Miami City Ballet’s $5 Million Knight Grant Supports Balanchine’s Nutcracker

George  Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”

George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”

Miami City B a l l e t , Florida’s intern a t i o n a l l y – a c c l a i m e d dance company, will expand its reach throughout South Florida on a community and artistic level with a new $5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This support will allow the company to add new works to its repertoire, including new commissions, to increase community outreach and visibility.

 Miami Beach Ballet’s 63,000-sqft, 2200 Liberty Ave. location.

Miami Beach Ballet’s 63,000-sqft, 2200 Liberty Ave. location.

“This grant will greatly enhance our repertoire, and it will help us become an even greater asset to the South Florida community,” says Miami City Ballet’s Executive Director Daniel Hagerty.

For its 2013-2014 season, Miami City Ballet Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez hopes to expand the Company’s repertoire by presenting existing masterworks by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, new to the Company and South Florida audiences, and works by some of the world’s leading choreographers such as Nacho Duato, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Wheeldon.

Born in Cuba, Lopez first came to Miami before her second birthday but left at the age of fourteen to pursue dance, going on to become a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, under the legendary choreographers, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. Lopez is also the Director of Morphoses, a contemporary dance company she co-founded with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.

“This grant will help broaden and deepen our penetration of existing and potential audiences and therefore cement Miami City Ballet’s ability to impact the South Florida community,” says Lopez. “South Florida has become a 21st century cultural mecca substantially due to the commitment and pioneering work of the Knight Foundation.”

Knight’s $23 million in new funding brings its total investment in South Florida’s diverse and dynamic cultural community to $86 million in six years.

Knight’s support includes funding for key arts institutions and for the continuation of the Knight Arts Challenge, a contest open to the entire South Florida community that has allowed artists to experiment and innovate over the past five years even amid a weak economy.

The $5 million grant, with funds to be distributed over the next five years, will help Miami City Ballet to plan, develop and initiate active, grass-roots community and educational outreach in the counties that it performs in (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Collier), add new works to its collection and commission new works by some of the world’s leading choreographers.

In the past years, Knight Foundation grants have helped fund Miami City Ballet’s Opus One Orchestra and world premieres of critically-acclaimed new works by choreographers such as Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett.

“Miami City Ballet’s success is critical to our arts community. As its reputation for artistic excellence grows, so does our region’s,” says Dennis Scholl, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. “New funding will help ensure their performances continue to be dynamic and engage a growing audience.”

The foundation’s grant has made performances such as the Christmas classic The Nutcracker possible. Florida’s Internationally Acclaimed Company, under the direction of Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez, presents its enchanting holiday production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Broward Center – Au-Rene Theater – December 14 through 16 in Fort Lauderdale and at the Adrienne Arsht Center – Ziff Ballet Opera House – December 20 through 24 in Miami. Students from Miami-Dade and Broward counties, enrolled in the prestigious Miami City Ballet School, will perform in the production along with the Company’s internationally-acclaimed dancers.

Based on the story The Nutcracker and The Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is a captivating tale of a little girl’s Christmas Eve dream about a handsome Prince, a mouse king, toy soldiers and dancers from faraway lands set to the beloved music of Tchaikovsky, brought to life by a cast of more than 100 dancers and children.

Nothing short of a feel-good, Broadway spectacular, this elaborate, full-scale musical stage production features glorious sets, lavish costumes and magical special effects. Families will be captivated watching a Christmas tree that soars from twelve to thirty feet tall, beautiful ballerinas dancing amid a live blizzard, flying sleighs, a Nutcracker doll that turns into a handsome Prince and fanciful choreography that takes the entire family on a magical journey to the Land of the Sweets.

With its sumptuous décor and dazzling character dance numbers, Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is a must-see holiday extravaganza for everyone, young and old: children, parents and grandparents!


Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Au-Rene Theater

201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

Friday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 15 at 2 & 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 16 at 1 & 6:30 p.m.

Adrienne Arsht Center for the

Performing Arts, Ziff Ballet Opera House

1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Thursday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, December 21 at 2 & 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 22 at 2 & 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 23 at 1 & 6:30 p.m.

Monday, December 24 at 1 p.m.

Tickets range in price from $20 to $74 and are available online at miamicityballet. org, at the MCB box office by phone at 305-929-7010 or toll-free at 877-929-7010 or in person: 2200 Liberty Ave., Miami Beach, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tickets are also on sale at Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-949-6722 or, and Broward Center, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale 954-462-0222 or

Miami City Ballet performs in the tri- County South Florida area: in Broward at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, in Miami-Dade at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and in Palm Beach at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. MCB is presented as the resident ballet company at the Naples Philharmonic Center in Naples, Florida. The Company also tours extensively. To learn more about the Knight Foundation, visit www.knightfoundation. org; to stay updated on Miami City Ballet’s upcoming 2013 performances, visit

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