Performing Arts

Longtime dancers leaving Miami City Ballet

Married couple Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra.
Married couple Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra.

Longtime Miami City Ballet principal dancers and husband and wife Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg and Miguel Carlos Guerra are leaving the company at the end of this season, the troupe announced this week.

Members of the troupe for 22 and 15 years, respectively, Kronenberg and Guerra have been among the company’s central performers. Beyond their considerable artistry, the chemistry they brought as a couple to the leads in romantic ballets such as Giselle and Romeo and Juliet made them extremely popular with South Florida audiences.

“Onstage there’s an intimacy we can’t get with anybody else,” Kronenberg told the Herald in a recent interview. “He’s my favorite person in the world.”

Their last South Florida performances with MCB will be in the company’s new production of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on March 20 at the Adrienne Arsht Center and April 3 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. They will also appear in MCB’s debut performance at New York’s Lincoln Center in April, and on tour in Chicago and Minneapolis.

Kronenberg was a 17-year-old student at New York’s School of American Ballet when Miami City Ballet founding artistic director Edward Villella hired her in 1994, rising to principal dancer in 2001. In her book, So, You Want to be a Ballet Dancer?, she wrote that at her audition “I was having a blast, but it seemed too good to be true. Any minute someone was bound to realize I was very weak and technically in way over my head.” Guerra, born and trained in Cuba, joined as a soloist in 2001 as he was visiting his aunt in Miami, who brought him to the troupe’s studios and announced to Villella that her nephew was “the best dancer in the world.” The pair married in 2006 and in 2012 had a daughter, Eva Carlynn, now 3.

Their many memorable performances included leading roles in Balanchine’s Symphony in C, Apollo, Agon, and Symphony in Three Movements; Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, and Villella’s The Neighborhood Ballroom. Renowned choreographers Alexei Ratmansky, Liam Scarlett and Twyla Tharp chose them for key parts in the MCB-commissioned ballets Symphonic Dances, Viscera, and NIGHTSPOT. They appeared in the troupe’s 2009 Manhattan debut at New York City Center and in its extremely successful season in Paris the summer of 2011.

Kronenberg wrote So, You Want to be a Ballet Dancer?, published in 2013 by University Press of Florida, while pregnant with Eva. The couple have co-authored another dance how-to, Experiencing the Art of the Pas de Deux, which UPF will publish next October. Kronenberg was a candidate to succeed Villella as artistic director but was passed over for current director Lourdes Lopez in 2012.

Their departure follows that of another MCB veteran, Mary Carmen Catoya, last spring, and leaves only four dancers in the troupe who have been there since the ’90s.

The couple say they plan to continue performing, primarily as guest artists, and to teach and coach in Florida, the United States and abroad. This fall Kronenberg will join Villella in teaching a three-day master class at Florida Atlantic University.

Jordan Levin