Lourdes Lopez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958 and raised in Miami by her parents along with two sisters. She started taking ballet lessons at the age of five, on the recommendation of a doctor, and went to New York at the age of ten on a full scholarship to the Joffrey School. Lourdes continued her training at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, and in Miami. At fourteen, she moved to New York permanently to devote herself to full-time studies at SAB, and shortly after her sixteenth birthday, she joined the corps de ballet of New York City Ballet.
Under the direction of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, her star rose fast at New York City Ballet where she was soon dancing leading corps and soloist roles in much of the company’s repertory. She was promoted to Soloist in 1981 and Principal Dancer in 1984, performing countless leading roles for Balanchine and Robbins. Lopez’s great interest in children also found her writing and contributing to many of the company’s Family Matinee series.
Upon retirement, Lopez joined WNBC-TV in New York as a Cultural Arts reporter, writing and producing feature segments on the arts, artists and arts education. She was also a full-time senior faculty member and Director of Student Placement, Student Evaluation and Curriculum Planning at New York’s Ballet Academy East. She served on the dance faculty of Barnard College and guest taught at numerous dance institutions and festivals in the United States.
In 2002, Lopez became the Executive Director of The George Balanchine Foundation, which works to educate the public about dance and to further the art of ballet, with a special emphasis on the work and achievements of George Balanchine. In this position, she oversaw the 2004 Balanchine Centennial Celebration, a worldwide festival honoring the choreographer and his legacy. Among the events that year was the symposium "Balanchine: Past, Present and Future," which was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, and which was a collaboration among the Maryinsky Theater, the Hermitage Museum, and the George Balanchine Foundation. Lopez also co-founded The Cuban Artists Fund, which supports Cuban and Cuban-American artists in their endeavors.
In 2011, she received the prestigious Jerome Robbins Award. She sits on the board of Career Transition for Dancers and has served as a dance panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Lopez is married to investment banker George Skouras. They are the parents of two daughters: Adriel, a 2011 Yale University graduate, and ten-year-old Calliste.
Daniel J. Hagerty
Daniel J. Hagerty recently joined Miami City Ballet and brings his extensive background in relationship development and performing arts management to the Company.
He is the former Director of Individual Campaigns for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He was responsible for raising more than $40 million in annual contributed revenue from and with Kennedy Center leadership, national and international volunteers, major donors, testamentary givers and a Presidentially-appointed Board of Trustees.
His areas of responsibility included fundraising for Kennedy Center operations and programming as well as for the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet.
Dan arrived at the Center in September 2001 and during his tenure, he worked as the Company Manager for the Sondheim Celebration - a festival of six new musical theater productions presented in repertory, assisted in launching the Capacity Building Program for Culturally-Specific Arts Organization, and led the individual giving efforts since 2004.
Prior to joining the Kennedy Center, he was a Producer for WETA-TV26, Washington DC's PBS affiliate.
Dan is a graduate magna cum laude of Boston University's College of Communication. He was born in Houston, Texas and was raised in Florida's Tampa Bay area.
Executive Vice President, Artistic Affairs
Pamela Gardiner has been arts management executive for the past twenty-seven years, her working partnership with MCB Founding Artistic Director Edward Villella began in 1984 at the Madison Festival of the Lakes, where Villella served as Artistic Director and she served as Executive Director. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Dean of Student Academic Affairs in the College of Letters and Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison and as an Assistant Trust Officer at the Cleveland Trust Company.
Gardiner holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from University of Wisconsin-Madison; an M.A. degree in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University; and a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University. Since 1993, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Performing Arts Foundation of Greater Miami. She is a member of the Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio Bars and of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the Florida Bar Association.
Principal Ballet Mistress
A former soloist with New York City Ballet, Roma Sosenko works closely with Miami City Ballet dancers re-staging ballets and rehearsing them for each performance. During her career as a dancer, Sosenko danced roles in Jerome Robbins' The Four Seasons, The Goldberg Variations
, and Interplay
and George Balanchine's Ballo della Regina
, Symphony in C, Chaconne, Coppelia, Jewels
, and Scotch Symphony
, among others. She has been seen on PBS in several productions: Balanchine's "L'Enfant et les Sortileges", "A Lincoln Center Special: A Tribute to George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins", "Live From Studio 8H", and also performed the role of Columbine in the film of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™
Joan Latham joined Miami City Ballet in 1992 as a dancer and now serves as ballet mistress, responsible for re-staging and rehearsing the dancers in much of the repertoire. She began her dance training with Damara Bennett at City Ballet School in her native city of San Francisco. She also studied at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School where she performed and toured with their company. As a soloist with Miami City Ballet she performed principal roles in such ballets as Balanchine’s Apollo, Symphony in C, Agon
, and others. She was also featured in works by Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Edward Villella, as well as classics such as Swan Lake, Giselle
Gary Sheldon returns to Miami City Ballet in his third season, following outstanding acclaim in his first and second -- "impressive debut" (South Florida Classical Review); "fine performance" (The Miami Herald). Maestro Sheldon is the winner of the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting, awarded for recorded performances conducting William Bolcom's music with clarinetist Richard Stolzman and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra on the Marquis Classics label. He is former principal guest conductor for the San Francisco Ballet and conductor for Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio. He is former music director for the Marin Symphony in California, where he received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Marin Cultural Center and Museum. Sheldon has guest conducted major orchestras including the BBC Symphony -- London, Montreal Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is currently Artistic Director of the Lancaster Festival in Ohio and Principal for the Festival at Sandpoint in Idaho. He is a native of Bayshore, New York and a graduate of the Julliard School.
Costume Designer & Director
Haydée Morales was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. Her career has enveloped both design and production for dance, Broadway, opera and film. Morales acquired her theatrical training at Barbara Matera Costume Shop in New York.
She joined Miami City Ballet in 1986. Since then, Morales has designed and overseen countless productions, including George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™
(in collaboration with Jose Varona), and Edward Villella's full-length ballet The Neighborhood Ballroom
and Gismonti Brasil
. Also, Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Kennedy Center Commission , The Mystery of the Dancing Princesses
. Morales has also recreated costumes from the original designs of many Balanchine ballets, as well as for dances by Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon and Trey McIntyre.
Music Advisor to the Artistic Director
Francisco Rennó is the winner of various piano competitions and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in North and South America. He has given solo and chamber music recitals throughout two continents, including appearances at Carnegie Recital Hall and The Phillips Collection. For ballet performances, he has performed as a soloist with the symphony orchestras of Kansas City, St. Louis, Berkeley, Naples, Torino and The Kennedy Center.
Rennó was company pianist for the Kansas City Ballet from its inception in 1981 until he joined Miami City Ballet in 1999. He composed the music to Edward Villella's "THE WALTZ: Our Lady of Oblivion."
John D. Hall
Production Director and Lighting Designer
John Hall joined Miami City Ballet in 1995 and is responsible for coordinating all Lighting and Scenic Design elements for the Company. Some of his Lighting Design highlights since joining MCB include Slaughter on 10th Avenue, Giselle, Coppélia, Edward Villella's The Neighborhood Ballroom, and Twyla Tharp/Elvis Costello's NIGHTSPOT. Hall and his wife Shannon have two sons, John and William.
|Top image: MCB Dancers in Symphony in Three Movements, Photo © Joe Gato, Symphony in Three Movements, choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust|
Headshot Photos © Gio Alma