By Kylee Dawson
Photo by Joe Gato
Mary Carmen Catoya and Luis Serrano in George Balanchine's beautifully "Coppelia," one of several ballets that will be performed by the Miami City Ballet.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 7, 2004
With an international mix of dancers, the Miami City Ballet brings a distinct elegance to every destination on its latest tour, which stops in Tucson this week and performs at Centennial Hall Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Patricia Delgado is just one of several dancers in the Miami City Ballet, but she packs a lot of talent into her limber 22-year-old body.
Under the persuasion of her mother and grandmother, Delgado began studying ballet at the Vivian Tobio Ballet School when she was 5.
"It was the best thing that I ever could have done," Delgado said. "I always really loved it as a little girl, but I never thought I'd do it professionally."
That all changed when she won a scholarship to study at the Miami City Ballet School when she was 12.
After seeing so many professional dancers, Delgado was inspired to pursue ballet as a career and has been dancing with the company ever since.
"I was really undecided for a while because I liked school," she said.
By the 10th grade, she was performing in productions of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker."
Even as a young performer, Delgado admits performing in a prestigious dance company does have its ups and downs.
"You get very critical of yourself, which is a good thing, but it's also a bad thing when you don't think you're doing well," she said. "When you're not happy with yourself, it gets really frustrating."
Fortunately, there is always the stage.
"The best part is performing," she said. "It's definitely the reminder of why we do this."
After rehearsing seven hours per day for the past eight weeks, Delgado is more than excited to be performing her new parts in the shows.
Between shows, she does yoga, pilates and gyrotonics -which help strengthen and lengthen the dancers' bodies -to stay in shape.
During her free time, Delgado loves to spend time with her family and her boyfriend. She also has a few hobbies.
"I love to cook," she said. "I'm into nutrition and healthy eating. I love to shop. If I get a few new outfits, I'm happy."
Even if being on the road gets boring, Patricia can always hang out, or pick on her little sister Jeanette Delgado, who is also a dancer in the company.
When Patricia seriously hurt her ankle while rehearsing in January 2003, Jeanette took her place in several shows until she recovered.
"It was special to watch her," Patricia said of her sister.
Once the Miami City Ballet arrives in Tucson, Patricia will be performing in two productions at the UA.
In the first on Friday, George Balanchine's classic ballet "Copellia," she will dance the part of a character without her typical ballet shoes. Balanchine may not be a household name, but to the Miami City Ballet, he's practically messianic.
That's because he revolutionized the look of classical ballet and influenced its growth in the United States.
"It's very fun," Patricia said. "It's very different because the character wears Ukrainian, Russian-style red boots."
Delgado will also dance in two portions of the second production on Saturday, including Balanchine's "Ballo Della Regina" and "Stravinsky Violin Concerto."
Both performances take place at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd.
Tickets are available at the Centennial Hall box office and ticket outlets in the UofA Bookstore and the University Services building. UA students can attend for $10.
Both nights, dance faculty member Jim Clouser will also host a free Arts Encounter before each performance at 7:15 p.m.
The discussion is designed to help audience members appreciate and understand the performances.
Go to uapresents.org for more information.