Stravinsky – Music & Dance in Miami

Violinist James Ehnes

On Friday January 31, 2020, the New World Symphony and Miami City Ballet presented a fascinating program of Stravinsky and Balanchine at the New World Center on Miami Beach to a capacity audience. The program was conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas and the soloist in the Stravinsky Violin Concerto was James Ehnes, one of the greatest violinists of our time.

To accommodate the dancers on the the stage, players of the entire orchestra were seated in the seats of the lower level facing the stage where the audience usually sits.

The program opened with Stravinsky’s Apollo (written in 1927-28 and revised in 1947), with choreography by Balanchine and performed by the Miami City Ballet, an internationally acclaimed ballet company under Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez

The second half of the program opened with Stravinsky’s Circus Polka (1942-44) with Animations by Emily Eckstein (commissioned by the  NWS
in 2012). The visual animations in which the ringmaster was repeatedly deterred by a “lazy, hungry elephant” were projected on the hall’s three huge screens.

The concluding work was the Stravinsky Violin Concerto (1931) as
choreographed by Balanchine and performed brilliantly by violinist James Ehnes with the New World Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

Altogether an unforgettable evening !


Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Dance, Orchestral

Fiddler on the Roof at Santa Catalina

Bailey Belleci Brewer as Tevye

A large audience turned out Friday evening for the opening night of Santa Catalina’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, which will be running for four performances during the next two weeks. The stagecraft for this production was ingenious in the way it used modular units on stage (the back of each unit representing parts of a different scene), which could be joined and then moved easily, quickly and silently in between scenes. It worked brilliantly. Stage lighting and sound management were likewise effectively managed and enhanced each scene. Director Lara Wheeler Devlin deserves a lot of credit for making all the complicated elements of this production work so well together. Musician Chris West also deserves kudos for the way she kept the nine musicians in the pit totally coordinated with the action on stage.

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Archived in these categories: Dance, Vocal, Vocal ensemble

Carmel High School — “Around the World in 60 Minutes”

Vapa Finale 1-21-16

Brian Handley conducting the finale

VAPA (Visual & Performing Arts) was in the spotlight last night at Carmel High School as a capacity audience had an opportunity to see what their kids have been up to on campus when not cracking the books or engaging in gladitorial combat on the playing fields. This was an evening to honor students’ artistic creativity, and I mean creativity in just about every medium and genre you could imagine. It involved song, dance, poetry, drama, animation, photography, art, costumes, masks and some tongue-cheek-clowning

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Choral, Dance, Jazz, Orchestral, Youth

PacRep’s “Cats” at the Golden Bough


 Kitty Bloch

On a glorious Sunday afternoon the Golden Bough Theatre was packed to the rafters with children of all ages and their families to see the PacRep production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats,” which will continue to run through December 20. As we were being seated the stage was darkened, but pairs of mysterious cats’ eyes blinked on and off at the rear of the stage. This was a preview of the ingenious lighting effects by Derek Duarte that added immensely to the effectiveness of the efforts of Director Joe Niesen and Set Designer Patrick McEvoy. Once upon a time, many generations ago, stage sets used to be static and hang around so long you became impatient waiting for the next change of scenery. Now, through fast stage direction and constant lighting changes, it is action, action, and always more action.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Dance, Opera

“Sweet Charity” at MPC

Sweeet Charity_edited-1

Jill Miller (photo by Gary Bolen)

MPC’s Theatre Department is now presenting “Sweet Charity” through July 19. It is a high voltage production with a huge cast dominated by Jill Miller in the title role — she is virtually on stage for the whole production — and with a supporting cast of many talented singers and dancers, plus an orchestra of eight musicians in the pit under the direction of Stephen Tosh, who is one of those jack-of-all-trades able to compose, arrange, direct, conduct or do anything musical.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Dance, Vocal, Vocal ensemble