This winter, the renowned Russian dancer Diana Vishneva will appear in her most high-profile project since she retired from American Ballet Theatre in 2017. The 42-year-old prima ballerina, who gave birth to her first child, Rudolf Victor, last May, is set to star in the ambitious, technologically innovative multimedia production Sleeping Beauty Dreams, choreographed by Edward Clug. The production will also star Marcelo Gomes as Prince Peter. Inspired by the provocative question "What did Princess Aurora dream during her 100-year sleep?", Sleeping Beauty Dreams premieres December 7–8 at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and continues to New York City's Beacon Theatre December 14–15, before moving on to what promotors say will be a two-part international tour.
Villella in rehearsal with members of Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami earlier this summer. Photo by Joe Gato, Courtesy DDTM.
This summer the legendary New York City Ballet dancer Edward Villella marked two full-circle moments. He returned to Miami for the first time since his controversial 2012 departure from Miami City Ballet, the company he founded, to coach members of Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami. This new troupe was founded by former MCB principals and Villella protégés Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra in 2016. Villella worked with DDTM dancers on George Balanchine's Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux and Tarantella, signature pieces during his performing career. While there, Villella announced that he would be coaching dancers at NYCB starting in September—his first time returning to the troupe where he defined major ballets like Prodigal Son and Rubies, which the company performs this fall.
We spoke with Villella about keeping Balanchine's legacy alive, his big news, and his post-Miami life back in New York, where he lives with his wife Linda.
Gabriela Mesa, Fabian Morales and Josue Justiz Brito in Ariel Rose's Esferas. Photo by Simon Soong, Courtesy DDTM.
When Jennifer Kronenberg launched Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami with husband Carlos Guerra less than two years ago, she never dreamed their fledgling troupe would be performing in two of the country's most famous dance venues so soon.
"It's surreal," said the former Miami City Ballet principal ballerina, as Dimensions prepared to open the Joyce Theater's Ballet Festival June 26 and 27, going on to the Jacob's Pillow's Inside/Out series on June 29. "We're still very new. Some companies have been around forever and never get invited to places like the Joyce and Jacob's Pillow."
Adds Guerra, "We never thought we would reach this level in such a short time. It's been an amazing journey."
They owe their early arrival to two of the qualities that have already made the 16-member ensemble a successful and beloved presence in Miami: strong community connections, and a repertory and roster that reflect this predominantly Latino city.
Guerra and Kronenberg rehearsing "Transparente." Photo by Patricia J. Reagan Photography, Courtesy DDTM
Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra are used to being the center of the action from their years as leading dancers at Miami City Ballet. But managing the whirl of activity at a rehearsal of their fledgling troupe, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, is a whole other dizzying dimension—coaching ballets, fielding questions from a photographer and a dancer managing company logistics, squeezing in a quick self-coached rehearsal for themselves. Kronenberg perches on a bench as a costume designer hems her skirt, talking through schedules with Guerra before they hurl themselves into Ronald Savkovic's fraught Transparente, releasing real life tensions in choreographic drama.