Best Dance Company - 2006
Miami City Ballet
Miami Beach is known for its beaches, clubs, tycoons, and fashionistas, but it should also be thought of for ballet. The Beach is home to one of the nation's top ballet companies. Magic City balletomanes got lucky in 1986 when dancer Edward Villella became the troupe's founding artistic director. Under Villella's leadership, the little company has grown into a giant: 47 dancers, more than 70 annual performances in South Florida, a thriving ballet school, and a reputation for innovative dance. Classics such as George Balanchine's The Nutcracker and Giselle are regularly performed. But the Miami City Ballet also performs contemporary works by choreographers like Twyla Tharp and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Beginning this fall, ballet lovers can enjoy pas de deux in the Miami Performing Arts Center. And one of the nicest things for dance lovers is the theater used for the company's contemporary performances: the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Theatre, an intimate 200-seat space in Miami Beach where no view is a bad one. Individual ticket prices range from $19.95 to $105.