Oh thank you, dear merciful Our Lady of Lourdes.
And thank you to the 11-member committee, who along with Miami City Ballet’s new executive director, Nicholas Goldsborough, conducted the search for a successor to Edward Villella.
You anointed in this heavenly role the French patron-saint’s name sake — Lourdes Lopez.
And she’s a woman! Er .. it’s a woman! You know: she’s female!
It fits. Like his mentor George Balanchine, Edward Villella, as dancer, as director, and as a man, loves and respects women. It fits on numerous levels, cultural and otherwise, and we hope that the wonderfulness of it all will repair the frayed edges around Miami City Ballet.
The transition has not been smooth (“Villella Violated“). In fact, it’s been a case study of how to not transfer leadership in an arts organization. Now that it’s resolved, everyone can move forward with relative sanity, that is, clarity.
Ms. Lopez will begin her tenure on May 1, 2013. She comes to Miami City Ballet from her current position as Director of Morphoses, a New York City based dance company she co-founded with Christopher Wheeldon.
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
Can we just drop the nun’s habit and flash our happiness? That’s the best Catholic prayer this nice Jewish girl will ever eke out.