For more than three decades, Miami City Ballet (MCB) has played a vital and leading role in the rich tapestry of Miami’s cultural and artistic scene. Its rise to become one of the nation’s top ballet companies is meteoric, given its youth relative to its peers.
To commemorate its 35th Anniversary, MCB dancers are leaping onto the Road: 744 Lincoln Road at Meridian Avenue, honoring where it all started — the company’s first studio location and home, a place where the community still recalls some of its earliest and fondest memories of the magic on Miami Beach’s most iconic road. Miami City Ballet’s pop-up location on Lincoln Road transforms a former retail space into an art deco-inspired jewel box filled with the magic and vibrancy of MCB. The timing is an auspicious one as it recounts the company’s beginnings as it rose with the City.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide our community with the beauty of ballet while showcasing the strength and resilience of the human spirit through our remarkable artform at a time when it is most needed. We hope to give people a moment of joy and an opportunity to embrace the healing power of the arts,” says Miami City Ballet Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez.
Miami City Ballet x Lincoln Road will initially run Monday – Friday 1pm-3pm and 5pm- 7pm through September 10, 2020. In following social distancing guidelines, no more than six dancers will occupy the space at any given time. Outside, artistic, pre-marked social-distancing circles will be placed on the ground so that viewers can safely enjoy the experience. Visitors to Lincoln Road will be able to witness the beauty of MCB’s extraordinary dancers as they practice and train along with displays of dazzling costumes from some of its most splendid and seminal productions. To further enhance the viewing experience, ballet-inspired music will stream outdoors during every practice.
The residency is a collaborative effort between MCB, Lincoln Road Business Improvement District, Comras Company, and the City of Miami Beach. The partnership is a message of inspiration while showcasing resilience, not just of the human spirit, but of a community that stands united and stronger when it embraces the institutions that have made Miami Beach a top travel destination and global arts mecca.
“With a history deeply rooted in arts and culture, the Lincoln Road District was the original home of the Miami City Ballet at a time when most of the Road’s residents were artists and performers themselves,” says Tim Schmand, executive director of the Lincoln Road BID. “We are excited to welcome the ballet back to Lincoln Road, providing locals a safe and creative way to experience the Miami City Ballet, during a time when the pandemic prevents us from gathering in the city’s performance venues.”
The Lincoln Road District, with its artistic atmosphere and vibrant charm, has remained an icon in Miami for more than a century. Brimming with cultural venues, the District is home to some of Miami’s most prominent institutions including the New World Symphony, the Colony Theatre, Fillmore Miami Beach, and nearly a dozen art galleries. The culmination of culture, retail, dining, and entertainment has created a winning formula for the continued success of the Lincoln Road District.
“Arts, culture, shopping, café dining and entertainment are in Lincoln Road’s DNA,” says Michael Comras, CEO of the Comras Company. “By transforming a retail venue into a temporary residence for the Miami City Ballet to practice before the public, we are epitomizing Lincoln Road’s imaginative spirit. The way consumers are now shopping for goods continues to
evolve and we must adapt and elevate our offerings. Merging arts and culture into the retail experience, we define why visitors and locals continue to come back to the ‘Road,’ setting the bar even higher as Miami’s premier lifestyle destination.”
Lourdes Lopez adds, “We are extremely grateful for Michael Comras’ generosity and the support of our devoted partners including the City of Miami Beach and Lincoln Road BID.
This partnership will provide pedestrians an up close and personal view of the dancers at work.”
Miami City Ballet x Lincoln Road is also made possible in part through a grant from the City of Miami Beach, awarded in January 2020. The grant was awarded as part of an agreement in which the company would offer a series of activations on Lincoln Road. Miami City Ballet x Lincoln Road will honor this commitment while bringing the joy of dance to the Miami Beach community.