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Originally published Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM

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Lopez reveals plans for Miami ballet, its audience

Lourdes Lopez says she had heard the rumors about Miami City Ballet, that it was a failing institution in a cultural wasteland.

Associated Press

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. —

Lourdes Lopez says she had heard the rumors about Miami City Ballet, that it was a failing institution in a cultural wasteland.

But she says neither turned out to be true. The dance company's new artistic director said Thursday that she's found a vibrant arts scene and support for her ambitious plans.

Lopez's program for the ballet's 2013-14 season challenges the dancers and their audience with new choreographers. She's also planning to create a new curriculum for the company's dance school to include dance and music history, not just dance instruction.

Lopez took over at the ballet in September after the abrupt departure of its founding artistic director, Edward Villella. He was ousted after nearly a year of financial struggles and management shake-ups that threatened to overshadow the company.

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