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Miami City Ballet

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 more than 90 ballets, including 11 world premieres and several commissions by prominent choreographers, such as Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett.  Its more than 40 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 was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958 and 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.

Under the direction of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, her star rose fast at New York City Ballet where she was soon dancing leading 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 leading roles for Balanchine and Robbins.  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 Maryinsky 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 2011, she received the prestigious Jerome Robbins Award. She sits on the board of Career Transition for Dancers and 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, a 2011 Yale University graduate, and ten-year-old Calliste.

Daniel Hagerty, Executive Director

Daniel J. Hagerty recently joined Miami City Ballet and brings his extensive background in relationship development and performing arts management to the Company.

He is the former Director of Individual Campaigns for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He was responsible for raising more than $40 million in annual contributed revenue from and with Kennedy Center leadership, national and international volunteers, major donors, testamentary givers and a Presidentially-appointed Board of Trustees.

His areas of responsibility included fundraising for Kennedy Center operations and programming as well as for the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

Dan arrived at the Center in September 2001 and during his tenure, he worked as the Company Manager for the Sondheim Celebration - a festival of six new musical theater productions presented in repertory, assisted in launching the Capacity Building Program for Culturally-Specific Arts Organization, and led the individual giving efforts since 2004.

Prior to joining the Kennedy Center, he was a Producer for WETA-TV26, Washington DC's PBS affiliate.

Dan is a graduate magna cum laude of Boston University's College of Communication. He was born in Houston, Texas and was raised in Florida's Tampa Bay area.

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