I want to make an apology because, in my opening speech at the Dance Magazine Awards on Monday, I inadvertently left out one awardee. I said, "Tonight we are honoring four outstanding dance artists who have contributed to the dance field over time." But then I named only three. How could I have forgotten Lourdes Lopez?!?!
We had all been hearing about Lourdes's taking the helm at Miami City Ballet with grace, intelligence, compassion and new ideas. I was planning to say, "Lourdes Lopez, who has brought new life to Miami City Ballet" because I thought that would cover a lot of ground. (My only quibble with myself was whether to say "brought new life" or "gave new life.")
But I got mixed up in the sequence. I had put Lourdes second on my list to mention, but at the last minute decided to say the names in order of their appearance, with Crystal Pite second, and Lourdes third. But in that moment onstage, I forgot my plan, and when I looked down at my notes after I identified Crystal, the next name was Ronald K. Brown. I am now appalled at myself for this.
Lopez gave an eloquent speech that highlighted what it's felt like to have been the first Latina principal at NYCB and now the only Latina artistic director of a major American ballet company
And thinking about that night, one of the highlights for me was standing shoulder to shoulder with Lourdes in the cramped backstage area as Darren Walker, in his warm and wonderful way, raved about her as a dancer, as a leader, as an advisor. I could just feel Lourdes reacting to his praise with humor and modesty.
Another highlight, of course, was watching Tricia Albertson and Renan Cerdeiro of MCB rehearse the delicate second-act pas de deux from Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream. We were all so thankful that the dancers and Lourdes could fit our event into their schedules.
While watching Lourdes adjust Tricia's headpiece, I was touched by her attention to detail, and it reminded me of the pictures of another detail-oriented artistic director—Balanchine.
I was so touched that Lourdes Lopez was there, that I tried to snap a photo of her with her dancers.
I take my responsibility as part of the Dance Magazine Awards committee very seriously, so I want to apologize to Lourdes Lopez and Miami City Ballet for my omission.