Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami â€“ Miamiâ€™s youngest ballet company founded by former Miami City Ballet principal dancers Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra â€“ has been trailblazing a fresh new path through the South Florida dance scene. SoFlaNights.com caught up with Kronenberg recently to get the inside scoop on their latest show, The Pointe of the Pas de Deux: A Dance Dialogue, whose Broward debut happens Sunday November 12th at the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center.
SoFlaNights.com: You call DDTMâ€™s first event in Broward â€” â€œThe Pointe of the Pas de Deux: A Dance Dialogue.â€ How will it be a dialogue?
Guerra: Well, it is sort of meant to be a play on words. On the one hand, it will literally be a dialogue – Michael Sean Breeden â€“ former MCB dancer and Conversations on Dance Podcast Co-Founder and host â€“ will be hosting, narrating the performance intermittently, and offering insight into the ballets being performed with a bit of history on the evolution of partnering work. The show will culminate in a moderated Q&A with me, Michael, Ariel Rose (choreographer), and a couple of the dancers. The program will have a real educational feel to it, as opposed to just pure performance.
SoFlaNights.com: Is there any other sense in which the performance is a dialogue?
Guerra: The other take on “Dance Dialogue” is what actually takes place when two dancers engage in a pas de deux – they are conversing with each other, carrying out a physical and emotional dialogue through the dance.
SoFlaNights.com: On the program I see a number of established DDTM pieces like Câ€™est la vie, Transparente, and Esferas. Will new works be added to these audience favorites for the November 12th show?
Guerra: We will only be highlighting an excerpt from C’est la Vie for this, not the whole piece.
New works for the program on the 12th include:
Una Danza Para Ti (Vicente Nebrada), adagio section
Space Between Words (Donna Murray)
Embers (Lauren Hagan)
Spring Waters (Traditional, after Assaf Messerer)
SoFlaNights.com: In its first two years, DDTM has emphasized the works of Vicente Nebrada, former Artistic Director and choreographer of the International Ballet of Caracas. What about Nebrada’s works makes such a good fit with DDTM as a company?
Guerra: Una Danza Para Ti is the second Nebrada piece weâ€™ve done. They are a good fit for DDTM for several reasons – first because of the obvious Latin aspect. There is a large demographic here in Miami that recognizes and appreciates his works and will come to see them danced. Since Ballet Florida closed its doors (they were sort of Nebrada ambassadors up in Palm Beach) the ballets arenâ€™t often done here in South Florida, so there is that desire to see them. At this point, to my knowledge, it is just DDTM and Arts Ballet Theatre that present his works here.
SoFlaNights.com: What about Nebradaâ€™s technique works with DDTM?
Guerra: His movement quality is a neo-classical extension of the strong classical ballet technique and bravura that our dancers, especially the Cubans, are versed in. The choreography challenges them, stretches their limits, and teaches them to really move while still respecting the base they know and feel comfortable with.
SoFlaNights.com: Why have you chosen the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center (PAC) to host the performance?
Guerra: They chose us! Shannon Hall, Managing Director of the Center, knew of our success and was looking to expand the programming at the Miniaci PAC. She called us to see if we would be interested in branching out to Broward via the PAC, and we jumped at the opportunity.
SoFlaNights.com: What about the theater works for you?
Guerra: We love the intimacy of the theater. It is different than the scale of the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center, and the fact that it is on a university campus means it has a built in audience! Nova has a dance program, which we are reaching out to as well through our relationship with the PAC. For example, I will be teaching a free master class open to the students and community Wednesday, November 8th – a precursor to our show on Sunday. We will continue these outreach efforts in conjunction with all of our programs at the PAC this season.
SoFlaNights.com: On November 18th, at the South Miami Dade Cultural Center, DDTM will also present the program, Balletâ€™s Pointe of Passion. How will this show be different from what you are doing on the 12th?
Guerra: With the exception of Una Danza Para Ti â€“ which will be danced in its entirety on the 18th â€“ the program will be entirely different from the Miniaci PAC program. This will be a grand full scale production, traditional in format, without any narration. We will present four works, all new to DDTM. The program is passionate, sexy, edgy, and incredibly energetic as well as entertaining. Just a really good time.
We will be closing with Gerald Arpino’s “Light Rain” – which was one of Joffrey Ballet’s signature works for years. We are dancing it in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of Arpino’s passing, and, according to Cameron Basden from the Arpino Foundation (she is staging the work for us), it will be the first time ever that the ballet is performed in its entirety here in Miami. Up until now only the central pas de deux has been presented for Miami audiences. So exciting for us and a great honor!