Edward Villella Talks to NYC Tonight

posted by Wendy Perron on Monday, Mar 11, 2013
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Edward Villella in Balanchine's Prodigal Son, Dance Magazine Archives

Get your fill of Edward Villella’s past as one of the most dazzling male stars of New York City Ballet ever. He’ll be interviewed tonight by his daughter Crista Villella, as part of the “Words on Dance” series at the Paley Center for Media, and they will be showing rarely seen TV and film clips. (Click here for reservations.)

 

In case you don’t know the lore of NYC’s own Edward Villella, he originated leading roles in Balanchine’s Jewels (that unstoppable lead guy in "Rubies" was him), Bugaku, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and of course made Prodigal Son and Tarantella prodigious again. He also originated the man in brown of Robbins’ A Dances at a Gathering as well as, later in life, Watermill. He won many awards, including a Dance Magazine Award in 1964.

Villella was called down south to found Miami City Ballet in 1986 and led the Balanchine-based company to great things for more than 25 years, crowned by the company’s huge success in Paris a couple years ago.

Now that he’s been (rather harshly) cut loose from Miami City Ballet, he’s got some time to explore other avenues. (See Dance Teacher’s cover story on him.)  He is also coaching Prodigal Son at Cincinnati Ballet, to be performed March 22–23. Those lucky dancers!