Miami City Ballet will premiere Viscera, choreographed by Royal Ballet dancer Liam Scarlett, tonight. It’s Scarlett’s first work for an American company. MCB principal Patricia Delgado has been documenting the rehearsal process for Pointe. (Read her first entry here.)
It was incredible to watch Liam block his ballet onstage last night. In the little time we had, he made sure that both casts felt comfortable with all the details, like which wings to come out from and what marks to look for.
After the first run onstage, Liam was enthusiastic and encouraging. But frankly, the general feeling among the dancers after that first run-through was fear. The lighting changed everything; it felt like it was pitch black half the time. Luckily, from Liam’s perspective in the audience, our nervousness wasn’t apparent. He told us that the lighting added that shade of mystery and scariness that he’d been talking about in rehearsals. Now we just need to continue to let ourselves release into his choreography, which challenges us to find “groundedness” and be completely free at the same time.
Last night was the first time we saw the ballet in its almost complete form. I say “almost” because while we had the orchestra and the costumes, there was no “real” audience. Even so, the energy was much higher than it had ever been in rehearsal. The orchestra added an amazing amount of pulse and vibration to our movements. It felt like a new ballet. I can’t wait for that energy to fill the audience tonight!