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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.
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.