The legendary choreographer George Balanchine once said, “ballet is woman,” and that seems to be the case, considering the scarcity of boys aspiring to become ballet dancers compared to the legions of girls. But of the girls who grow up to become top dancers, few have actually graduated into the upper levels of leadership.
On September 4th, the Miami City Ballet suddenly announced the company’s founder, Edward Villella, had resigned that morning from his post as artistic director 8 months earlier than planned. Not only is Villella one of America’s most famous dancers, he is one of South Florida’s biggest cultural commodities. In 25 years, he created a world-class ballet company from scratch and helped spark Miami’s arts renaissance. But, the last year at Miami City Ballet had been marked by financial troubles and power struggles. Insiders claimed that Villella had been forced out.
These days, Miami City Ballet and its school have slick, professional brochures and world-renowned performers. Linda Villella started the Miami City Ballet School because she wanted a convenient place for her daughter to dance.
An era is ending at Miami City Ballet. In addition to the resignation of its founding director Edward Villella, his wife Linda is stepping down from her post at the helm of Miami City Ballet School on August 31st.
A former professional ice skater, she never intended to immerse herself in the ballet world and follow her husband’s artistic pursuits. The idea sprung from her desire to create a ballet school for her daughter, Crista. She wanted a ballet school closer to her husband's Miami Beach company.