--Octavio Roca, artburstmiami.com
Photo by: Alexandre Dufaur
Emotions ran high even before the dancing started. Lourdes Lopez, Miami City Ballet's artistic director, stepped in front of the curtain Valentine's night to speak lovingly about her two teachers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and announce that George Chakiris was in the audience.
Chakiris, who starred as Riff in the original West End production of West Side Story and won an Oscar for his portrayal of Bernardo in what is now considered the best-ever film version of a stage musical, enjoyed the evening's longest ovation. Balanchine and Robbins, two of whose works the company was about to dance for the first time, also must have been smiling somewhere in dance heaven. The dancing that followed was indeed often heavenly.
The two company premieres were Balanchine's Episodes and Robbins' West Side Story Suite, book-ending the company staple Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. After its opening weekend at the Arsht Center in Miami, the "Triple Threat" program continues this weekend at the Broward Center in Ft. Lauderdale, and February 28 through March 2 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
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