Ballet Pirouettes Into Miami's Soul

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Miami City Ballet
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By Shayne Benowitz

Miami is home to a variety of professional ballet companies that will excite lovers of dance throughout the year, as well as a renowned ballet festival.

Miami’s reputation as an international cultural capital extends to the performing arts and ballet. A variety of world-class professional ballet companies call Miami home, with performances held throughout the year. If you happen to visit in September you can also experience the International Ballet Festival of Miami, when more than 20 companies from around the world perform throughout the destination.

Ballet Companies & Venues

Miami City Ballet dancers
The Miami City Ballet performs a wide range of styles like classical, modern and more

Miami City Ballet

Founded in 1985, Miami City Ballet is Miami’s premier professional ballet company. It is hailed by The New York Times as “one of America’s most beloved dance companies.” This year, Miami City Ballet is sharing its new reimagined season of dance celebrating its 35th anniversary. Through a combination of special and unique performances around Miami, online premieres of its most memorable performances and new works made for the digital screen, the company is bringing joy and inspiration through the art of dance.

Miami City Ballet has more than 50 established professional dancers and a repertoire that features classical, modern, neo-classical and contemporary works. In order to preserve Miami’s performing arts scene, the company established a pre-professional training academy, The Miami City Ballet School, which serves nearly 900 students each year at its Miami Beach campus.

With a season that runs from October through April, its annual holiday production of “The Nutcracker” is always a sellout. Other favorite ballets include classics like “Swan Lake” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as well as forays into modern dance with Twyla Tharp’s “In the Upper Room.” Miami City Ballet always presents a dynamic program for Miami’s loyal ballet patrons as well as those looking for an unforgettable night.

dancers onstage
Enjoy the classical stylings of Ballet Etudes of South Florida

Ballet Etudes of South Florida

Based in Hialeah, Ballet Etudes of South Florida is a classical ballet company founded in 1974. It produces a season of full-length ballets. It’s also a school for the next generation of prima ballerinas. Ballet Etudes of South Florida is a cornerstone of Miami’s performing arts and cultural community. This season looks a little different, so please follow up on the company’s website to get the latest information about its virtual performances or in-person shows.

Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida

Under the artistic direction of Vladimir Issaev, the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida performs classical ballets. The company performs throughout Miami at venues including The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater, the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center and the Julius Littman North Miami Beach Performing Arts Theatre. This year you can catch many of its performances virtually, including “Winter” with music by Verdi and choreography by Maestro Vladimir.

exterior of Adrienne Arsht Center
Head to the Adrienne Arsht Center for performances by touring companies

Touring Companies at The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

While it’s home to the Miami City Ballet, the Adrienne Arsht Center is also Miami’s hub for touring dance troupes, from BatSheva Israeli Dance Company to the Malpaso Dance Company. Be sure to check the Arsht Center’s calendar before your visit.

latin dancer at sunset
See Miami's Latin heritage in motion with the Miami Hispanic Ballet

Miami Hispanic Ballet and the International Ballet Festival of Miami

Founded in 1993 by artistic director Pedro Pablo Peña, the Miami Hispanic Ballet Company was created to nurture professional dancers of Hispanic descent in Miami. Peña went on to create the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, based in Little Havana with performances throughout the destination, and the annual International Ballet Festival of Miami. One of the most successful ballet festivals in the country, the International Ballet Festival is a wonderful way to experience local, national and international ballet productions. The festival features more than 20 ballet companies, with spectacular performances by more than 100 principal dancers, as well as a dance film series, art exhibitions, book presentations, workshops and master classes.

Performances are held at The Colony Theatre, Miami Dade College's North Campus, The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse and other venues. Guests can expect performances from companies like South Africa’s Cape Town City Ballet, France’s B Compagnie, the Dutch National Ballet and Italy’s Ballet Teatro Alla Scala.

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