South Carolina's Largest Performing Arts Organization Celebrates 60 Years!

Mariclare Miranda

Years Active – 1976-2006

Company – 1976  I  Soloist – 1980  I  Principal – 1982  I  Ballerina – 1984  I  Prima Ballerina – 1997  Retired – March 2006

Ballet Mistress – 2006  Company Instructor – 2010  Rehearsal Assistant – 2012  Regisseur – 2017  CCB II Director – 2019

Prima Ballerina Mariclare Miranda – winner of the 1997 South Carolina Arts Commission Dance Fellowship – began her ballet training at the age of seven with CCB’s Founding Artistic Director, Ann Brodie, at Calvert-Brodie School of Dance and continued her studies at the Boston Ballet’s Summer Workshop and the David Howard Studio in New York City. In 1976, she joined the Columbia City Ballet, became a Soloist in 1980, Principal Dancer in 1982, attained the rank of Ballerina in 1984 and Prima Ballerina in 1997.

In her second year with the Company, she danced as the “Sugar Plum Fairy” in Nutcracker and has gone on to dance every Ballerina role in the Company’s classical repertoire. She is noted for her commanding stage presence, especially in such dramatic roles as Romeo and Juliet’s “Juliet,” “Odette”/”Odile” in Swan Lake and the title role in Giselle. Norbert Vesak chose her to dance in his Belong Pas de Deux, a work which won a gold medal for choreography at the 1980 International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. In 1984, she toured South America with Mr. Starrett, performing as “Aurora” in The Sleeping Beauty and Swanilda in Coppélia, which received stellar reviews and played to sold-out houses.

The Columbia Record heralds Mariclare Miranda as “…a wonder to behold!” “Simply perfect dancing the role of the SugarPlum Fairy” “flawless” “stunning” and “wonderful to watch.” Reviewer John Rockwell of The New York Times said of her performance in Off the Wall and Onto the Stage:  Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green, “‘Daughters of the South’ made good use of pointe work…to reveal, in the company’s Prima Ballerina, an elegant classical dancer name Mariclare Miranda. She proves that some exalted titles are merely honorific.”

Equally renowned for her powerful performances in contemporary work, she has portrayed a myriad of roles in Executive and Artistic Director William Starrett’s original ballets. Hand-picked by Mr. Starrett, their almost legendary partnership spans more than three decades. Their partnership began when they performed “Les Sylphides” for a Diaghilev Gala at the Township Auditorium in 1978, and has performed as his partner on television, throughout the country and the world in the intervening years. The first piece he created on her was the short work “Two Portraits” in 1983. Since then, he has chosen her to create featured roles in his ballets including:  “Beauty” in Beauty and the Beast, “Lucy” in Dracula:  Ballet with a Bite, Dracula’s Revenge, “The Heroine” in The Ballet Tara, “Princess Jasmine” in The Ballet Aladdin, “Esmeralda” in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the tile role in Pocahontas, “A Tribute to Fred Astaire,” Don Juan and Frankenstein.

A “homegrown talent,” Ms. Miranda’s emergence as a major performing artist parallels Columbia’s development as ansophisticated center for the performing arts. Ms. Miranda has performed as a guest artist throughout the country, portraying both classical and contemporary roles for Ballet Tennessee, Mohawk Valley Ballet, Hilton Head Dance Theatre, Ballet Orlando, Charlotte Youth Ballet, Alexandra Ballet Company and Radford University. Her local guest appearances include Spoleto Festival, the Southeastern Dance Festival, the USC Dance Company, and the Columbia Lyric Opera appearing in La Traviata, Merry Wives of Windsor, Amahl and the Night Visitor, Hansel and Gretel and Faust.

Madame Raisa Struchkova, Principal Coach of the Bolshoi Ballet, personally coached Miss Miranda for The Sleeping Beauty, as did Prima Ballerina, Gelsey Kirkland, for the lead role in Swan Lake. She has also studied with Diana Cartier, Bruce Marks, Arnold Spohr, Patricia Wilde, Karena Brock, Michael Lland, Hilda Morales, Cher Carnell and Cynthia Harvey

Miss Miranda was featured on the cover of three compact discs produced by David Howard and has starred in many television works, notably A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Swan Lake, Beauty and the Beast and Romeo and Juliet for SCETV.

She retired from the stage in March 2006, dancing her final performances as the title role in Giselle. At her retirement gala, she was awarded the Key to the City of Columbia and the Order of the Palmetto of the State of South Carolina.

With more than 30 years of teaching experience, Ms. Miranda is a Founder and Principal Instructor of the Columbia Conservatory of Dance and is currently a Company Instructor and Regisseur for Columbia City Ballet.

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