"Be Ferocious, Menacing, A Little Scary!"

Miami City Ballet will premiere Viscera, choreographed by Royal Ballet dancer Liam Scarlett, this Friday. It's Scarlett's first work for an American ballet company. MCB principal Patricia Delgado is documenting the experience for Pointe.

 

We are two days away from the world premiere of Liam Scarlett's piece, and we're all so excited!    

We first met Liam last February, when he spent a weekend watching classes and performances before casting his ballet. Even though we were all a little nervous,  we got great vibes from his positive and sweet energy.  But I don't think any of us expected how amazing working with him would be until a few months later, when he returned to set the piece. Liam had done so much preparation ahead of time, and it was stimulating to get a sense of what he wanted and then play from there.

There was also a lot of laughter in the studios! I remember one day, when we were working on the solo girl part—which is a role that I share with my sister, Jeanette, and fellow dancer Sara Esty—Liam wasn't sure what to do next. Jeanette did a cartwheel, and we all lost it. The cartwheel didn't make the final version, but it's a good example of how comfortable we were with Liam.

Of course, there was a lot of hard work as well.  We all understood Liam's sense of musicality, but it took  us time to really get to know the music—by contemporary composer Lowell Lieberman—and hear all of the intricacies that Liam wanted us to illustrate. The movement itself  is very organic and exciting—it never looks forced. "Feel as though there is an electric current connecting everyone on the stage," Liam told us. He's been stressing the importance of dancing with your whole self, from the inside out: "It needs to be ferocious, menacing, a little scary!"

We're putting the finishing touches on the piece in rehearsals this week. The first run with costumes really got everyone excited. This piece is unlike anything else in our repertoire—we can't wait for our audiences to see it. Liam has been an inspiring gift to us here at Miami City Ballet!

Latest Posts


Getty Images

What's Ahead for Ballet Companies in the Age of COVID-19?

Let's be frank: No one knows what's ahead for the performing arts in the U.S. With COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of nearly a year of performances so far, including many Nutcrackers, ballet companies face a daunting path ahead with no roadmap for how to survive. While schools can offer classes online or in small groups, what does the future hold for companies when it's not safe to gather large audiences or corps de ballet?

"We are in for a very hard set of months," says Michael M. Kaiser, chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. "Nothing will change until there's a vaccine."

Pointe set out to find out what the new normal looks like while the virus is with us.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

7 Tips for Improving Your Piqué Turns, Plus Advice for Practicing at Home

A string of piqué turns en dedans, says Erica Fischbach, director of Colorado Ballet Academy, should appear powerful yet effortless. "The effect you want to create is that you're flying." Here are her tips to achieve this as you whirl through the ends of your variations. Plus, don't miss the video below for Fischbach's advice on how to practice piqué turns while training at home.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
BalletMet costume shop manager Erin Rollins in a costume fitting with Leiland Charles. Jennifer Zmuda, Courtesy BalletMet

A Costume Shop Manager's Expert Advice for Making Your Dancewear Last Longer

What's the best way to extend the life of your favorite leotard or piece of workout wear? Aside from fabric quality, it largely comes down to what you do on laundry day.

We spoke with Erin Rollins, costume shop manager at BalletMet, for her top tips on keeping your beloved dancewear in rotation for years to come. (Spoiler alert: No, washing and drying everything on the same setting isn't advised.)

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks