Program III of the Miami City Ballet at the Broward Center was a fast moving feast for the eyes. The company opened with La Valse, a Balanchine revival with music by Ravel played beautifully by a live orchestra. Dressed in pale chocolate and pink, the women’s tutu’s sailed with them as the lifted their skirts, turned and leapt. Three couples: Zoe Zien and Shimon Ito, Nathalia Arja and Didier Bramaz and Jeanette Delgado and Renan Cerdeiro were elegant with excellent partnering.
Tricia Albertson and Carlos Miguel Guerra, as the young woman and man, were particularly strong with their sustained movement, intertwining their arms over and over. This piece has a lot of stylized gestures, which they danced well.
Reyneris Reyes was powerful in his role as the Death as he appeared in an exotic ballroom with dim lighting. He wrapped Ms Albertson in a black gauzy overdress and claimed her life. The ensemble danced around her, lifting her up over their heads in a mad frenzy.
The second piece, The Steadfast Tin Soldier another Balanchine piece, is a duet loosely based on the story by Hans Christian Anderson. Jennifer Lauren danced the Doll and Kleber Rebello the Tin Soldier. The setting is a cartoon playroom with large-scale toys scattered about. Mr Rebello comically danced the Tin Soldier with legs a kimbo as he marched. His timing and focus was perfect and he garnered a lot of laughter. Ms Lauren was not as successful as the Doll. Although technically she danced the piece well, a sense of lightness, fun and honest flirtation was missing. Her final exit through the fireplace was a bit weak as well.
The Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux was the outstanding piece of the night. Mary Carmen Catoya and Renato Penteado danced the familiar duet. Although Catoya seemed a bit rushed, her movements were strong and beautiful. Penteado has great presence onstage and dance the piece with joy, especially in his leap series.
The last and newest piece in the MCB repertoire was a disappointment to me. Symphonic Dances choreographed by Russian wunderkind Alexei Ratmansky, with music by Rachmaninoff is a frantic work. It is as if the choreographer didn’t let a note go by without a movement or dancers making an entrance. I found the drab costumes distracting, especially on the women. They wore long shapeless tunics that prohibited the audience from seeing their movements. There were some interesting male partner movements in the first section, as well as mirrored movements in a duet.
The second section of this piece was difficult to see as the lighting was very dim and the men were in black. And what were the oversized boutonnieres about? Why take focus with a costume piece like that? The women wore long see-through dresses that looked like sacks tied at the middle. I’m sure they were difficult to move in them.
There were some interesting lifts when dancers were passed around.
Between each section there were long waits as the company changed costumes. Again in part three the costumes seemed to wear the dancers. The men in oversized hoodies, the women in shapeless costumes. The movement was fast and furious, almost too much to take in as the piece ended in a frantic whirl.
The program repeats at the Arsht Center March 8, 9 and 10. Phone: 305-949-6722