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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ballet Legend Edward Villella Looks Back On Career

photo
Edward Villella "Prodigal Son" -- 1960. (Courtesy of PhotoFest New York City)Edward Villella and Patricia McBride "Harlequinade" -- 1965. (Courtesy of PhotoFest New York City)Edward Villella in 2010. (Courtesy of Gio Alma)

Edward Villella has been called America’s greatest male classical dancer. He joined the New York City Ballet in 1957, under the tutelage of choreographer George Balanchine.

Villella likens Balanchine to Mozart and Shakespeare, and “Mr. B,” as he was called by his dancers, created some of his greatest ballets for Villella.

Since 1986, he’s been at the helm of the Miami City Ballet, the company he founded after he stopped performing. He recently announced that when the 2012 – 2013 season ends, he’ll retire.

Villella looked back on his career with Here & Now’s Robin Young, noting that as a young dancer “when that curtain went up, I couldn’t wait to hit the stage. I didn’t walk… I just burst onto a stage,” he said.

Guest:

  • Edward Villella, founder and artistic director of the Miami City Ballet

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