Edward Villella to leave Miami City Ballet

The founder of Miami City Ballet will leave the company at the end of the 2012-13 season, the troupe announced Thursday.

Edward Villella - who started the company in 1985 in South Beach - said in a statement:

"My ambition from the start was to give Miami and South Florida a major dance company; my strategy was to proceed carefully and steadily, evolving rather than over-extending. Today it's no longer a fledgling operation with a limited repertory (almost entirely Balanchine) and an even more limited budget. Instead, it's a 45-plus group of brilliant dancers and has a range of ballets that stretches from the classics – Giselle, Coppélia, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet – to the choicest works by Balanchine's greatest successors (Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp). And recently we've been fortunate enough to be in a position to commission new works – the heart of every ballet company – from masters like Tharp and Alexei Ratmansky to Liam Scarlett, the youngest choreographer ever to be invited to create a new work for the main stage of Britain's Royal Ballet."