Miami City Ballet is one of our city’s greatest and most beloved treasures. In its more than 30 years, it has emerged to become one of the leading dance companies in the United States. Each and every performance by Miami City Ballet that I have attended, has been beautifully and flawlessly executed. Although I have enjoyed many of the ballets in its repertoire, I’m noting the production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker which they performed at the Ziff Ballet Opera House at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts this past December. As this was a new production with updated costumes and set designs by the famous team of Isabel and Ruben Toledo, I had secured front row seats where I could view the performance, the artistry, the costumes and the orchestra from my enviable vantage point. I hoped that the redesign would live up to the buzz that had surrounded it for months. Miami City Ballet didn’t disappoint, and the great reveal was worth the wait. As much as I loved the previous version, which I had seen several times, this new production was stellar, gorgeous and glorious. The costumes, which invoked the tropical colors of South Florida, featured intricate designs, updated silhouettes and moved beautifully on the dancers. Large new sets made for grandeur and fantasyland on the stage. Special effects enhanced the backdrop and made the opening snow scene and the soaring Christmas tree particularly enchanting and memorable. Most important, the dancers were effervescent, exuberant and a joy to watch. Even the program was special with whimsical and lovely illustrations by Ruben Toledo. My favorite scene: Arabian Coffee in her beautiful jewel-toned costume, her languid and sinuous movements combined spectacular jumps! The enthusiasm of the orchestra in unison with the artistry of the dancers made for a phenomenal and magical performance. Continued success and well-deserved applause Miami City Ballet!
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