Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, under the Artistic Direction of former Miami City Ballet principals, Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra, opens its 2023/24 season of dance with a joyous, Latin-inspired performance on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Dennis C. Moss Cultural Arts Center.
Founded in 2016, DDTM has taken classical ballet to extremes in both the traditional and the unexpected. The company, whose spirited dancers bring a youthful energy and passion into their performances, is known for exuberance and athleticism and for the reflection of South Florida in the works that are chosen.
Kronenberg says, “I think we always want both our public, and our artists, to really engage with the ballets, to experience some kind of feeling from being a part of them, and even to lose themselves within the performance.”
Attending a studio rehearsal last week revealed a glimpse of the daily work required to polish the ballets in preparation for the stage, but also to see, at close range, how each dancer is in a perpetual state of honing their own dance craft. Pirouettes are practiced, leg extensions are pushed, partnering is refined and transitions are repeated to make the ballets as smooth and seamless as possible and to allow the artistry and emotion to take over.
The studio has a family-like atmosphere with a mix of Spanish and English being spoken by the multi-cultural company.
The first ballet being rehearsed was “ Boléro” choreographed for DDTM in 2019, just before the pandemic, by Artist in Residence and founding Miami City Ballet principal, Yanis Pikieris.
Pikieris, as a dancer, was a passionate fireball, a quality easily seen in “ Boléro.”
“The world is in an overwhelmingly buzzing, and almost relentless state of angst right now,” says Kronenberg. “I can’t help but recognize an underlying pulse within “ Boléro” which sort of abstractly reflects that.”
Created to the iconic Maurice Ravel score, the dancers reflect the haunting music as they one by one, identify themselves. Then as the music builds, so does the choreography, the patterns and the vocabulary. “ Boléro”” is at once mesmerizing and thrilling.
Kronenberg continues. “It has been so interesting revisiting it (“Boléro”) again now, four years after its premiere. We, (in both the world, and the company) have been through so much since then. That tends to change one’s perspective I know it has mine, and I am personally seeing the ballet, and the way our dancers approach it, through a very different filter now.”
This filter also reflects that DDTM and the dancers, many of whom performed in the original “Bolero,” are more mature, more seasoned and, as Kronenberg says, “The world is in a different place.”
The rehearsal continues with ample discussion between Production and Stage Manager, Celso Peruyera and the choreographers to get the correct visual cues for each work. This was especially apparent in the next two pieces which are having their Miami premieres.
In his seventh creation for DDTM, Yanis Eric Pikieris shows his newest work, “Voyager”. A dancer, artist in residence, company manager, (and son of Yanis Pikieris) YE Pikieris wears numerous hats.
“Voyager” takes a slightly different direction for a YE Pikieris creation. While the piece is plotless, as have been his other works, YE Pikieris sees a slight journey in this one. He was motivated by the idea of individuals who are each on their own path in life, yet the paths might intersect, change or be influenced by others.
“I feel that the music (by Oliver Davis) conveys a feeling of movement or migration,” Says YE Pikieris. “Each movement has different intensities that might convey a different stage in life, in the journey.”
In prior creations, the pieces created by YE Pikieris have been heavier and more serious.
“Strangely, that’s not really my personality,” he laughs. “I was drawn to the music because it’s much lighter. The vocabulary in this piece is more virtuosic. It’s faster, more upbeat it has a drive to it.”
YE Pikieris has said that for him, the music comes first before the steps.
“I heard this music and it was just so fun. I wanted to dance to it,” he says. “I wanted to create something that was short and sweet, but had everything solos, trios, a pas, ensemble work. I hope the audience finds “Voyager” a very optimistic, uplifting work. I think it’s very happy - and maybe a little challenging for the dancers.” He smiled.
Moving into “Tango Cristal” a new work created by Argentinian choreographer and director, Leonardo Reale, takes us to an homage in dance and sound to one of the greatest Argentinian composers of all time, Mariano Mores.
With a live ensemble on-stage, the grandson of Mores, Gabriel Mores, will be singing and playing the piano throughout “Tango.”
Reale, speaking in both Spanish and English, was a vision of movement as he spoke about his creation.
“For so many years, I’ve always loved the music of Mariano Mores, but over the years and through this time with the dancers, I rediscovered the heart and soul of the music” says Reale. “I know, in this piece, that the public will feel the blood of Mariano Mores.”
Reale is theatrical. He likes drama and passion and prefers to feel dance through emotions rather than to see only technique.
His wife, Constanza, working as his assistant, came to Miami from their home in Buenos Aires ahead of time to teach vocabulary, and counts for entrances and exits.
He pulls out a big book of notes and drawings to more clearly explain what he is referring to.
Having laid the structure, when rehearsals start in Miami with Reale, more time can be spent on the essence of the piece the emotions, connection and meaning.
To be very prepared for each rehearsal, Reale calls it ‘win time’ not ‘lost time.’
“Tango Cristal” loosely follows the life of Mariano Mores. Or, as Reale says, “Life of people.”
One particular section is a ‘broken heart or broken memory’ of Mores. In another section, the dancer is the soul or visual image representing the piano, the feel of the music.
“The audience is going to feel all emotions; love, a broken heart, blood, lips….,” Reale laughed. “True love is true love.” Reale grabbed his heart.
For the first time, the audience will see three generations of Mores musicians at once on the stage: The music composed by Mariano Mores, a projection with his son singing, and live on the stage will be the grandson, Gabriel Mores, playing the piano. At the same time, three dancers will be representing the trio through Latin-inspired movement and heartfelt emotions.
Ultimately, “Tango” is a celebration of three generations of music and the freedom and joy experienced in music, movement and each other.
DDTM has an ongoing partnership and residency with the Moss Center, which remains continually committed to its core mission of serving as a dynamic catalyst for our local artists.
Managing Director of the Moss Center, Eric Fliss, says, “Dance has been an integral part of my career. This has reinforced my belief in the immense talent present in South Florida, capable of producing art that not only resonates within our community but also finds acclaim far beyond Florida's borders.”
As Jennifer Kronenberg says “You know Dimensions, we tend to enjoy sending the audience home dancing!”
- Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami.
- Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 8 p.m. The Dennis C. Moss Cultural Arts Center. 10950 SW 211 St. Miami, FL 33189.
- For Tickets.
- Tickets $25 - $45.
- Information: (786) 573-5300.
Join us for a pre-show Dance Talk in Spanish with audience favorites Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami. This inspiring and informative conversation will be moderated by arts journalist, Orlando Taquechel, and will be in Spanish.