The Miami City Ballet School has hired a new director of faculty and curriculum, Arantxa Ochoa, who joins MCB from the Pennsylvania Ballet. Ochoa joins an exodus from the longtime Philadelphia-based troupe, where almost 40% of dancers have recently been let go or are leaving as new artistic director Angel Corella, a former star of American Ballet Theater, remakes the company. Two of those dancers have already joined Miami City Ballet; principal dancer Lauren Fadeley, who will be a soloist at MCB, and corps dancer Amir Yogaev.
The Spanish-born and trained Ochoa joined the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1996, rising to principal dancer in 2001 and becoming one of the troupe’s most celebrated ballerinas, before becoming director of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet in 2014. She will start work at MCB’s school on August 1.
MCB executive director Michael Scolamiero also comes from the Philadelphia troupe. He led the company for 17 years before coming to Miami in 2014, shortly before Corella replaced longtime Pennsylvania Ballet artistic director Roy Kaiser.
MCB has also seen changes in the roster since artistic director Lourdes Lopez took over from founding artistic director Edward Villella in 2012, though not nearly to the degree seen at Pennsylvania. They have included longtime principal dancer Mary Carmen Catoya, who left in the spring of 2015 after her contract was not renewed, and principal dancers and married couple Jennifer Carlynn Kronenberg and Carlos Miguel Guerra, who left this spring.