Miami City Ballet Makes Harris Theater Debut, With Two World-Class Programs, April 29 & April 30, Including new work by Justin Peck, Heatscape, with set design by Shepard Fairey

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Miami City Ballet Makes Harris Theater Debut

With Two World-Class Programs, April 29 & April 30

Including new work by Justin Peck, Heatscape, with set design by Shepard Fairey


CHICAGO – Miami City Ballet makes its Harris Theater Presents debut during its 30th Anniversary Season. Performing two distinct programs over two evening engagements, ballet greats from George Balanchine to ballet’s current choreographic sensation Justin Peck are celebrated. The company will be accompanied by the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra in both performances on April 29 and April 30 at 7:30 PM.


Hailed by The New York Times as “one of America’s most beloved dance companies,” Miami City Ballet is led by Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez who has been with MCB since 2012 and danced with New York City Ballet for 24 years under George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She joined the company 1974 at the age of 16, with promotions to soloist in 1981 and principal in 1984. Prior to Ms. Lopez’s tenure, MCB was led by Founding Artistic Director Edward Villella, the first American-born male star of New York City Ballet from 1957-1975.


The dancers of MCB are known for their distinct musicality, interpretive artistry, great speed and attack, technical clarity, and ability to move seamlessly between diverse dance genres including classical, contemporary, and modern. Watch a preview of MCB’s “Why We Dance” HERE.


Choreographer Justin Peck, recently called “the most eminent choreographer of ballet in the United States” by The New York Times, collaborated with iconic street artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his 2008 “Hope” poster for President Obama’s presidential campaign, for his latest work, Heatscape. Premiered in March 2015, Fairey’s set designs play a pivotal part in Heatscape which is heavily influenced by the vibrant streets of Miami.



Program A (April 29):

Symphony in Three Movements                Balanchine/Stravinsky

Viscera                                                                 Scarlett/Liebermann

Symphonic Dances                                          Ratmansky/Rachmaninoff


About Program A:

Symphony in Three Movements was choreographed by George Balanchine for the opening night of New York City Ballet’s 1972 Stravinsky Festival and contains a remarkable Balinese-inflected central duet, startling in its breadth of energy, complexity, originality and contrasts.


Viscera, set to a challenging score for orchestra and piano by the renowned American composer Lowell Liebermann, gives audiences a complex and urgent ballet, specifically created to reflect what choreographer Liam Scarlett sees as MCB’s outstanding dance qualities of energy, passion, musicality and radiance.


Symphonic Dances is a major work created for MCB by one of the world’s leading classical choreographers, Alexei Ratmansky. The music he chose to work with is Sergei Rachmaninoff’s final important work, his large-scale “Symphonic Dances” of 1941 – a work whose turbulent energy and deep emotion perfectly complement the dance qualities for which the company is famous.



Program B (April 30):

Serenade                                             Balanchine/Tchaikovsky

Heatscape                                           Peck/Martinů

Bourrée Fantasque                         Balanchine/Chabrier


About Program B:

Serenade is danced without interruption, and while the evocative nature of Tchaikovsky’s score leads many to see a story in this ballet, it is actually plotless, while packing a true emotional punch.


Justin Peck, who continues to broaden his artistic scope and choreographic repertoire, has always viewed dance as a nexus for all artistic mediums. It is with this spirit of creative collaboration that he sought out renowned visual artist Shepard Fairey to present a vibrant visual design for Heatscape – Peck’s second commission for Miami City Ballet. Peck chose to choreograph his new ballet to Bohuslav Martinů’s Piano Concerto No. 1, a relatively unknown piece of music. “I consider this work to be a hidden gem that is not only rich with texture, innovation and relevance to the current day, but is also tremendously danceable.  It has buoyancy, playfulness and emotion—and a sturdy blueprint to guide me in the choreographic process.  This piece of music has been on my radar for a few years now, and I felt that Miami City Ballet would be the perfect vessel for realizing a ballet in relation to it.”


One of Balanchine’s happiest, most glamorous concoctions, Bourrée Fantasque is set to the sparkling music of Emmanuel Chabrier and dressed in some of the great Karinska’s most charming and chic costumes – all fans and gloves and plumes. It is French to the max; Balanchine at his most piquant, and pure pleasure.


