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Miami City Ballet: A Symphony of Movement and Music at the Heart of American Dance

Miami City Ballet (MCB) is a world-renowned ballet company located in the heart of Miami. Established in 1985 by Founding Artistic Director Edward Villella, MCB has become one of the most diverse and prestigious classical ballet companies in the nation.

With a repertoire of over 100 ballets and a robust international roster of dancers, MCB showcases the best of classical and contemporary ballet.

In this guide, we will take a closer look at MCB's artistic leadership, extensive repertoire, talented dancers and domestic and international touring. We will also explore the unique features of their headquarters, the Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Center, and how MCB is making an impact on the community through their educational and outreach programs.


Miami City Ballet (MCB), established in 1985 by Toby Lerner Ansin and Edward Villella, is a beacon of excellence in the dance world.

Celebrated for its dynamic interpretations of George Balanchine's work, MCB has earned international acclaim under the artistic direction of Lourdes Lopez.

With a repertoire that spans over 100 ballets, including classical masterpieces and contemporary premieres, MCB showcases the depth and diversity of ballet.

Based in Miami Beach, Florida, at the Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Center, MCB extends its impact through extensive performance seasons across South Florida and tours nationally and internationally.

The Miami City Ballet School, integral to its mission, cultivates young talent, furthering MCB's commitment to excellence, innovation, and education in the arts.


Miami City Ballet (MCB), praised as "an exceptional troupe" by The New York Times, was founded in 1985 by philanthropist Toby Lerner Ansin and ballet legend Edward Villella in Miami. It rapidly became one of the world's premier interpreters of George Balanchine's choreography.

Under the artistic direction of Lourdes Lopez since 2012, MCB has continued to flourish, presenting high-caliber dance performances across the U.S. and internationally.

With a repertoire of over 100 ballets, including 12 world premieres, MCB showcases a mix of classical works and innovative contemporary pieces.

The company also operates the Miami City Ballet School, established in 1993, which is among the largest dance training programs in the nation, emphasizing inclusivity and diversity in classical ballet.

Artistic Leadership

Lourdes Lopez, a former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, has been at the helm of Miami City Ballet since 2012. As Artistic Director and CEO, she has brought her vast experience as a performer and choreographer to MCB, infusing the company with a new level of technical precision and artistic expression.

With strong ties to the ballet world, Lopez has taken MCB on a journey of growth and expansion, collaborating with renowned choreographers such as Alexei Ratmansky, Liam Scarlett, and Justin Peck.

Her innovative vision and leadership have earned her numerous accolades and awards, solidifying MCB's reputation as one of the leading ballet companies in the world.

Types Of Performances

Miami City Ballet (MCB) showcases a diverse range of performances, blending the rich heritage of classical ballet with contemporary innovation. Central to its repertoire are the works of George Balanchine, reflecting MCB's foundation in Balanchine's technique and style.

In addition to these, MCB stages beloved classical ballets that are fundamental to the art form, offering audiences a taste of traditional ballet's beauty and narrative depth.

The company is also committed to contemporary ballet, commissioning world premieres and featuring pieces by groundbreaking choreographers, thus pushing the boundaries of dance.

Season highlights include the cherished holiday classic, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, and a variety of repertory programs that present a mix of these styles, demonstrating MCB's versatility and its role in advancing the dance scene.

Where they are located

Miami City Ballet is headquartered in Miami Beach, Florida, at the Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Center. This state-of-the-art facility, designed by the renowned architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia of ARQUITECTONICA, serves as the heart of MCB's artistic creation, training, and administrative operations.

The 63,000 square foot building includes eight rehearsal studios, a 200-seat theater created by combining two studios, school facilities, wardrobe department, costume shop, and a fully equipped therapy room.

Situated in a vibrant cultural hub, the center supports MCB's mission to be a leading force in dance, both locally and internationally. MCB's presence in Miami Beach places it at the crossroads of the Americas, reflecting the city's diverse cultural landscape in its programming and outreach activities.

How Miami City Ballet is Making an Impact

Miami City Ballet (MCB) has been making a significant impact on the community since its inception. Through their education and outreach programs, MCB strives to make ballet accessible to all, regardless of age or socio-economic background.

Their School Outreach Program provides dance instruction and scholarships to over 19,000 students annually throughout Miami-Dade County. The MCB Community Outreach Program offers free performances and lecture-demonstrations to underserved communities, reaching over 5,000 people each year.

In addition, MCB partners with local organizations to present dance classes and workshops for individuals with special needs, promoting inclusivity in the art form.

Through these initiatives, MCB is fulfilling its mission of enriching the cultural landscape of Miami and beyond, and inspiring future generations to appreciate and participate in the beauty of ballet.

