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  • Writer's pictureYendi

Lourdes Lopez, 2023 FACE Excellence Award Receipient for Performing Arts - Ballet

Lourdes López is the director of the Miami City Ballet. At age 16 she had joined the corps de ballet at the New York City Ballet where she became soloist and then principal dancer in renowned roles in George Balanchine’s Violin Concerto, Firebird, Serenade, Liebeslieder Walzer, Divertimento No. 15, and Agon and in Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering, Glass Pieces, Fancy Free, In the Night, Four Seasons and Brandenburg. She would go on to become Executive Director of the George Balanchine Foundation, which emphasizes his work and theMorphoses/The Wheeldon Company which aims to revitalize dance with artists from the worlds of music, visual arts, design, film, and fashion to capture a younger audience. Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company which aims to revitalize dance with artists from the worlds of music, visual arts, design, film, and fashion to capture a younger audience.

Lourdes López was born in Havana and raised in Miami along with two sisters. She began ballet lessons at age five, and at age 11 she received a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet moving there permanently at age 14. López is married and is the mother of two daughters, Adriel and Calliste.

Upon retirement as a dancer in 1997, López joined WNBC-TV in New York as a cultural arts reporter and producer. She also became a faculty member and director of student placement at New York's Ballet Academy East. She served as well on the dance faculty of Barnard College and guest taught at numerous institutions and festivals. She also appeared with Elmo and Zoe in Sesame Street.

Miami City Ballet is the largest South Florida arts organization, reaching an annual audience of over 125,000 in four Florida counties. It includes a ballet school with over 1500 students.

Dance Magazine named her a 2018 recipient of its prestigious Dance Magazine Awards, choosing López for her “…admirable stewardship of Miami City Ballet, building upon the company’s Balanchine legacy while also embracing the local culture and community of Miami,” and as “…an exemplary leader, someone whom dancers look up to and are inspired by.” In 2017, the magazine also named her one of “The Most Influential People in Dance Today.” She has received the prestigious Jerome Robbins Award and the American Immigration Law Foundation Award that honors Cuban Americans for their accomplishments and contributions to American society.

López co-founded The Cuban Artists Fund with community cultural leaders. It supports Cuban and Cuban American artists to achieve their artistic goals, while ensuring their economic freedom. In 2014, she was elected to the Ford Foundation’s Board of Trustees, the first artist to serve on this board. She is a member of The Kennedy Center Honors Artist Committee and she also served as a dance panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 2019 she was honored with Ballet Hispánico’s “Toda Una Vida” Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2021 she was awarded the prestigious “Una Vida para la Danza (A Life for Dance) by the International Ballet Festival of Miami. Under Lopez’s direction, Miami City Ballet has become one of the country’s premier ballet companies. According to The New York Times, “This troupe [is] at the forefront of all those dancing choreography by George Balanchine today…. Bold, light, immediate, intensely musical, the dancing of Miami City Ballet flies straight to the heart.”


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