Miami City Ballet’s Program II: Tradition and Innovation opens in Fort Lauderdale Friday evening at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts before it heads to West Palm Beach the following weekend.
The program features a couple of ballet staples by choreographer George Balanchine as well as the famous pas de deux from the classic story ballet, Don Quixote, for the 32-fouetté-turns crowd.
But, the real cherry on top is the new piece specially made for Miami City Ballet by up-and-coming British choreographer Liam Scarlett called Euphotic, which features lots of exciting lifts and tosses.
The 26-year-old Scarlett, who is also the Royal Ballet’s artist-in-residence, choreographed a piece for MCB last year.
Miami Herald arts reporter Jordan Levin wrote about the premier of Euphotic at the Adrienne Arsht Center last weekend:
The title is a Greek word that refers to the light on the surface of the water that creates photosynthesis. Scarlett was also thinking of the sun on the ocean, and light passing into deep water, imagery reflected in the costumes and sets, which he designed. Four towering rear panels are yellow at the top, shading down to white into dark blue, a color scheme also seen in the dancers’ costumes. Only lead couple Jeanette Delgado and Kleber Rebello are clad in bright yellow, flashing through the ballet like sun on the water. John Hall’s lighting is similarly shadowy and dramatic. Pianist Francisco Renno’s authoritative, passionate playing led a vigorous performance by the Opus One Orchestra, conducted by Gary Sheldon.
Euphotic’s four dense sections are highlighted by moments of stillness. Early on, Delgado and Rebello stand close together, staring into each others’ eyes while a mass of dancers surge around them, as if gathering force before the two of them explode into ferocious, flying action. Scarlett sets Delgado on fire — with Rebello, he gives her a partner who doubles the heat. They fuel each other, particularly on the spectacular, daring lifts that are a highlight of Euphotic.
Program II starts with Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15 and is followed by another Balanchine piece, Duo Concertant. Don Quixote Pas de Deux and Euphotic round out the second half of the program.
MCB performs at the Broward Center Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The program goes to Naples midweek before landing in West Palm Beach at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts Jan. 25 through 27.