The upheaval at Miami City Ballet continued Friday, as the company announced that Linda Villella, director of the company’s school, will step down Aug. 31. She will be temporarily replaced by incoming artistic director Lourdes Lopez, who is slated to replace founding artistic director Edward Villella when he retires April 30, at the end of the 2012-2013 season.
The wife of Edward Villella, Linda Villella launched the school in 1993. Since then it has grown into one of the top ballet schools in the country, with a budget of $1.5 million, 375 students in the regular winter program and another 200 in its just-completed summer intensive. A number of the troupe’s dancers, including Miami sisters Patricia and Jeanette Delgado and Brazilians Kleber Rebelo and Renan Cerdeiro, have trained there.
Villella said the turmoil surrounding her husband’s retirement had taken a toll.
“The last few months have been emotionally tough for me, and it is now a good time for me to leave,” she said Friday.
A company spokesman said Lopez would be interim director until a permanent replacement could be found, and that no changes were planned for the school’s curriculum or staff.