Miami City Ballet’s Founder Announces Retirement

MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – Edward Villella, the founder and director of Miami City Ballet, will retire at the end of the next season.

Villella, a former star dancer with George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, founded the Miami Beach-based dance company in 1986 and built it into one of South Florida’s leading artistic institutions and one of the nation’s top dance companies.

It has grown from a small group with a limited repertory to a 45-member company that commissions new works from leading choreographers and earned standing ovations during a tour in Paris in July.

Villella will step down after the 2012-2013 season.

In a statement Thursday, Villella said the company’s reception in Paris was one of the top two moments of his life as an artist. The other was hearing the audience demand an encore after his performance in Moscow in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The ballet’s current season runs from Oct. 21 through April 2012.

It’s not known who will replace Villella.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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