Jennifer Kronenberg and her husband Carlos Guerra retired from Miami City Ballet this past spring, but they're still deeply involved in the dance world. Their brand-new troupe, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, has its inaugural performance this weekend. Between Havana & Heaven features a range of ballet by Septime Webre, Atlanta Ballet's Tara Lee, Miami-based Yanis Pikieris and Marius Petipa. Pointe spoke with Kronenberg about her fledgling company.
How did you and your husband decide to start a company?
It was sitting in the back of our minds for a while. Then, when we were getting ready to leave Miami City Ballet, people started asking what was next. We had all of these offers on the table but weren't really jumping at them, mostly because we love living in Miami. People said, Why don't you start your own thing since that's what you want to do someday? Arts figures and other groups started coming forward to help. Before we knew it, we had a group together and a theater date.
Where did you find your dancers?
They're people that we've worked with before or have seen or taught, so there were no formal auditions. Quite a few danced with Carlos this past summer at Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami and had just come over from Cuba. Since audition season is over, some of them were working in construction or driving for Uber. They're so talented, so we wanted to give them an opportunity to work.
What's behind the program title, Between Havana & Heaven?
We're doing Septime Webre's Juanita y Alicia, which is perfect for Miami because it's so based in Cuban culture. And we have Tara Lee's Under the Olive Tree, which is loosely inspired by Greek mythology. I was filling out a grant application that asked the name of the program, and I thought, Uh oh! We don't have one. Literally, I was at the deadline, and I was like, Between Havana & Heaven. That's it!
What's next for the company?
At this point, it's project-based. Little by little, we're getting funding to begin the next performance. But our goal is to raise enough money so our dancers can work for a consistent chunk of time, even if it's 8 or 10 weeks.
Catch Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami's debut performance Nov. 20.