A Triumphant Premiere

Miami City Ballet premiered Viscera, choreographed by Royal Ballet dancer Liam Scarlett, last weekend. It was Scarlett's first work for an American company. MCB principal Patricia Delgado has been documenting the experience for Pointe. (Read her first entries here and here.)

Liam Scarlett has changed Miami City Ballet forever!  What an a amazing weekend for Liam and everyone here in Miami. Viscera was a great success--the audience went crazy for the dancers, the orchestra, our incredible pianist Francisco Renno, the lighting, the costumes...and most of all, for Liam!


Friday night was extra special: The entire audience was on their feet after Viscera. I have to explain what a big deal that is in Miami. Our audiences appreciate our performances, but it is rare to see a standing ovation after the first ballet of the evening!

Liam was very touched, and we were newly inspired after working with him. It showed in the dancing of the rest of the evening, and I know it will continue to resonate in our minds, bodies and spirits throughout the rest of the season.

I think Liam found what he was looking for--and so did we!

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During one of Charlotte Nash's first few weeks with Houston Ballet II, she was thrown into a run-through of Balanchine's Theme and Variations. "I had never really understudied before and I didn't know what I was doing," she says. "I fell right away and was quickly replaced." For Nash, now a dancer with Festival Ballet Providence, the episode was a tough lesson. "I was mortified, but then I said to myself, 'Okay, I need to figure out how to learn things more quickly.'"

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Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

We dug into the details of Stretch Pointe's most game-changing features:

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The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

American Ballet Theatre's fall season at Lincoln Center's Koch Theater offers a chance to see the company in shorter works and mixed-repertoire programs. This year's October 16–27 run honors principal Herman Cornejo, who's celebrating his 20th anniversary with the company. Cornejo will be featured in a special celebratory program as well as a new work by Twyla Tharp (her 17th for the company), set to Johannes Brahms' String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 111. The October 26 program will include Cornejo in a pas de deux with his sister, former ABT dancer Erica Cornejo.

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