Villella to retire from Miami City Ballet in 2013

By Lawrence Budmen

Edward Villella, Miami City Ballet’s founding artistic director, has announced that he will retire from the company following the 2012-2013 season.

“My plan is to build a bridge upon the enormous success we had in Paris, so that our Board of Trustees and South Florida communities can go the next step when I depart in two years,” said Villella in a statement released by the company.

The celebrated former dancer built the company from a small nucleus of fifteen dancers in 1986 ┬áto a world-class ensemble of over forty-five members that has toured Europe and the United States. This past summer MCB was acclaimed by French audiences and critics during a three-week engagement at Paris’s Theatre du Chatelet.

Initially Villella programmed works by master choreographer George Balanchine, his ballet master and mentor at New York City Ballet. Over a quarter-century the company’s repertoire has grown to embrace evening-length classics (Giselle, Coppellia, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet) and ballets by such iconic modern choreographers as Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp.

The 2011-2012 season will feature newly commissioned works by former Bolshoi Ballet director Alexei Ratmansky (set to Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and rising British choreographer Liam Scarlett.

Interim board president Ron Esserman indicated the board will begin a search for Villella’s successor. “We can only hope that we manage to find someone worthy to fill his shoes,” Esserman stated.

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Fri Sep 23, 2011
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