Miami City Ballet (MCB) is the 8th largest ballet company in the United States (by budget size), with 46 dancers and a fiscal year 2013-2014 budget of approximately $15 million.
The Company has four home counties in South Florida: Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach, plus Collier (on Florida's west coast), where MCB is presented as the resident ballet company at Artis--Naples (formerly the Naples Philharmonic Center).
The Company's repertoire has 98 ballets, including a number of world premieres. It includes: George Balanchine's masterworks,such as Prodigal Son, Apollo, Agon, The Four Temperaments, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Symphony in C, Ballet Imperial and the full-length Jewels and works by contemporary choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Jerome Robbins, Christopher Wheeldon and Trey McIntyre. Ballets by Frederick Ashton, Marius Petipa, August Bournonville and others also highlight the repertoire. The Company performs classical works such as Giselle, Coppélia, Don Quixote, and Romeo and Juliet. Recent world premiere ballets include works by Liam Scarlett (Viscera and Euphotic), Alexei Ratmansky (Symphonic Dances) and Justin Peck (Chutes and Ladders).
Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, joined MCB in 2012. Lopez was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Miami. She was a principal dancer for New York City Ballet for 24 years under George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. After retiring from the stage, she went on to become the executive director of The George Balanchine Foundation and co-founded the innovative dance company Morphoses.
The dancers of Miami City Ballet are an international mix. They come to MCB from New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, National Ballet of Caracas, National Ballet of Cuba and American Ballet Theatre, among others; and from world-famous training facilities such as the School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, The Rock School, Joffrey Ballet School, Central Pensylvania Youth Ballet and Miami City Ballet School.
Approximately 11,000 season subscribers are joined by about 19,000 single-ticket buyers to enjoy the Company in regular series from October through March. Annually, nearly 20,000 view MCB's million-dollar holiday spectacular, George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™.
Miami City Ballet has toured all over the United States and has danced in more than 100 U.S. cities. National performances include The Kennedy Center, the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival in Atlanta, Wolf Trap Farm Park, Orange County (CA) Performing Arts Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Shubert Theater (CT), McCarter Theater (NJ), SUNY at Purchase (NY), Tilles Center (NY), ArtPark, the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Detroit Opera House, Cleveland Playhouse, Los Angeles Music Center, New York City Center, and Chicago Auditorium Theatre.North American festival appearances include Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Spoleto Festival U.S.A., DanceAspen, the Ravinia Festival, the Chautauqua Festival, The Madison Festival of the Lakes, and the Vail International Dance Festival (CO).
Internationally, MCB has performed in Europe, Great Britain, South America, Central America, and Israel, including the 1994 & 1995 Edinburgh International Festivals (Scotland), the 1990 Lyon Biennale Internationale de la Danse (France), the Festival Internacionel de Cultura Paiz (Guatemala), and a two-week engagement at TorinoDanza 2000 (Italy). The Company performed in March 2003 as one of six companies participating in the Kennedy Center’s International Ballet Festival with the Bolshoi, Kirov, Royal Danish Ballet, Adam Cooper and Company and American Ballet Theatre. Most recently, Miami City Ballet made its Paris debut at the Theatre du Chatelet as the featured dance company for its annual Summers of Dance Festival (Les Etes de la Danse) in July 2011.
In January 2000, Miami City Ballet took occupancy of its Miami Beach headquarters. The 63,000 square foot facility houses eight rehearsal studios (two of which combine to create a 200-seat theatre), increased school facilities, wardrobe department and costume shop, a fully-equipped therapy room, and greater administrative space. The building is a design of the award-winning architect, Bernardo Fort-Brescia of ARQUITECTONICA.
The Miami City Ballet School, which opened in Miami Beach in January 1993, trains students for a professional career in ballet. The School has an enrollment of more than 350 students, and no child of talent is turned away for lack of funds. In June 1997, Miami City Ballet accepted the first School graduate for a professional position with the Company. The School launched the Miami City Ballet School Summer Intensive Program in July 2001. The Summer Program draws approximately 200 students from around the world.
The Company's Education program is experienced by thousands of young people annually, who are treated to lecture demonstrations narrated by members of the Artistic Staff.
Miami City Ballet artists are rehearsed to perform not only with great speed, energy and technical clarity, but also with the combination of force and delicacy needed to interpret musical scores from Bach to Stravinsky.
Miami City Ballet has a 45+-member Board of Trustees, who represent the Company's home counties of Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach.
Toby Lerner Ansin, the Miami arts advocate who helped to create Miami City Ballet, received the 1997 Florida Arts Recognition Award in recognition of her initiative, leadership, and excellence in supporting the arts and culture in Florida.
Miami City Ballet's inaugural performance, under the artistic direction of one of America's most celebrated male dancers, Edward Villella,was on October 17, 1986, at Miami's Gusman Center for the Performing Arts.