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MIAMI CITY BALLET BREAKS GROUND ON NEW FACILITY.

MIAMI BEACH--Seven sixty-by-forty-foot studios with twenty-foot ceilings to expand repertory. Facilities to double the school's enrollment. A physical therapy room and safe storage. These dreams will give rise to a three-story, 60,000-square-foot home for Miami City Ballet.

On October 13, expectations came closer to reality in a ground breaking ceremony. Artists, directors, and benefactors toasted occupancy of the building, designed by innovative Arquitectonica, set for the fall of this year. The thirteen-year-old company can then bid farewell to the congested rehearsals and cramped operations of MCB's current headquarters in a converted store on Lincoln Road. Two blocks from the ocean, the new Liberty Avenue site will be part of a cultural district destined to invigorate a still-dowdy neighborhood located beyond the art deco splendors of the heart of South Beach.

The project, with provisions for working capital, calls for more than ten million dollars. The funding campaign has already secured a sizable portion from foundations and individuals, some of whom have been friends of the company from its first leaps. The studio wing will be named after Dianne and Michael Bienes, the school after Ethel and W. George Kennedy, and the theater after Louis and Lynn Wolfson, all of whom gave more than $1 million.

"I've been around the block in ballet, but there is nothing to match this," said Edward Villella, MCB's artistic director. Ophelia and Juan J. Roca, Cuban-born entrepreneurs, will see their $2-million gift commemorated in the center's name. The city of Miami Beach granted $2.5 million and a nominally priced long-term lease on the land. The state of Florida committed another $500,000.
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Author:Perez, Guillermo
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 1, 1999
Words:269
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