About | History | Leadership
Miami City Ballet is one of the nation’s leading dance companies and the only dance company of its size and stature based in the state of Florida. Having toured to more than 100 U.S. cities and performed internationally, Miami City Ballet has been globally recognized as a world-class company by numerous publications, including the New Yorker, Le Monde, Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, among others. Its impressive repertory features nearly 100 ballets, including 11 world premieres and several commissions by prominent choreographers, such as Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett. Its 50 dancers come from major dance companies around the world and renowned training facilities. The Company has also been televised nationally on PBS’ “Great Performances.”
“Miami City Ballet is one of America’s most beloved dance companies.” -The New York Times
“Miami City Ballet repertory gives goosebumps to fans of dance.” -Le Monde
“To return to Miami City Ballet is like being welcomed home. The dancers flood the theater with qualities of warmth and vitality that are like no other ballet company’s. Yet, what is so remarkable is their selflessness: they place all of their energies at the service of music and choreography.” -The New York Times
“A dramatic and physical whirlwind. Haunting and intoxicating. Tumultuously beautiful. A cheering, to-the-balconies standing ovation.” -The Miami Herald
“…The real spectacle was the Miami City Ballet’s nonstop energy and unfailing clarity…I’d see them in just about anything.” -San Francisco Chronicle
Miami City Ballet was established in 1985 by Edward Villella, a former New York City Ballet principal dancer and George Balanchine protégé. He received multiple awards for more than 50 years of contributions to dance, arts education and American culture. In 2012, Lourdes Lopez succeeded Villella as artistic director to lead the company into the future.
Lourdes Lopez, Artistic Director
Lourdes Lopez became Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet (MCB) in September 2012, bringing with her a nearly 40-year career in dance, television, teaching and arts management. As a Soloist and Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet, she danced for two legends of the art form, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She co-founded Morphoses with Christopher Wheeldon in 2007 -- a New York-based dance company aiming to revitalize dance through innovative collaborations with important artists from the worlds of music, visual arts, design, film and fashion; and by inviting younger and broader audiences to engage in and actively experience dance.
Lopez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958 and raised in Miami by her parents along with two sisters. She began taking ballet lessons at the age of five, on the recommendation of a doctor. At the age of 11 she received a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet, (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, where she continued her ballet training in Miami during the year and then in New York during the summers. 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.
Under the direction of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, her star rose quickly at New York City Ballet where she was soon dancing corps and soloist roles in much of the company’s repertory. She was promoted to Soloist in 1981 and Principal Dancer in 1984, performing countless featured roles including Violin Concerto, Firebird, Serenade, Liebeslieder Walzer, Divertimento No. 15, Symphony in C, Agon, The Four Temperaments, Dances at a Gathering, Glass Pieces, Fancy Free, In the Night, Four Seasons, and Brandenburg. Lopez’s great interest in children also found her writing and contributing to many of the company’s Family Matinee series.
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. She served on the dance faculty of Barnard College and guest taught at numerous dance institutions and festivals in the United States.
In 2002, Lopez became the Executive Director of The George Balanchine Foundation, which works to educate the public about dance and to further the art of ballet, with a special emphasis on the work and achievements of George Balanchine. In this position, she oversaw the 2004 Balanchine Centennial Celebration, a worldwide festival honoring the choreographer and his legacy. Among the events that year was the symposium "Balanchine: Past, Present and Future," which was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, and which was a collaboration among the Mariinsky Theater, the Hermitage Museum, and The George Balanchine Foundation. Lopez also co-founded The Cuban Artists Fund, which supports Cuban and Cuban-American artists in their endeavors.
In 2014 Lopez was elected to serve on the Ford Foundation’s Board of Trustees, marking the first time an artist was elected to serve on its board. In 2007 she received an award from the American Immigration Law Foundation honoring Cuban Americans for their accomplishments and contributions to American society and in 2011, she received the prestigious Jerome Robbins Award for her years in dance. She has served as a dance panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Lopez is married to investment banker George Skouras. They are the parents of two daughters: Adriel and Calliste.
Michael Scolamiero, Executive Director
Michael Scolamiero previously served as Executive Director of Pennsylvania Ballet for 17 years where he led several successful fundraising efforts, established major gift, planned giving, comprehensive sponsorship programs, and a repertory fund for the creation of new works. Throughout his career he has been a steadfast advocate for the arts, significantly broadening the reach of Pennsylvania Ballet into the community, helping to make ballet accessible to all audiences.
Prior to Pennsylvania Ballet, Mr. Scolamiero served as Executive Director at Choral Arts, where he considerably reduced debt, recording a surplus during his seven years with the organization and premiering several large, symphonic choral works at the Academy of Music.
Additional posts include Administrative Manager for the Haddonfield Symphony, and Executive Director of the West Jersey Chamber Music Society.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in music education from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA and a Master of Music in clarinet performance from Pennsylvania State University.