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Three Dance Performances Not To Be Missed

Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, Pioneer Winter Collective and Welcoming Bijayini Satpath

Princess Farfalla in "Le Papillon" (Photo credit by Patricia Laine Romero)

Dance in Miami is booming with the potential of seeing two or three different performances in any given weekend. Here are three up and coming performances ranging from the most traditional to the most unexpected.

In classical ballet, Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, under the direction of Vladimir Issaev, presents the full evening ballet “Le Papillon” or “The Butterfly” in Aventura on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 and in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10. With the joyous music of Jacques Offenbach, the two act ballet is a showcase for the talented Arts Ballet Theatre (ABT) dancers and a magical "fairy tale" evening of dance for audiences.

"Papillon" was originally premiered by the Paris Opera Ballet in 1860 with choreography by the early sylph-like ballerina, Marie Taglioni, credited as being the first ballerina to dance en pointe. She was a beautiful romantic era artist who was known for having integrity and elegance in her movements rather than being a trickster in her technique; working mostly on balances and the use of her arms and head. She was creating the new ballet for her protégée, Emma Livry.

Today, "Papillon,” led by the fairy, Hamza, the princess, Farfalla, and the prince, Djalma, has been restaged and choreographed by Issaev who last presented "Papillon" in 2016.

While much of the steps are set, Issaev points out that he specifically adapts his choreography to show the skill and technique of the ABT dancers in their performances.

Corps de Ballet of "Le Papillon," ("The Butterfly") (Photo by Patricia Laine Romero)

“ 'Papillon' is my favorite ballet,” says Issaev. “A while ago, I was in St. Petersburg (Russia) and I saw only the pas de deux from ‘Papillon.’ I was curious to see the whole ballet. Later, I flew to South Africa to teach, and I saw a big poster for 'Le Papillon.' I thought ‘Oh, it’s come back to me again.” Then I brought the music here. I had it for about ten years.”

When ABT needed to do a new ballet, “Le Papillon” came to mind and after much research, Issaev began to bring the ballet to life.

As a man who has friends and dance colleagues throughout the world, Issaev does much traveling to teach for companies and schools. During the preparation for "Papillon," he happened to be traveling to Malaysia.

“In Malaysia, I visited a wonderful butterfly park. In a big space with a net, there were millions of butterflies of different colors. It gave me images for movement and color,” says Issaev.

He designed and oversaw the costumes and building of the set and says they are very happy and colorful.

The story of ‘Papillon’ is one of love, drama and humor. In a twist, the mischievous fairy, Hamza, is a role played by a man who dances sur les pointes (on pointe) executing tour en l’air (turns in the air) complete with wig and dress. The princess, Farfalla is kidnapped and, as fairy tale princes always are, Djarma is valiant and noble.

Issaev says the ballet is romantic with drama and humor, and "very beautiful to look at."

“The audience will be happy,” he says.


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