A toast to the next steps! Miami City Ballet (MCB) offers its hometown public another weekend to celebrate its 25th anniversary before honeymooning in Paris. This Friday and Saturday at MCB’s Wolfson studio theater in South Beach, the company performs excerpts from George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room. Raise a cocktail glass in the lobby (“open bar” sponsored by Bacardi USA) and preview the repertory the company will bring overseas.
Théâtre du Châtelet invites MCB for an unusually long run, July 6 to 23, during which the company will present an impressive 14 ballets in 17 performances. “Never having danced in a single city for three weeks,” remarks Edward Villella, MCB’s artistic director, “it gives us the opportunity for Paris to have a complete insight into who we are.” Along with eight ballets by Balanchine, works by Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon and Tharp comprise the tour — “ a wonderful overview of the company’s style and of the challenges that we have undertaken,” Villella says.
Participation in the seventh annual Étés De La Danse festival marks MCB’s Paris debut as well as their first foreign tour since 9/11. Following a sensational critical triumph in 2009 in New York City, MCB is poised for success in another of the world’s dance capitals. (The illustrious Théâtre du Châtelet has hosted other important introductions: Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes premiered there in 1909.)
The tour provides a meaningful homecoming for husband-and-wife MCB dancers Yann Trividic and Suzanne Limbrunner. French-born Trividic will perform several favorite roles on the tour (catch him in the Phlegmatic temperament at Open Barre). His twin brother, Alain Trividic, who dances with the Ballet du Rhin in Strasbourg, will be watching in the audience alongside other family members. With only a couple of days off, Trividic hopes he’ll be able to take a group wine tasting in Saint-Émilion. (“It’s like a Medieval village,” he says, complete with vineyards and castle.) Limbrunner, born in Oregon, danced with the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux. Asked what attractions she would recommend to colleagues, she names the Palais Garnier and Musée d’Orssay.
The pair are excited to perform in France “with the company we love the most,” notes Limbrunner. Trividic, who returned to MCB in 2010 after a seven-year absence, felt freshly inspired by the MCB dancers and moved by “how musical they are and the energy, the speed with which they dance. What you feel is people excited to dance.” After the company’s more than decade-long absence from Europe, does Villella have any thoughts on how his company has changed? “Oh, sure. We’re much better than we used to be! That’s the point — to get better each year.”
Miami City Ballet’s Open Barre takes place Friday 7 p.m., and Saturday at 2:30 and 7 p.m. in the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Theatre, 2200 Liberty Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $35. Call 877-929-7010 or visit miamicityballet.org.
First published in Miami New Times