Miami City Ballet Returns to Center for the Arts

Posted: April 21, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

“It’s an homage to ballroom,” explains Miami City Ballet artistic director Edward Villella, describing his 2003 work, The Neighborhood Ballroom, the first work he’s choreographed for his dancers since 1991. The ballet will be performed in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday, April 24, at 8 p.m. A program of Balanchine classics will be presented on Sunday, April 25 at 2 p.m. Pre-performance discussions begin 45 minutes prior to both performances on the hall’s Grand Tier.

A sultry widow, a vixen flapper, a glamorous Hollywood star, and a hot Latin nightclub dancer all vie for the attention of a poet in a ‘neighborhood ballroom.’ Broadway meets ballet in this performance, with the company cruising through American life via dance from the Belle Èpoque when waltz was the craze, to the Jazz Age and its impossibly fast quick-step, to the Art Deco period of World War II when couples took to the dance floor to embrace and fox trot the night away. The final act showcases the Mambo during the unsure days of the Cold War.

During the Sunday performance, the company dances Stravinsky Violin Concerto, a dance that begins and ends with composed group sections sandwiching two duets. In Ballo della Regina, filled with speed and small surprises such as flashing arabesques and slicing pointe work, Miami City Ballet projects an unabashed ode to dancing. The afternoon concludes with the Balanchine classic Rubies from Jewels.

Miami City Ballet is one of the largest ballet companies in the United States. It has won international acclaim around the world with a repertoire of 67 ballets, including 11 world premieres. The company regularly dances all of Balanchine’s masterworks. Founding artistic director Edward Villella was the first American-born male star of the New York City Ballet (1957-75); his career established the male’s role in classical dance in the United States. In 1997, Villella received both the National Medal of Arts and a Kennedy Center Honors award.

Tickets are $50, $42, and $25, and tickets for children 12 and under are half price. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com.

Write to at