Edward Villella is basically a ballet saint. For years an incredibly charismatic principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, he went on to become the founding director of Miami City Ballet.
Villella photographed by Philippe Halsman in 1961
Now Villella is back in his native NYC, and his latest project involves...ice dancers.
Not where you thought I was going, is it? But in a way it makes total sense. Villella is married to former Olypmic figure skater Linda Carbonetto, after all. And there's always been a bit of natural overlap between the ballet and figure skating worlds. (Ever get the urge to slap pointe shoes on Olympic figure skaters? No? Just me? Well, it's at least true that the strongest ones are well-versed in ballet.)
Villella created his new piece, Reveries, for the Ice Theater of New York, which features some of the world's best ice dancers. He chose to choreograph to the Élégie from Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 3—a piece of music made famous by Villella's former director, George Balanchine. And according to the very nice New York Times review, there are hints of Balanchine throughout Villella's work.
An ice dance by a former ballet star paying tribute to a masterful ballet choreographer: Unexpected? Totally. Awesome? Definitely.
Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre performing “Reveries." Photo Julieta Cervantes/NYT.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.