The MBVCA sat down with Nathalia Arja, Principal Soloist for the Miami City Ballet, to discuss her love of Miami Beach and how she became a ballerina. The Miami City Ballet is located at 2200 Liberty Ave, Miami Beach. Make the Miami City Ballet a holiday treat for the whole family, as they present George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® starting on Dec. 9. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.miamicityballet.org/subscribe
What inspired you to become a ballet dancer?
I remember sitting next to my mother as a little kid, while she was teaching her dancers. What inspired my desire to dance was seeing their high energy and joy while executing really hard steps. I was fascinated by moving and what I felt watching them.
Why did you choose to perform in Miami Beach?
Well, when I was 15 I sent an audition DVD to the Miami City Ballet school. They offered me a full scholarship to study in the school. Most students hope to one day join the company. In 2009, I was chosen by the artistic director to join the company as an apprentice.
What do you love most about being in Miami Beach?
I have to say that Miami City Ballet is a lucky company because we are literally across the street from the beach. I love that on my break I can just go enjoy the ocean and relax. But my most favorite thing about South Beach is that you can just about walk anywhere as everything is close by. There are some very cozy neighborhoods.
What can Miami Beach expect with the new season?
Every season is exciting because our repertory is so diverse and this season is no different. We go from Giselle, which is a historic classic in the ballet world, and end up with the world premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s, The Fairy’s Kiss. Of course you will be seeing great Balanchine ballets as well, so you’ll see a little bit of everything! We also have the open barre series, which is specifically built for arts education in Miami Beach. It’s a program we do only in Miami Beach twice a year at our intimate studio theatre, in which we have guest artists discuss their work while we perform short excerpts relevant to the upcoming programs. It’s definitely a great show for the community and a chance for them to see the dancers up close!
What makes the Miami City Ballet a unique company?
Miami City Ballet is unique because it is a medium-large company that despite its size of 50 dancers, remains very united when it comes to support and emphasis on the success of the company rather than the individual. Ever since its inception, this has been at the heart of the company’s message: to have one soul made of a diverse roster of dancers, together under one banner for the sake of producing the art of the dance for the community at both a national and international level.
Miami Beach is known for its art scene, would you agree that performing arts and ballet are becoming more popular in our city?
It’s been so refreshing over the years. I’ve watched the art scene grow and become more diverse. It’s an honor to be a part of the Miami City Ballet which I feel is very important for the Miami Beach art scene. I’m so proud of that!