Miami City Ballet names new Cuban-born artistic director

Lopez to succeed Edward Villella

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MIAMI - A Cuban-born dancer will be the new artistic director of the Miami City Ballet.

The ballet troupe announced Tuesday that Lourdes Lopez will succeed Edward Villella at the end of the 2012-2013 season.

Lopez is currently the director of the New York dance company Morphoses, co-founded by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.

Lopez was born in Havana and grew up in Miami. She joined the corps de ballet at the New York City Ballet at age 16 and became a principal dancer there in 1984.

Villella is a former New York City Ballet star. He founded the Miami Beach-based dance company in 1986.

Miami City Ballet has grown to a 45-member company that earned standing ovations during a tour in Paris in July.

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