Ballet brawler: Edward Villella profiled

Dance
Very impressive, comprehensive reportage on Edward Villella‘s whirlwind tour through the ballet company he founded, Miami City Ballet. The profile of Villella written by Miami-based dance critic Jordan Levin — it’s a story she lived. My sole quibble is with the title — The Spectacular Rise & Fall of Edward Villella, ‘America’s Baryshnikov — I ...

Rachel Maddow hails dancing brothers & sisters from Cuba 2

Dance · Language & ideas
Mr. Obama, tear down that wall! In her news broadcast last night, MSNBC commentator/anchorwoman Rachel Maddow gave a righteous shout-out to the Cuban-expatriate (really “exile’ is the proper expression up till now) classical dancers who grace our major ballet companies — and oh yes, for good measure Maddow also notes sports figures! Featured dance companies ...

Gang warfare quelled by dancer love — backstage at Miami City Ballet 3

Dance · Film
On stage, it was “The Jets are gonna have their way …  tonight.” It was the premiere of Jerome Robbins‘s “West Side Story Suite” at Miami City Ballet. A big tangle of tension, gang hatred, rumble, and knife-fight. But backstage, a cross-generational love fest took hold, as George Chakiris, the iconic Sharks gang-leader, now retired, ...

A rumble, with love, at Miami City Ballet 2

Dance · Film
Valentine’s Day love continues to take new and different forms. This year, February 14, 2014, in serendipitous Miami, Florida, a love connection of a special sort occurred at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. It was a backstage visit by Oscar-winning dancer/actor George Chakiris following Miami City Ballet’s premiere performance of “West Side ...

West Side Story’s George Chakiris to host Miami City Ballet gala 4

Dance · Film
The distinction — true, false or otherwise — between so-called commercial dancers and those of the “concert” dance world will be breached February 14, 2014, when George Chakiris, “Bernardo” in WEST SIDE STORY (1961), hosts a gala to benefit Miami City Ballet, one of the nation’s leading classical ballet companies. Chakiris, who began his long ...

Edward Villella: The prodigal son returns to New York

Dance
arts·meme features guest writer Sarah Morton’s report on a special event that took place in New York last night. ♦        ♦        ♦ Edward Villella says he’s thrilled to be back in New York City, and if the audience at the Paley Center for Media Monday night is any indication, New York is just as thrilled ...

Our Lady of Lourdes blesses Miami City Ballet 1

Dance
Oh thank you, dear merciful Our Lady of Lourdes. And thank you to the 11-member committee, who along with Miami City Ballet’s new executive director, Nicholas Goldsborough, conducted the search for a successor to Edward Villella. You anointed in this heavenly role the French patron-saint’s name sake — Lourdes Lopez. And she’s a woman! Er .. ...

Lourdes Lopez to succeed Edward Villella at Miami City Ballet

Dance
In an electrifying announcement, Miami City Ballet shares the news that Lourdes Lopez, the Cuban-born and Miami-raised former ballerina with New York City Ballet, has been named successor to Edward Villella, the company’s founding artistic director who is soon to retire. Ms. Lopez’s post will commence in Miami City Ballet’s 2013-14 season. Mr. Villella’s immense ...

Edward Villella … just because

Dance
Because we love him, a marvelous photo of Edward Villella in the beautiful ballet digs he built for his company in Miami Beach. We wish him a Happy New Year. [photo is clickable]  photo: Al Diaz/Miami Herald

Villella violated

Dance
Since writing in the Los Angeles Times a few weeks ago about local hero (he got Disney Hall built) Nicholas Goldsborough’s appointment at Miami City Ballet in an executive function, we’ve been hearing screams through the grapevine that things are in a mess in Miami. A story in the NYT clarifies  — while setting the ...