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What a difference a year makes! Last year, South Florida arts venues, theater and dance companies and musical ensembles were still cautiously resuming operations amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Schedules were tentative and audiences skittish about public events.  

Masks are now optional and negative tests are no longer required to attend. Patrons have returned and nonprofits that were teetering on the brink of financial collapse have shored up their finances, thanks to generous donors, foundations and government grants.  

Arts lovers are being rewarded with spectacular seasons at the region’s three world-class performing arts centers, award-winning regional theaters and concert halls. Here are some of the highlights of the 2022-23 arts season in South Florida.

Miami City Ballet

Miami City Ballet (MCB) will celebrate its 37th season at the Arsht, Broward and Kravis Centers with a busy schedule filled with some of ballet’s most revered works, including John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Jerome Robbins’s “West Side Story Suite,” “Afternoon of a Faun,” and the company premiere of “Antique Epigraphs.”  

The season will also include the company’s signature George Balanchine masterworks “Square Dance,” “Symphony in C,” and “Symphony in Three Movements.” Martha Graham’s joyous “Diversion of Angels,” will become the first Graham work to enter MCB’s repertory.  

And in MCB’s continued commitment to usher in diverse and ground-breaking voices, MCB will debut three world premiere commissions by noteworthy choreographers. In her second commission for the company, Amy Hall Garner will explore the interplay between ballet and modern dance. Also by Garner, “Rita Finds Home,” a co-production with the Joffrey Ballet, will be part of the company’s community engagement programming.  

Swedish-born multimedia choreographer Pontus Lidberg will premiere an original work set to music by Philip Glass. Then, prodigies from the worlds of fashion and ballet collide when MCB School alumnus Durante Verzola and famed Colombian/Miamian designer Esteban Cortázar collaborate on a new work set to Cuban/American composer Ernesto Lecuona.  

No season is complete without the holiday magic of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.”

Following a triumphant 2021-22 season that saw sold-out performances of both “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Alexei Ratmansky’s Swan Lake (MCB’s largest production to date), the company also completed its Transforming Lives Campaign.

The capital campaign had an initial goal of raising an unprecedented amount for the company: $55 million. MCB not only reached this goal but has exceeded it, raising an estimated $58 million. Funds raised support four pillars identified as crucial to delivering the company’s mission: artistic expansion, community building, dance education, and organizational capacity. A formal announcement on the completion of the Transforming Lives Campaign is expected in the coming week.  

Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez said, “Ballet has this wonderful ability to transport us to faraway places and cultures, to unleash the imagination, and to entertain us. This past season has been nothing short of extraordinary, having presented an uplifting season filled with programs that touched upon themes of love, betrayal, and the ultimate power of forgiveness. We again share stories that traverse time and emotion this season, reminding us that we are all connected. Beginning with one of the greatest love stories of all time, Romeo and Juliet.”  

Lopez continued, “And with the highly successful completion of the Transforming Lives Campaign, MCB’s momentum is at an all-time high. We are excited to build upon this extraordinary moment for the organization and look forward to bringing our audiences performances that honor ballet’s illustrious past while propelling the art form into the future as we continue to strengthen and grow the organization.”

This vignette is a part of our annual Fall Arts Preview in the Mirror, now on stands. You can read our magazine here.