Miami City Ballet’s ‘Entradas’ Showcases Great Ballet

To end its 2022/2023 season, Miami City Ballet closed out with Entradas, a performance dedicated to the pioneers of American ballet, with choreography from renowned choreographers like George Balanchine. Not only did this concert show what the company is made of, but where it came from, and that’s my biggest takeaway. First premiering at the Kravitz Center in West Palm Beach on Friday, May 12, South Florida Theater Magazine caught its final show at the Arsht Center in Miami on Sunday, May 21.

This particular Sunday matinee was a special show. My seat, nestled among the season ticket holders, was the prime place to overhear the fondness being expressed about Tricia Albertson, a Principal ballerina with the company who joined over 20 years ago. Albertson retired at the drop of the curtain.

Before that, though, Entradas opened with a new rendition of a Balanchine work titled “Square Dance.” Miami City Ballet put their own spin on the “caller” role of the ballet, an individual who narrates the dance happening on stage, with lyric and rhyme and meter, with joviality. This caller spoke sometimes in English, sometimes in Spanish; he spoke of Havana and guava and the things we’ve come to love about South Florida. I, for one, appreciated this new spin on the work. I respect anyone who tries something new, something fresh, even if the caller’s staccato narration failed to match the legato movement, or the orchestral arrangement by the company’s resident Opus One Orchestra, on a consistent basis.

Miami City Ballet dancers in Symphony in Three Movements. Choreography by George Balanchine© The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by: Alexander Iziliaev

The second piece of the afternoon was entitled “Afternoon of a Faun,” an impressive pas de daux of a couple inside a ballet studio. Of all the pieces of the performance, “Afternoon of a Faun” had the most imaginative staging and set design. I was blown away at the layering of a translucent screen to start the piece, only looking at the back of principal soloist, Chase Swatosh. The only thing more impressive than the set design of this work was the athleticism displayed by Swatosh and his counterpart, Katia Carranza.

After a brief pause, the show continued on with a work by Jerome Robbins entitled “Antique Epigraphs.” In this piece, we saw brilliant costume designing by Florence Klotz. The score of this piece reflects a rich history of ekphrasis, art acting like other art; this piece of music was inspired by poetry and the music inspired Robbins to choreograph his ballet. We see a history of greats standing on the shoulders of other greats in American ballet. Also, special shout out to Nathalia Arja for her performance. Stunning.

Katia Carranza and Chase Swatosh in Afternoon of a Faun. Choreography by Jerome Robbins. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev

The final piece of Entradas was another by Balanchine, but this time incorporated the entire company of Miami City Ballet. With such an impressive cast, this piece was executed just as impressively, leaving me oftentimes with nothing to write. But, there were moments when I felt the confidence of the company waver when a dancer would be half a second behind in a big, identical group movement. This was the last performance of a physically demanding show, so I understand also that these dancers are human, just like me.

Be sure to check out Miami City Ballet’s next performance this Fall. You can follow their schedule for the 2023/2024 season here (

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