Miami City Ballet delivered a rip-roaring Square Dance last evening at City Center led by Jeanette Delgado and Jeremy Cox. Haglund has never seen this dance as polished and well-rehearsed as last night. The corps set a new standard for precision and energy that is going to be hard for anyone to surpass – assuming any other company has the initiative to try to do so. Ms. Delgado was a marvel as she sped through the steps with clarity, teasing us that she had energy to spare and then putting the pedal to the metal just to prove her point.
Haglund went to the second program of Miami City Ballet last night to see if seeing Rubies as set by the originators would make him like it. It didn't. The dreadful recorded music made him like it even less. There are those who proclaim that every piece of choreography that Balanchine conceived was god's gift to the art form. Haglund is not one of them. Rubies was a novelty at the time of its first performance because it was new-form jazzet or ballez and featured Patricia McBride, America's most wholesome ballet dancer, cast against type and Edward Villella ingeniusly type-cast. Following the departure of the originators, the piece lost its novelty and appeal and is pretty much now a lot of leg swinging and women trying to act cutsy and seductive simultaneously. It's painful to watch.
Symphony in C was stunningly beautiful. Again Ms. Delgado was striking in her clarity, joy, and impressive speed in the third section of this piece with Alex Wong. The first section was led by Mary Carmen Catoya and Renato Penteado, the second by Haiyan Wu and Carlos Miguel Guerra, and the fourth by Patricia Delgado and Jeremy Cox. Haglund was thinking about how he liked the opening Wednesday program better than the second program until the ladies of the corps took their first steps in Symphony. These dancers were of one mind, one force, and danced as one body. Absolutely exquisite.
Haglund was able to appreciate the special qualities and refinement that Haiyan Wu brought to the second section even if she seemed somewhat disconnected from her made-in-heaven partner, Carlos Miguel Guerra. With Carreno-type handsomeness and steady hands to match, Guerra was incredible to watch as he maneuvered Wu from one dreamy move to another. His solo dancing has a controlled, virile quality whereas the MCB men lean more towards youthful peppiness and vigor - Jeremy Cox's mature dancing excepted.
The final movement of Symphony in C ended with the audience on its feet cheering for its new champions. Villella came out for a bow (the audience would have been most disappointed if he hadn't) but then stepped to the side to survey his dancers gleaming in the glow of their new championship. Yeah.
Miami City Ballet brought the heat to City Center last night in a blazing performance that included Balanchine’s Symphony in Three Movements, La Valse, and Tharp’s In the Upper Room.First and foremost, Haglund must compliment the corps for its definitive sensational style with each member dancing as though the success of the whole evening hinged on her or his performance.Wow. And Wow, again.
Eddie is right.Symphony in Three Movements and La Valse do look great on the smaller City Center stage. In fact, they look significant.Kudos to all of the dancers for their flying exits into the wings with accelerating energy.After the first few minutes, Haglund hoped that there were plenty of doctors in the house.
When the curtain opened on Symphony, the absolutely gorgeous line of ladies in white was still as could be while simultaneously storing explosive energy that suddenly released into a Tier 1 caliber performance that made Haglund remember why Symphony in Three Movements was indeed a masterpiece.Thank you, Eddie, for putting the Master back into the masterpiece.
Haglund cannot remember the last time he saw La Valse, but he knows he never saw it as a drama piece.Stunning!Perfectly stunning.
In the Upper Room was at maximum force last night.A trip for the audience.New York knows this piece so well that it recognized when the unpredictable score was coming to an end and burst out in Yeahs! and applause.Standing and hollering.Haglund was on the edge of his seat during the final section and could not believe how the dancers’ energy increased exponentially at Mach 5.The little energizer Jeanette Delgado led a truly superlative performance of a piece for which New York holds some very high expectations.Yo!
Haglund didn’t plan to attend the second program, but now believes that he owes it to himself to see those pieces as set by one of the originators – something we long to see in this area.
What perfect timing for Miami City Ballet’s visit to Manhattan.Many who fell in love with and worshipped Edward Villella when he was on the New York stages decades ago are now reaching retirement age and moving to Florida.No doubt, this week will rekindle a few romances.
Haglund is simply at a loss for appropriate shoes to award such a spectacular performance, but he thinks this Pump BumpAward says it all:
Very much looking forward to Thursday evening's program that includes the premiere of a new ballet/dance/piece/whatever by Douglas Lee. Haglund expects to be a bit tired, though, as a result of some major stomping the night before at Miami City Ballet's In the Upper Room at City Center. What an exciting week with much to celebrate beginning today at noon!
Haglund is looking forward to seeing MCB at City Center in January - especially their rockin' version of Tharp's In the Upper Room. He thinks that Eddie might be pleasantly surprised at how very warm New York's reception is for his company and himself.