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Hometown Dancer Named Miami Ballet’s New Artistic Director

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Lourdes Lopez (Source: Hand Out Photo/Miami City Ballet)

Lourdes Lopez (Source: Hand Out Photo/Miami City Ballet)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami City Ballet has tapped the co-founder of the New York City dance company Morphoses to be their new Artistic Director.

Lourdes Lopez will succeed long time director Edward Villela; she begins her tenure on May 1st, 2013.

“To have been chosen to succeed him as Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet, a company he co-founded with Toby Lerner Ansin, is a tremendous honor and privilege. I eagerly await working with the company’s extraordinary dancers, dedicated staff and Board of Trustees and together take this exciting company and its school to their next artistic chapter,” said Lopez in a statement.

For Lopez, the new job is also a homecoming.

Born in Cuba in 1958, Lopez was raised in Miami by her parents along with two sisters. She started taking ballet lessons at the age of five, on the recommendation of a doctor, and went to New York at the age of ten on a full scholarship to the Joffrey School.

Lourdes continued her training at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, and in Miami. At fourteen, she moved to New York permanently to devote herself to full-time studies at SAB, and shortly after her sixteenth birthday, she joined the corps de ballet of New York City Ballet.

“Ms. Lopez has an extensive background with the New York City Ballet with whom she danced for 24 years under the direction of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. This extensive experience will enable her to carry on the tradition of dance that Edward Villella established at Miami City Ballet,” the ballet’s board President Jim Eroncig.

Under the direction of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins at the New York City ballet, Lopez was promoted to Soloist in 1981 and Principal Dancer in 1984.

Upon retirement, Lopez joined WNBC-TV in New York as a Cultural Arts reporter, writing and producing feature segments on the arts, artists and arts education. She was also a full-time senior faculty member and Director of Student Placement, Student Evaluation and Curriculum Planning at New York’s Ballet Academy East.

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