Jovani Furlan in George Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht Ballet. Daniel Azoulay, Courtesy NYCB.
New York City Ballet announced on Facebook earlier this week that current Miami City Ballet principal Jovani Furlan will be joining the company as a soloist this fall. Furlan, a native of Joinville, Brazil, left Brazil's Bolshoi Theater School in 2011 to train at the MCB School; he joined the company as an apprentice in 2012 and has quickly made his way through the ranks.
Edward Villella, Arthur Mitchell and Jacques dAmboise. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for National Dance Institute
After 50 years, George Balanchine's New York City Ballet male dancers—Jacques d'Amboise, Edward Villella and Arthur Mitchell—were reunited. The one-night-only event at the National Dance Institute in New York City (founded by d'Amboise in 1976) provided a rare glimpse of what it was like to work with Mr. B. during ballet's golden years at NYCB.
The three men, all in their early 80s, discussed everything from their ballet beginnings: Villella being dragged with his sister to class, to dancing with "Balanchine's gals" (as d'Amboise referred to them), several of whom were in attendance, including Patricia McBride and Suki Schorer. Sprinkled throughout the discussion was video footage of the three men performing memorable roles choreographed by Balanchine. Current NYCB members Joaquin de Luz, Sterling Hyltin, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Teresa Reichlen, Daniel Ulbricht and Ask La Cour Rasmussen also performed live excerpts from Prodigal Son, Agon, Apollo and Tarantella.
In the August 1977 issue of Dance Magazine, cover star Patricia McBride told us, "My first performance with [New York City Ballet] was as an apprentice in Symphony in C. It was a disaster. There's a very complicated tendu combination that the ensemble does in unison, framing the stage. I was right in front and I was so nervous I got out of sync and my foot was going out when everyone else's was going in, and of course my arms were going the wrong way, too. I thought I was going to be fired right there and then." Needless to say, that didn't happen. McBride danced at NYCB for over 30 years, with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins both creating iconic roles in their ballets for the fearless dancer, from Who Cares? to Dances at a Gathering. She continues to teach and coach, and is the recipient of a 1980 Dance Magazine Award and a 2014 Kennedy Center Honor.