed beautiful stage presence throughout with a joyous smile on her face as she danced and moved across the stage. Her technique is strong, with beautifully arched feet and a regal carriage. Galban, although not as technically strong as young Guerrra, did an admirable job portraying his roles.
Disappointing, as always, was listening to a recorded score. Although the music is familiar and beautiful, the set changes seemed long as we listened and waited for the next section of the ballet to begin. Yes, I know, it’s a matter of money. But it is still disappointing.
As always the lighting by John Hall was excellent, setting the mood for every scene.
Miami City Ballet’s The Nutcracker continues its run in Broward County through Sunday evening December 16th. It will be presented again at the Arsht Center from Thursday December 20th through December 23rd with seven performances.