Lourdes Lopez: On Top Of Miami City Ballet Without Stepping On Toes

Last week, Miami City Ballet announced its new artistic director: Lourdes Lopez, former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and current director of the New York-based dance company Morphoses, who will take the post on May 1, 2013. Following a five-month search, an 11-member committee chose Lopez from among 35 candidates considered to replace outgoing artistic director Edward Villella, who co-founded Miami City Ballet in 1985 and who will stay on through the company’s 2012-2013 season. Following MCB’s successful first Paris tour last summer, some say Villella, 75, was pushed out unexpectedly by the company’s board of directors in November. The founding director and some members of his company were not happy about the move. And in the end, the replacement decision was not unanimous — Lopez was awarded the position after a vote of 9-2 in her favor. The other finalist, Jennifer Kronenberg, 35, a principal dancer with MCB, received the votes of Villella and one of the two MCB dancer representatives on the committee, as the dancers were split between the candidates.

Lourdes Lopez’s Dance With Destiny

As a young ballet prodigy, Lourdes Lopez was quiet and methodical, a modest, obedient student who listened and watched intently, then wowed her teachers not only by effortlessly executing difficult moves with which much older girls struggled, but by absorbing and transmitting feeling and style.But at each major step in her life, Lopez has taken chances. Moving from Miami at 14 to live in New York with her sister and study ballet. Leaving her job as a principal dancer at New York City Ballet, despite being a single mother and not knowing her next move. Becoming a TV reporter, and then executive director of the George Balanchine Foundation, a major nonprofit, both without experience. Launching a contemporary ballet troupe with famed choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. And now, succeeding Edward Villella, a legendary figure in the dance world, as artistic director of Miami City Ballet, the troupe he has shaped and led to national and international acclaim. Lopez will take over in May 2013, after Villella has led the troupe through its 27th season…

Miami Dances A Showcase ‘Coppelia’ Without Losing Its Comic Touch

When Neapolitans, a normally reserved lot, start cheering, it’s a sign that the performers are so adept at their art they own the program. Tuesday night, it wasn’t just a sign; it was a billboard, with flashing neon letters, for the Miami City Ballet, which took title to Coppelia with style and grace.The audience’s instincts were right. The Arthur St. Leon dance sparkled from start to finish, its standards raised considerably with Jeanette Delgado and Renato Penteado in the star couple slots…

Miami City Ballet Picks Lourdes Lopez To Succeed Edward Villella

Miami City Ballet has selected Lourdes Lopez, a Miami-reared former New York City Ballet dancer and director of the Morphoses dance company, as its new artistic director. She will start work May 1, 2013.Lopez, 53, succeeds Edward Villella, the former New York City Ballet star and George Balanchine dancer who co-founded the company in 1985 and guided it to national and international acclaim…

Our Opinion: Miami City Ballet’s Next Director Promises To Build On Edward Villella’s Wonderful Work

Lourdes Lopez, a Balanchine-trained dancer, will have big toe shoes to fill when she succeeds Miami City Ballet artistic director Edward Villella next year.Dubbed a ‘charismatic former ballerina’ by the New York Times, Ms. Lopez co-founded Morphoses Dance Company in New York with renown choreographer Christopher Wheeldon in 2007. When Mr. Wheeldon departed as Morphoses’ artistic director in 2010, Ms. Lopez proved her critics wrong by reinventing the dance company with a rotation of resident artistic directors for the contemporary ballet troupe.She didn’t fold. The show went on…

Miami City Ballet Announces The Appointment Of Lourdes Lopez As Its New Artistic Director

Miami Beach, FL (Apr. 3, 2012): Miami City Ballet, Florida’s internationally acclaimed company, is pleased to announce the appointment of Lourdes Lopez as its new Artistic Director. Ms. Lopez begins her tenure on May 1, 2013. She comes to Miami City Ballet from her current position as Director of Morphoses, a New York City based dance company she co-founded with Christopher Wheeldon, whose ballet Liturgy is in MCB’s repertory.’As a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, I was nearly a generation behind Edward Villella, but of course knew of his powerful performances and charismatic presence on the stage,’ Ms. Lopez states. ‘To have been chosen to succeed him as Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet, a company he co-founded with Toby Lerner Ansin, is a tremendous honor and privilege. I eagerly await working with the company’s extraordinary dancers, dedicated staff and Board of Trustees and together take this exciting company and its school to their next artistic chapter and I am overjoyed to be back in Miami, the city and community where I was raised, and that saw me take my own first dance steps.”The Board of Trustees of Miami City Ballet takes great pleasure in announcing the appointment of Lourdes Lopez as its Artistic Director,’ said Jim Eroncig, the board’s President. ‘Ms. Lopez has an extensive background with the New York City Ballet with whom she danced for 24 years under the direction of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. This extensive experience will enable her to carry on the tradition of dance that Edward Villella established at Miami City Ballet.”It’s very heartening to me to know that the views for the future of our new Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez resonate with my own, said company co-founder Toby Lerner Ansin. ‘Under her guidance and leadership, I look forward to a Miami City Ballet continuance of the Balanchine tradition and fully applaud her wish to expand the repertoire of our world class Company.”I am excited about the prospect of working with Lourdes Lopez as we plan for the future of Miami City Ballet,’ said Nicholas Goldsborough, the Company’s Executive Director. ‘I feel certain that she will inspire our dancers, the Board of Governors and Trustees, and the staff as we embark on a long-range plan to recapitalize the Company to provide for a more secure future.’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. Ms. Lopez’s great interest in children also found her writing and contributing to many of the company’s Family Matinee series. Upon retirement, Ms. 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.Ms. Lopez has served as the Executive Director of The George Balanchine Foundation and 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. Ms. 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.The process of selecting her as Artistic Director has been an intense and long one (it took five months). Spearheading the search as an advisor to the selection committee was Robert Gottlieb, a noted New York dance critic and long time friend and associate of MCB, who considered thirty-five or so potential candidates, interviewing a number of them directly as well as consulting other critics, heads of other companies, the choreographic Trusts for whom we acquire our repertory, and other centrally placed figures in the national dance community. He made several recommendations to the selection committee, but indicated that he believed that Lourdes Lopez was of all of the outsiders he had considered, the one with the most outstanding qualifications for the job. On meeting with her, the selection committee and staff members, beginning with Mr. Goldsborough, MCB’s new Executive Director, emphatically agreed, and now join together to wish Lourdes a happy, successful and long life at Miami City Ballet.The 2012-13 season has just been announced. Subscription packages are on sale by calling the Miami City Ballet Box Office at (305) 929-7010, toll-free (877) 929-7010 or online at www.miamicityballet.org. Group Discounts (10 or more) are available by calling (305) 929-7001 or toll-free (877) 929-7001. Subscription prices range from $69 to $635. All subscribers have the opportunity to purchase priority discount seating to George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Lourdes Lopez To Succeed Edward Villella As Artistic Director Of Miami City Ballet

In an electrifying announcement, Miami City Ballet shares the news that Lourdes Lopez, the Cuban-born and Miami-raised former ballerina with New York City Ballet, has been named successor to Edward Villella, the company’s founding artistic director who is soon to retire.Ms. Lopez’s post will commence in Miami City Ballet’s 2013-14 season.Mr. Villella’s immense achievement in establishing a world-class ballet company in an unlikely outpost remains one of American ballet’s greatest success stories. MCB celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010…

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