EDWARD VILLELLA TURNS OVER REINS
OF MIAMI CITY BALLET
Famed Ballet Figure’s Early Departure
Allows Successor Lourdes Lopez to Begin Immediately
Miami City Ballet Founding Artistic Director Edward Villella, saying he was “confident the future of the company, the dancers and the school was secure and bright,” has decided to accelerate his transition and leave today (Tuesday, Sept. 4).
Villella said he had given the matter a great deal of thought, and over the weekend he and the MCB Board leadership decided it was in the best interest of the company to speed the transition to the newly appointed artistic director. Lourdes Lopez, previously named to succeed Villella, is in place to assume responsibility.
“Leaving early was not an easy decision,” said Villella, who was originally slated to leave next April.
“I have always been committed to preserving the legacy of the Miami City Ballet and its stellar international reputation. This Company is in excellent hands and I am excited about its future.
Villella also expressed his gratitude to the MCB board. “For many years, the board has provided support, stewardship and leadership, and allowed this company to grow to world acclaim. They have also supported me personally in my quest for excellence, and I am enormously grateful to them.”
“We offer Edward Villella our gratitude for his contributions to Miami City Ballet,” said board president Jim Eroncig. “The artistic brilliance of Miami City Ballet is without question. He has created a world-class ballet company. We are poised for an amazing future because of Edward’s years of commitment to excellence.”
“Edward is responsible for bringing world-class dance to Miami and Miami dancers to the world,” added Miami City Ballet co-founder Toby Lerner Ansin. “He will forever have a place in Miami’s history. He transformed the Miami City Ballet into an international cultural icon—one in which the entire South Florida community can take pride and joy.”
The company has already begun work preparing for the highly anticipated Paul Taylor, Liam Scarlett and George Balanchine performances scheduled for the opening of the 2012-2013 season on October 19.
Nationally recognized arts management expert Michael Kaiser, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts said, “I am confident that the Miami City Ballet can build on the foundation established by my dear friend Edward and that Lourdes, the dancers, board members and staff of the company will implement the dynamic plan that is already in formation.”