An annual gala is a tradition for most dance companies. Miami Cuban Classical Ballet is no different.
CCBM will present its classic grand gala on Saturday at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater. However, instead of a usual fundraising gala, the CCBM will use this performance as a celebration of dance and a happy tribute to the performing arts. It will be both live with a socially distant in-person audience and streamed live from the company’s website.
“Every year, we organize a big gala,” explains CCBM artistic director Eriberto Jimenez. “It’s more elegant and it’s a big event, but it’s not a fundraiser. It’s our biggest performance of the year, and we try to do mostly classical ballet.
This year’s performance will be a rehearsal of a 2014 performance that paid homage to some of the greatest and most established classical ballets. The ballets chosen are from the golden age of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, a company that broke down barriers in Paris in the early 1900s – with colorful and vibrant costumes and sets and collaborations with top musicians. and set designers of the time – and affected the way audiences viewed dance from that point on.
“It’s important for the audience to see a range of classical ballets in the same program,” says Jimenez. “And these ballets should be seen over and over again.”
The Ballets Russes’ favorites will be “La Vivandière Pas de Six”, “Le Specter de la Rose”, “La Bayadère Suite”, “Les Biches” and “Carnaval” to close. The program will be one hour and 15 minutes with no intermission, according to COVID-19 security protocols.
The CCBM was created by Pedro Pablo Peña (1944-2018) of Cuban origin in 2006 in order to continue the tradition of Cuban classical ballet outside the island. Jimenez, who arrived in the United States in 1989, became Peña’s right-hand man.
Over the years, even while dancing, Jimenez was responsible for directing, coaching and choreographing the repertoire, as well as overseeing all backstage needs. He later started accompanying Peña to business meetings. It is obvious that Jimenez was trained to take the artistic direction when the time came.
“I got it all thanks to Pedro [Pablo Peña]”, says Jimenez.
Now artistic director and in preparation for the June 5 gala, Jimenez directed and trained each of the ballets. It pays special attention to the pursuit of the vision of preserving the repertoire and technique of classical ballet and showing the distinctive talent and artistry of Cuban dancers.
Most of the dancers who will be seen at the gala are Cubans and are part of the South Florida dance community. To increase the company, the CCBM has partnered with the St. Lucie Ballet of Florida, whose dancers will play the ensemble role.
The opening of the show will be the jewel of a ballet, “La Vivandière Pas de Six” (or “Markitenka”, as it is called in Russia), created in 1844, with a choreography by Arthur Saint-Léon and Fanny Cerrito, and music by Cesare Pugni. The pas de six is the only section of one-act ballet that is recorded and recorded (documenting the movements). The difficulty lies in Bournonville’s expressive technique and the effortless and charming quality of the dancers.
Paula Zapata and Ihosvany Rodriguez will perform, accompanied by Eleni Gialas, Myriam Ayala, Jennifer Villalon and Niuris Rodriguez.
“Le Specter de la rose” created in April 1911, directed by the great choreographer Michel Fokine and the costume designer Léon Bakst. He presented Hector Berlioz’s 1841 orchestration of Carl Maria von Weber’s piano music, “Invitation to the Dance”.
The ballet tells the story of a young girl who dreams of dancing with the spirit of a rose that she received at her first ball. The ballet premiere was a huge success, especially for the performance of Nijinsky and for the great leap he made through a window at the end of the ballet. Ronna Olarte and Carlos Caballero Hopuy will dance the parts of “The Young Girl” and “The Rose” respectively.
The complete ballet in four acts, “La Bayadère” – with music by Ludwig Minkus and original choreography by Marius Petipa – was premiered in 1877. This exotic ballet follows an undying love between the noble Solor and the temple dancer (bayadère ) Nikiya, who is disturbed by the revenge of the beautiful temptress, Gamzatti. For this interpretation, Gamzatti is played by Daynelis Muñoz; the Solor warrior is Jonhal Fernandez; and the corps de ballet will feature the St. Lucie Ballet.
EThe chic and atmospheric “Les Biches” is a one-act ballet created in 1924 with choreography by Bronislava Nijinska (Nijinsky’s sister) and music by Francis Poulenc. The unplotable ballet depicts the random interactions of a group of mostly young people at a house party on a summer afternoon. CCBM will recreate a scene where a group of sophisticated women spend a pleasant evening.
Finally, the 1910 ballet, “Carnival”, featured music from Robert Schumann’s piano suite, “Carnaval, op. 9 ”, choreography by Fokine and costumes by Bakst. The ballet has been described as a series of light, humorous incidents interwoven with poignant moments and an underlying stream of satire. The characters are the melancholy Pierrot (played by Carlos Caballero Hopuy), the fickle Colombine (Muñoz), the mischievous Arlequin (Rodriguez) and four couples. All the fun and lovemaking will end the evening in style.
If you are going to
WHAT: Cuban Classical Ballet at the Miami Classic Grand Gala
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday 5 June
OR: The Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave.
COST: $ 39 to $ 59 for in-person tickets (available on Ticketmaster.com); $ 20 for special tickets for the live broadcast (via Cubanclassicalballetofmiami.org/season-program)
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