Giving Back: Miami City Ballet

Dare to Dream

Miami City Ballet is on pointe for its 2019-20 season with four company premieres, a sizzling performance of Firebird and a magnificent gala that’s not to be missed.

By Robin Hodes

Led by Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, Miami City Ballet is recognized as one of the world’s preeminent ballet troupes. Since its founding in 1985 by Miami philanthropist Toby Lerner Ansin and legendary choreographer Edward Villella, it has been known for cultivating rising talents, generating innovative collaborations and creating opportunities for inclusivity within the genre of classical ballet. 

“The experience of witnessing an MCB performance is always magical, energizing and transformative,” says Margot London, MCB board member and gala co-chair. “Pure joy on the dancers’ faces radiates throughout their bodies as they perform. It all plays on in my mind’s eye for a long time after the performance ceases.” 

MCB’s dynamic 2019-20 season will include returning favorites as well as four company premieres from some of America’s beloved dance masters, including I’m Old Fashioned (with choreography by Jerome Robbins inspired by the iconic Fred Astaire film You Were Never Lovelier) and Balanchine’s Firebird. These will be juxtaposed by a collection of works from choreographic pioneers of the 21st century, including Justin Peck’s modern take on Aaron Copland’s classic score Rodeo and Christopher Wheeldon’s poignant pas de deux This Bitter Earth. 

But performances are only a part of MCB’s overall mission. “Community outreach is one of the most important pillars of the organization,” says Lisa Massirman, also an MCB board member and gala co-chair. “With programs such as Ballet Bus (a nine-month scholarship program for local children), we aim to help families in underserved areas of our community and to transform lives by eliminating any barriers to accessing dance.”

“I had the moving experience of attending the culminating performance of MCB Palm Beaches’ Summer Dance Camp, a three-week scholarship program for children ages 7-12,” adds London. “With such a program, we fulfill our mission of eliminating barriers to access and engage with emerging young dancers who otherwise might not have this opportunity. This is only one of the many community engagement programs that we carry out.”

SAVE THE DATE: Miami City Ballet Gala
On Saturday, March 14, 2020, MCB will host its annual gala at the Miami Beach Convention Center’s Sunset Vista Ballroom. One of the most anticipated social events of the season, the gala raises funds to support the company’s initiatives for training, community involvement and recognition as a leader in dance. “The evening will be elegant and thrilling, with dazzling decor and culinary delights,” says London. “After cocktail hour, guests will enjoy an excerpt of Don Quixote performed live by MCB dancers.” For tickets and more information about this momentous event, visit miamicityballet.org.

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