Toby Ansin (née Lerner; born January 3, 1941) is the founder of Miami City Ballet and widow of [ full citation needed ] Edmund Ansin, co-founder of Sunbeam Television In 1985, she founded Miami City Ballet, a dance company that altered the cultural landscape of the city of Miami and which subsequently acquired a national and international reputation. Ansin has continuously served on the Board of Trustees since its founding. Miami City Ballet is the largest South Florida arts organization reaching an annual audience of over 125,000 in four Florida counties. It includes a ballet school with over 1500 students and adults.
Ansin attended Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts for her freshman year, then transferred to Buckingham School, now Buckingham Browne & Nichols, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating in 1959. She attended Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts from September 1959 until June 1961. Shortly after marrying Edmund Ansin she transferred to the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, graduating cum laude in 1963 with a B.A. in American History.
From 1976 to 1981 she was Chairperson of The Fine Arts of Beth David, Miami, Florida.Under her leadership in 1978 she presented the Pearl Lang Dance Company; in 1979 pianist Emanuel Ax; and in 1980 cellist Nathaniel Rosen. In September, 1980, in collaboration with art dealer, Barbara Gillman, Ansin organized the personal appearance of Andy Warhol in Miami and the world premiere of his Ten Portraits of Jews of The 20th Century. From 1982 to 1987 she was a councilperson on the Dade County Council of Arts and Sciences, and assisted in creating, implementing, and serving as liaison to The Dance Umbrella, a service organization for the dance companies of Dade County, Florida. In 1985, David Eden, artistic consultant to the Dance Umbrella and a colleague of Ansin's, aware of her interest in creating a professional ballet company in South Florida, suggested she meet and consult with Edward Villella on what were the necessary steps to form a ballet company. On May 14, 1985, Villella came to Ansin's home in Coral Gables, Florida and met with her for three hours to discuss the specific artistic, administrative, and financial steps required to form a professional dance company. After he left she called 6 friends, each of whom, along with Ansin contributed a thousand dollars, the seminal funds that resulted in the creation of the founding board of trustees and the recruiting of Villella, initially as a consultant, then on a one-year contract as artistic director. Once a professional administrative staff was in place, she focused her efforts on fund raising, special events, and public relations. In 1987, she flew to Monte Carlo, Monaco and personally arranged for the visit of her Serene Highness Princess Caroline of Monaco to Miami the following April to benefit Miami City Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and the Princess Grace Foundation. For 27 years she worked without compensation, until her longtime companion, Leonard J. Rapport, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, requiring her to retire from active participation at MCB, (except for remaining on the board of directors), to care for him until his death ten months later. Today she remains an active board member. Every year, since 2010, The Toby Lerner Ansin Scholarship Award is given to the most promising dancer in the MCB school.
Toby Lerner Ansin was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Dr. Henry H. Lerner, a radiologist and Helen (née Kruger) Lerner. She married Edmund N. Ansin on June 11, 1961, and had three children with him: Andrew Lerner Ansin, who works at Sunbeam Properties; James Lerner Ansin, who works at Sunbeam Television Corporation (both companies owned by their father, Edmund); and Stephanie Lerner Ansin, founder and artistic director of the Miami Theater Center. Toby Lerner Ansin and Edmund N. Ansin were divorced in November 1983. Her brother Bennett Lerner is a concert pianist who made his debut at the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City in 1976.Since 2013, she has been in a committed relationship with Sanford Evans, a retired, multi-award winning New York advertising creative director.
George Balanchine was a Georgian American ballet choreographer, recognized as one of the most influential choreographers of the 20th-century. Styled as the father of American ballet, he co-founded the New York City Ballet and remained its artistic director for more than 35 years. His choreography is characterized by plotless ballets with minimal costume and décor, performed to classical and neoclassical music.
New York City Ballet (NYCB) is a ballet company founded in 1948 by choreographer George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein. Balanchine and Jerome Robbins are considered the founding choreographers of the company. Léon Barzin was the company's first music director. City Ballet grew out of earlier troupes: the Producing Company of the School of American Ballet, 1934; the American Ballet, 1935, and Ballet Caravan, 1936, which merged into American Ballet Caravan, 1941; and directly from the Ballet Society, 1946.
Elizabeth Marie Tallchief was an American ballerina. She was considered America's first major prima ballerina. She was the first Native American to hold the rank, and is said to have revolutionized ballet.