This engagement was made possible through generous support from The Harris Family Foundation, Caryn and King Harris Dance Residency Fund, Presenting Sponsor.



Miami City Ballet Master Class in Chicago

While in Chicago, senior members of Miami City Ballet will conduct a master class with some of the Harris Theater’s education partners. Watch this space for forthcoming confirmed master class details.


Miami City Ballet’s master class is part of the Harris Theater’s ongoing arts education partnerships, which connect Chicago’s most gifted young artists and students with presented artists through master classes, workshops, conversations, and collaborative performances. Through its arts education partnerships, the theater has connected students with renowned artists including Wendy Whelan, Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony, Alonzo King, Wu Han, Kronos Quartet, Pinchas Zukerman, Scottish Ballet, and Hamburg Ballet.


In addition to hands-on instruction in the master class, dance students from these partner institutions will receive underwritten tickets to performances in this engagement through the Theater’s Access Tickets Program.


Launched in 2009, the Access Tickets Program ensures that Chicago residents of all ages and communities are able to experience the powerful and uplifting benefits of the performing arts. Through this program, Harris Theater partners with health and human service organizations, K-12 schools, and community organizations to provide underwritten tickets to performances each season. To date, over 8,000 underwritten tickets have been distributed to children, students and families across 25 diverse Chicago neighborhoods.


This enrichment opportunity was made possible through generous support from Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes, Community Engagement Sponsors.



Single tickets now available at or by calling the Harris Theater Box Office at 312.334.7777.


  • •• All programs, prices, and dates are subject to change •••



This presentation is made possible by The Harris Family Foundation, Caryn and King Harris Dance Residency Fund, Presenting Sponsor, The Northern Trust Company, Lead Sponsor, Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes, Community Engagement Sponsors, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Imagine Campaign, Resident Company Collaboration Sponsor.


The Northern Trust Company is the Harris Theater’s 2015–2016 season sponsor. United Airlines is the Official Airline of the Harris Theater. Hyatt Regency Chicago is the Harris Theater’s season hotel partner. The Theater gratefully acknowledges the Irving Harris Foundation for its leadership support of the Presenting Fund. The Harris Theater is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council Agency. All performances take place on the Elizabeth Morse Genius Stage at the Harris Theater.


About Harris Theater for Music and Dance

The Harris Theater’s primary mission is to partner with an array of Chicago’s music and dance performing arts organizations to help them build the resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. The Harris Theater’s original group of 12 resident companies has grown to include 35 diverse organizations. Through these partnerships, the Theater has earned national recognition as a distinctive model for collaboration, performance, and artistic advancement.


Opened on November 8, 2003, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance was the first multi-use performing arts venue to be built in the Chicago downtown area since 1929. Today the Theater continues to host the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, featuring the city’s world-renowned music and dance institutions and the Harris Theater Presents series of acclaimed national and international artists and ensembles.


Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater, is a $38.8M comprehensive fundraising effort supporting the Theater’s multifaceted mission. The campaign ensures the continued growth and artistic development of the Harris Theater over the next 10 years.


The Imagine campaign is led by four transformational gifts: from The Irving Harris Foundation, Joan W. Harris; Alexandra and John Nichols; Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes; Caryn and King Harris, The Harris Family Foundation. Additional leadership gifts supporting programmatic and capital projects have been generously funded by The Crown Family, Jay Franke and David Herro, Jack and Sandra Guthman, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Neisser Family Foundation, The Northern Trust Company, Christine and Glenn Kelly, Laura and Ricardo Rosenkranz, and Marilyn and David J. Vitale.


The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust are the lead underwriters of fundraising for Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater.


The Harris Theater maintains a commitment to engaging Chicago residents of all ages and communities. Programs like the popular Eat to the Beat and Exelon Family Series advance access to, and understanding of, the performing arts. The Theater partners with health and human service agencies, K-12 schools, and community arts organizations, providing more than 8,800 underwritten performance tickets through the Access Tickets Program since 2009. The Theater also connects gifted young artists and students to presented artists through master classes, artist talks, and other enrichment activities.


To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit Call the Box Office at 312.334.7777 to request a brochure or additional information.


The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago’s state-of-the art 1,525-seat performance venue, can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.



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