Flying across the stage in her February debut as the Firebird, Miami City Ballet's Nina Fernandes was electrifying and commanding. MCB's new Firebird production is sleeker and flashier than Balanchine and Robbins' original, and Fernandes more than rose to the occasion, imbuing the role with an easy control and innate vivacity.
A native of Brazil, the 24-year-old dancer didn't start training until she was 13. She studied at Centro de Artes Madeleine Rosay in Rio de Janeiro before stints with The Washington Ballet Studio Company and Tulsa Ballet II. In 2016, Fernandes joined Houston Ballet. After two years she moved on to MCB, where she's now gearing up for her third season. "I was very strictly trained in Vaganova, but since I've come to America I like to challenge myself with different kinds of styles," says Fernandes.
Fernandes in George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins' Firebird
Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Miami City Ballet
In addition to Firebird, her favorite ballets have spanned from Alexei Ratmansky's Symphonic Dances to Paul Taylor's Mercuric Tidings to Bournonville's Flower Festival in Genzano. "I like to be pushed to new limits, to prove that I can go higher and higher," says Fernandes. "I enjoy any kind of role... so long as I get to be onstage."
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