Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami: An Evening of Premiere Ballets

Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami: An Evening of Premiere Ballets. Julian Duque Photography

Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami, is one of Miami’s foremost and newest dance companies. They appeared on the scene three years ago and have been leaving their mark on the local and national dance scene.- they performed at Jacob’s Pillow last year and are returning later this summer. This past weekend ( July 13th and 14th) the company presented An Evening of Premiere Ballets at the South Miami- Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay. A new company often brings a fresh outlook and a new vision to the scene, and this is certainly the case with Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami. The dances presented were bold, creative and wonderfully performed.

Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami: An Evening of Premiere Ballets. Julian Duque Photography
Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami: An Evening of Premiere Ballets. Julian Duque Photography

The program opened with the world premiere of “Bolero” set to Maurice Ravel’s memorizing score with choreography by Yanis Pikieris, a founding member of the Miami City Ballet. The piece opened with a solo female dancer on the floor, She rises en pointe and performs a strong solo filled with lots of arm reaches as she circles the stage. She is joined by another female dancer, then two male dancers, This continues until there are thirteen dancers on stage. They are rarely on stage at once as they disappear and reappear from behind four black panels. It’s all a little mysterious, as is the choreography. The dancers do not interact with each other but seem driven by the music. We do see movement motifs backed by the powerful force of the music. The dancers seem to have their own motif which they repeat. Pikieris’ “Bplero” does not have the raw sensual feeling of Maurice Béjart’s ‘Bolero,” Pikieris sensuality is more subtle. It’s in the dancers individuality within the group and with each dancer’s experience of the music. The dancers movement builds with the music and the piece has a strong finish with the music rising in crescendo and the dancers falling to the floor.

Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami: An Evening of Premiere Ballets. Julian Duque Photography
Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami: An Evening of Premiere Ballets. Julian Duque Photography

The lighting design was by Stevie Agnew and added a sense of drama and mystery to the piece. The lights, at times, illuminate individual dancers in such a way that the music seemed to have conjured it up. Yanis Eric Pikieris provided the costume design and they were an interesting mixture of beige and metallic colors leotards for the women and men. They fit the piece perfectly,

“Equus” ( also a world premiere ) was choreographed by Ariel Rose, ( who is currently dancing with the Miami City Ballet ) and deals with the equine world and the world of man. The music was String Quartet No.5 and Mishima “Runaway Horses” by Philip Glass. Runaway horses describes the piece in many ways. The dancers leap across the stage with their front leg bent and their back leg straight in what looks like a herd of horses galloping in a field. In fact, the entire piece feels as if it belongs in a field and not on a stage. They are too restricted on the stage. Dancers gallop, trod and rest in this bold and marvelous piece, We are given a picture of horses at play. We see a line of dancers/ horses at rest, their chest concaved, one leg bent. Through out the piece one dancer ( dressed in all black ) leaps across the stage. We envy him his freedom. One of the most moving scenes occur when two female dancers perform a duet. They start by standing at opposite sides of the stage, their hair loose and blowing. It is like watching two horses in a field on a nice day. They come together for the duet before parting again. There is so much to like in this piece, especially the costumes -brown string skirts over brown leggings and brown leotards. The costumes were designed by Ariel Rose, Yanis Eric Pikieris and Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami. Lighting Design was by Stevie Agnew and the Scenic Artist ( a backdrop of two horses close up ) was Archan Nair.

Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami: An Evening of Premiere Ballets. Julian Duque Photography
Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami: An Evening of Premiere Ballets. Julian Duque Photography

“Italian Suite” ( Pas de deux ) with choreography by Gerald Arpino ( 1983 ) and staged by Cameron Basden, was wonderfully performed by Meisy Lafitte and Alejandro Andrade. Arpino was co- founder of the Joffrey Ballet, a dancer and choreographer. The pas de deux is a part of a larger work which is often described as an intimate, lyrical, and romantic suite with neo-classical movements. The partnering was flawless and the lifts superbly executed.

Also, on the program was “Imperfections” choreographed by Jimmy Orrante and was a look at relationships. The pas de deux was amazing in its lifts, as performed by Diana Figueroa and Natanael Leal. Figueros performed a series of jumps across Leal’s back which were very impressive.

‘Space Between Words” by Donna Murray was another beautiful pas de deux with wonderfull lines and beautiful lifts. Though short it was a great vehicle for Claudia Lezcano and Fabian Morales.

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