Lourdes Lopez to Lead Miami City Ballet

April 2, 2012

The board of MCB announced today that they’ve chosen former NYCB principal Lourdes Lopez to succeed Edward Villella as artistic director of Miami City Ballet.


Lopez in Balanchine’s
Divertimento No. 15. Photo by Steven Caras, Courtesy MCB, © Balanchine Trust



Since her retirement from the stage in the mid-nineties, Lopez has been a TV cultural reporter with WNBC, the executive director of the George Balanchine Foundation, co-founder of the Cuban Artists Fund, and executive director of Morphoses, which she co-founded with Christopher Wheeldon.

Lopez was born in Havana, brought up in Miami, but moved to NYC at 14 to attend the School of American Ballet. She joined NYCB at 16, and rose to principal in 1984. She performed a wide variety of roles in both Balanchine and Robbins works.


Lopez in Balanchine’s
Firebird. Photo by Steven Caras, Courtesy MCB, © Balanchine Trust



Having worked with Balanchine, she has interesting stories and insights, a couple of which she relayed during a panel I moderated on the ballet Serenade in 2010.

The board vote this morning was very close. MCB principal Jennifer Kronenberg was the other strong candidate. She was said to be Villella’s choice, and she was Dance Magazine’s choice for a cover in 2009.

Lourdes will be among a handful of women running ballet companies in the U. S. today. Of these very few women artistic directors she will be leading the largest company.  —Wendy Perron


Lopez. Photo courtesy MCB.