Features of the Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Center

The Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Center, MCB's headquarters, boasts a range of unique features that make it an ideal space for artistic creation and community engagement.

Aside from its state-of-the-art studios and theater, the center also includes a costume shop with over 9,000 costumes, a ballet library, and an archive of MCB's performances and history.

One particularly notable feature is the "Marjorie S. Fisher Dance Studio," named after the founder of Miami City Ballet School, which features a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that provide natural light for dancers during rehearsals.

Overall, the Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Center stands as a symbol of MCB's commitment to excellence and innovation in the world of ballet.

Future Goals and Plans

As Miami City Ballet continues to thrive under the leadership of Lourdes Lopez, it has set ambitious goals for the future. One of its main objectives is to continue expanding its repertoire by commissioning new works from emerging choreographers and collaborating with renowned dance companies from around the world.

MCB also plans to further grow its education and outreach programs, reaching even more students and communities across Miami-Dade County.

Additionally, the company aims to continue building a diverse and inclusive environment within its School and Company, fostering a sense of unity and belonging among its dancers, faculty, staff, and audiences.

Through these goals and plans, Miami City Ballet is determined to continue pushing the boundaries of classical ballet while staying true to its foundation in George Balanchine's legacy.

In doing so, MCB will remain a leading force in the dance world, inspiring audiences and future generations with its commitment to excellence, inclusivity, and diversity.

Support Miami City Ballet

Miami City Ballet's impact reaches far beyond the stage. Through its performances, education and outreach programs, and community engagement initiatives, MCB is making a difference in the lives of thousands of individuals in Miami and beyond.

By supporting MCB, you are not only helping sustain a world-class ballet company but also investing in the enrichment of your community.

Your support enables MCB to continue presenting exceptional performances, nurturing the next generation of dancers, and promoting the art form to a wider audience.

Join Miami City Ballet in its mission to make ballet accessible to all and experience the beauty and innovation of this renowned ballet company firsthand. So why not become a part of the MCB family today and help shape the future of dance?

How to Get Involved

There are several ways to get involved with Miami City Ballet and support its mission. One way is to attend their performances and spread the word about the company's work through social media and word of mouth.

Another way is to become a member or donor, as contributions from individuals play a crucial role in sustaining MCB's operations and programs.

For those interested in pursuing dance as a career, MCB offers year-round programs through its School and summer intensive programs, providing top-notch training from world-renowned instructors.

Volunteering opportunities are also available, allowing individuals to contribute their time and skills to furthering the company's mission.

By getting involved with Miami City Ballet, you not only support the arts but also play a part in shaping the future of dance. Every contribution, big or small, makes a difference and helps MCB continue its legacy of excellence and impact.


What can dedicated ballet aficionados expect from the upcoming season at Miami City Ballet?

Most dedicated ballet aficionados can look forward to an exhilarating season that honors the legacy of beloved pioneer choreographers like george balanchine's passing and Jerome Robbins, alongside contemporary masterpieces by Alonzo King. With exciting mixed programs that include both timeless classics and never before seen pieces, fans will experience the depth and diversity of ballet as an art form.

Are there any world premieres or company premieres planned for this season?

Yes, this season promises to be particularly special with the inclusion of a world premiere that is set to captivate audiences with its innovative choreography and compelling narrative. Additionally, the season will feature a company premiere of a work by acclaimed choreographer Alonzo King, known for his visionary approach to ballet. These premieres are part of our commitment to bringing fresh, dynamic content to our stage.

How does Miami City Ballet honor the legacy of George Balanchine following his passing?

Miami City Ballet pays homage to George Balanchine, one of the most revered choreographers in the ballet world, by continuing to perform his iconic works as part of our repertoire. Each season includes several performances from the Balanchine canon, ensuring that new generations of ballet fans alike can experience the genius of his choreography.

What can audiences expect from the mixed programs featured in the upcoming season?

Audiences can anticipate a rich tapestry of ballet with mixed program that showcase three or four ballets in a single evening. These powerhouse pieces range from the classic masterworks of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins to contemporary creations by Alonzo King.


Miami City Ballet's success and impact can be attributed to its dedication to excellence, innovation, and inclusivity. Through its education and outreach programs, community engagement initiatives, and commitment to diversity, MCB is making ballet accessible to all and inspiring future generations to appreciate and participate in this beautiful art form.

With its state-of-the-art Ophelia & Juan Js. Roca Center, ambitious goals for the future, and various ways to get involved, Miami City Ballet continues to push the boundaries of classical ballet while honoring its roots in Balanchine's legacy.

So come join MCB on its journey to redefine the world of dance, and be a part of something truly special. As they say, "dance is for everyone," and Miami City Ballet is leading the charge in making that a reality.

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Miami City Ballet


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