Before the Miami City Ballet dancers performed for the first time without founder Edward Villella last night, new artistic director Lourdes Lopez took the stage to give thanks. Declaring that she was "back home," Lopez reminisced about growing in up a very different Miami -- one without MOCA, or the Colony Theatre, New World Symphony or the Arsht Center.
Since then, the arts scene in town has grown -- and is still growing -- in exciting ways, she declared, saying "I have a responsibility to continue the ongoing cultural development of South Florida."
It was a heartfelt, emotional speech -- at times, it seemed Lopez was so overwhelmed with honor that she might cry -- looking both to the past and to the future. And it perfectly foreshadowed the ballets we were about to witness -- one that felt vintage, ornate, and Victorian; one classically stripped-down; and one modern dance hybrid...