Miami City Ballet adds new Indian-origin dancer to its roster

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Indian-origin ballet dancer Amiruddin Shah. Photo: Amber Hunt, courtesy Miami City Ballet

The Miami City Ballet (MCB) has added three new dancers to its 2021/22 company roster, one of them of Indian origin. The new additions bring the total number of dancers at the 36 year- old company to 54, the company said in a press release.

Adding to MCB’s previously announced company roster for the 2021/22 season is Amiruddin Shah, from Mumbai, the first classically trained dancer from India to train at the prestigious Upper Room at The Royal Ballet School, joins the Miami City Ballet as corps de ballet member, the company announced in a press release.

The other two dancers added are Dawn Atkins, formerly at Boston Ballet, who joins as soloist, and Rui Cruz who joins the corps de ballet from the small town of Levy Gasparian in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ballet dancer Amiruddin Shah who just joined the Miami City Ballet according to an October 2021 announcement. Photo: Amber Hunt, courtesy Miami City Ballet

Miami City Ballet, recognized as one of the top ballet companies in the nation, opened its 2021/22 season of dance on October 14 with the online premiere of George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The company’s first return to live theater performances is marked with a special engagement of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. November 24-28, 2021.

Shah was born in India and started dancing at the age of 13 at India Danceworx under the direction of Yehuda Ma’or.

According to Shah’s profile provided by Miami City Ballet, in 2016, he received a full scholarship to study at Oregon Ballet Theatre with Artistic Director Kevin Irving. While with the school, he was chosen to perform in the company production of Swan Lake.

In 2017, following his time in Oregon, he was awarded the prestigious Nadia Nerina Scholarship to study at the Upper School at Royal Ballet School in London. He was the first Indian classical ballet dancer to receive this honor.

While at Royal Ballet, he had the opportunity to study with Valeri Hristov, Paul Lewis, Jay Jolly, Daria Klimentove, and others. During his four years at the school, he performed roles in works such as Giselle, Sea Interludes, and Elite Syncopations.

In 2019, he was awarded first place in the Lynn Seymour Dance Competition for his contemporary solo. While still a student in London, he worked with Birmingham Royal Ballet and performed Russian Dance in their production of The Nutcracker.

Shah’s real-life history and upbringing studying ballet in India was the inspiration for the Netflix produced feature film Yeh Ballet, which was released in 2020.

Ballet dancer Amirudding ‘Amir’ Shah now with the Miami City Ballet. Photo: Amber Hunt, courtesy Miami City Ballet

Miami City Ballet has a repertoire of more than 130 works and is among the renowned ballet companies in the country. It performs for nearly 125,000 patrons annually during its South Florida home season in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and tours to major cities domestically and internationally, including recent visits to New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris.

The School trains students, ages 3-18 year-round, and grants more than $650,000 in scholarships annually.

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