Recession catches Miami ballet flat-footed

As the Miami City Ballet enters the height of its season -- a New York City debut and an inaugural collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra -- the 23-year-old dance troupe is grappling with a significant financial downturn.

In December, the ballet canceled live orchestral music for the rest of the season because of flagging ticket sales and donations. It also laid off at least two teachers, and now a Miami Beach city official says the group has depleted a $2 million reserve.

Ballet administrators declined requests for an interview but issued a prepared statement that acknowledged the troupe's troubles.

''Miami City Ballet, like many other small and large businesses across this nation, has been negatively impacted by the global financial crisis,'' the statement reads. ``We have seen some decline in ticket sales and donations this season.''

Read the complete story at