Miami’s Own Sugar Plum Fairy
A Q&A with The Nutcracker star Patricia Delgado, plus behind the scenes rehearsal photos.
December 17, 2012
The Miami City Ballet will present George Balanchine's classic holiday ballet The Nutcracker at the Adrienne Arsht Center this Thursday, December 20, but we got a peek at the production last week, during the final rehearsal at Broward Center. Dancing in the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dewdrop is Miami native Patricia Delgado, who has been with the company since 2000 and famously shares the stage her sister and fellow principal, Jeanette. The New York Times has called them both Miami's best. Between acts, we chatted with Patricia about her dream-come-true stint as the Sugar Plum Fairy and the rigors of the ballet.
When did you start dancing?
PATRICIA DELGADO: I started dancing when I was five years old. I actually did the kid roles in The Nutcracker. I would always look up to the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dewdrop—even the Flowers and Snow roles—and I would wonder, Will I ever get to do those parts?
Did you and your sister, Jeanette, start dancing at the same time?
PD: We started dancing around the same time. As kids we were always in different classes, because we are two years apart, but once you join the company, and especially now, we're right there supporting each other through everything.
What are the difficulties of playing multiple roles in a production like The Nutcracker?
PD: Fatigue is definitely one of the main challenges. After a night of doing the Sugar Plum Fairy, you're really exhausted. And if you have a matinee the following day as Dewdrop, it's a complete switch in physicality. You do get used to it. Once you are warm and it's showtime, the adrenaline kicks in and you make it through.
What will you be working on after The Nutcracker?
PD: Program II in the beginning of January. I think it is our best program. We have a world premiere by Liam Scarlett, who is a very young British choreographer. That is our closing piece. We have a couple days of vacation, but a lot of us are going to use that time to continue training.
Will you be taking time off?
PD: I'll take Christmas and New Year's, but it's a hard time to completely take off. It's harder to get back in shape. Then it's also Duo Concertant and Divertimento No. 15 time, which is pure, classic ballet. It's fun to go from The Nutcracker, which is up in spirits, to something classic.
Have you trained in other styles of dance?
PD: I did flamenco, jazz, modern; I think it helped immensely because now most ballet companies and choreographers are pushing the boundaries and limits of classical ballet.
What is your favorite style outside of ballet?
PD: I love doing more contemporary stuff. We've done a lot Twyla Tharp, which is grueling on the body—but I get incredible satisfaction from it. I think our reputation will start to change a little bit with doing Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett's work. I feel like it's been challenging but it's been fun.
The Nutcracker runs through Monday, December 24.1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-949-6722.