Suzanne Farrell is an American ballerina and the founder of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
The School of American Ballet (SAB) is the associate school of the New York City Ballet, a ballet company based at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The school trains students from the age of six, with professional vocational ballet training for students aged 11–18. Graduates of the school achieve employment with leading ballet companies worldwide, and in the United States with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Houston Ballet.
Edward Villella is an American ballet dancer and choreographer. He is frequently cited as America's most celebrated male dancer of ballet at the time. He has won numerous awards, including the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Special, the Kennedy Center Honors, and the National Medal of Arts.
Sunbeam Television Corporation is a privately held broadcasting company based in Miami, Florida, that owns three television stations in the United States. Since the company's founding in 1953, it has been under the control of the Ansin family.
The Miami Conservatory is a school of ballet and classical dance, located in South Miami, Florida. Founded in 1949 by Thomas Armour, it is the oldest school of ballet in South Florida.
Wendy Whelan is an American ballet dancer. She was principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and performed with the company for 30 years, and toured in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Whelan has also been an influential guest artist with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company. In 2019, Whelan was named Associate Artistic Director of New York City Ballet.
Miami City Ballet is an American ballet company based in Miami Beach, Florida, led by artistic director Lourdes Lopez.
Tarantella is a ballet choreographed by George Balanchine to Grande Tarantelle by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, arranged by Hershy Kay. The ballet premiered on January 7, 1964, at the New York City Center, performed by New York City Ballet's Patricia McBride and Edward Villella.
Kathryn Elizabeth Morgan is an American ballet dancer. She joined New York City Ballet in 2006 and was promoted to the rank of soloist in 2009. Morgan left New York City Ballet in 2012 due to health complications related to her suffering from Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Throughout her recovery, Morgan taught ballet and performed as a guest artist. From 2019 to 2020 she was a soloist at Miami City Ballet.
Lourdes Lopez is a Cuban-American ballet company artistic director of Miami City Ballet and former principal dancer of New York City Ballet. She is also a member of the board of trustees of the Ford Foundation. She received the prestigious Dance Magazine Award in 2018.
Holly Hynes is an accomplished, award-winning costume designer with over 250 ballets to her credit, including more than 70 at the New York City Ballet. Hynes' designs are also on view in companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Kirov Ballet, Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, La Scala Theatre Ballet, Koninklijk Ballet van Vlaanderen, Houston Ballet, BalletMet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet Vancouver, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, American Repertory Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she served as the resident costume designer for 19 years.
Edmund N. Ansin was an American billionaire and co-founder of Sunbeam Television. He was credited with being an innovator in the television news industry, breaking away from the conventional mold that had been used by other independent stations. His approach ended up being a success, first in Miami and then in Boston.
Patricia Neary is an American ballerina, choreographer and ballet director, who has been particularly active in Switzerland. She has also been an ambassador for the Balanchine Trust, bringing George Balanchine's ballets to 60 cities around the globe.
Justin Peck is an American choreographer, director, and dancer associated with New York City Ballet, of which he was appointed Resident Choreographer in July 2014, being the second person in the history of the institution to hold this title. In 2018 he won the Tony Award for Best Choreography for his work on the third Broadway revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. Peck also choreographed the 2021 Steven Spielberg film West Side Story, an adaptation of the musical.
Patricia Delgado is an American ballet dancer, répétiteur and teacher. She joined the Miami City Ballet in 2000, was promoted to principal dancer in 2007 and left in 2017. Since then, she performs as a freelance dancer, stages works by Justin Peck and teaches ballet at The Juilliard School part-time. She served as an associate producer in the 2020 Broadway revival of West Side Story and as associate choreographer of the 2021 film adaptation of the musical.
Francia Russell is the former co-artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet and former director of Pacific Northwest Ballet School, from 1977 to 2005. She was a soloist with the New York City Ballet, where she later became ballet master. In 1975, Russell became co-artistic director of Frankfurt Ballet with her husband, Kent Stowell, and in 1977, they accepted the position of artistic directors of Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Washington. With Stowell, Russell built Pacific Northwest Ballet from a local organization to one of national and international prominence.
Jovani Furlan is a Brazilian ballet dancer. He joined the Miami City Ballet in 2012, and was promoted to principal dancer in 2017. In 2019, he left the company to join the New York City Ballet as a soloist, and became a principal dancer in 2022.