Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg Guerra, a principal dancer with the Miami City Ballet who was raised in Kew Gardens, will be dancing her swan song at Lincoln Center this weekend before she retires from the company this year at age 39.
Her performances will mark a professional career that has come full circle.
Kronenberg is on a farewell tour with her husband, Carlos Miguel Guerra, 37, also a principal dancer, who is also retiring from the company.
Married since 2006, the pair will be dancing the primary pas de deux in “Viscera,” a ballet created for them by choreographer Liam Scarlett on Friday night and Saturday and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. among other appearances at the fabled performance hall April 13 – 17.
Kronenberg and Guerra have “danced at City Center, but never Lincoln Center. . . .To dance at Lincoln Center was a dream of mine – I left home and I never thought I’d get the chance,” Kronenberg said.
“I’m really excited and happy to be coming back home to New York,” Kronenberg continued. “I got my start there,” dancing as a little girl at Once Upon A Time Inc. in Richmond Hill with Teresa Aubel. “Now I’m ending my career there,” Kronenberg said.
The charismatic Guerras, frequently paired on stage in roles such as John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet,” are jete-ing out of the spotlight together after stellar careers to focus on teaching, coaching and guest appearances. They have also written a book, “Experiencing the Art of the Pas de Deux,” which will be published in October.
After graduating from Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside and spending a year training at the School of American Ballet, Kronenberg was discovered by MCB’s founding artistic director (and Bayside native) Edward Villella at age 17, and worked her way up to principal dancer in 2001, stunning audiences in ballets such “Giselle,” “Coppelia,” “Swan Lake” and “Don Quixote.”
Ballet has been transformed during her 22-year career: “It’s gotten a lot more diverse. Not just in terms of (racial) diversity, but in body types and range of talents,” said Kronenberg, crediting Villella for his vision and open mindedness.
“I’m not extremely turned out or extremely flexible, but Edward Villella was focused on how people could move and how musical they were,” – realms in which she could excel.
She encouraged aspiring young NYC dancers should take heart that they, too, can find a place that appreciates their talents if they persist. “The competition is fierce, but there are so many schools,” opportunities, and choreographers of diverse tastes, Kronenberg said.
Villella returns the compliment to both Kronenberg and her husband, who he discovered in 2000 when Guerra, a Cuban national, popped over to Miami from Santiago, Chile, to appear on “Sabado Gigante.” “Over their years of brilliant careers, they became the face of Miami City Ballet: The extraordinary repertoire they achieved was remarkable,” said Villella.
While Kronenberg is expecting a big turnout of friends and family in NYC, she conceded both she and her husband have both been upstaged by someone younger and infinitely more charismatic. Since the birth of their daughter, Eva, more than three years ago, “we’re just second best,” Kronenberg said.
The Miami City Ballet is performing two mixed-bill performances including the works of George Balanchine, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Liam Scarlett and Twyla Tharp under the direction of Lourdes Lopez April 13 – 17. Tickets can be obtained at www.DavidHKochTheater.com or by calling 212-496-0600.