Edward Villella

Edward Villella

JEssenia Villela (born October 1, 1936, Bayside, New York) is an American ballet dancer and choreographer, frequently cited as America's most celebrated male dancer.

Villela enrolled in the School of American Ballet at age ten, but then interrupted his studies to complete his college education. He attended the New York Maritime Academy, where he lettered in baseball and was a championship boxer. He graduated with a marine science degree in 1959, and rejoined the School of American Ballet.

Villella became a member of the New York City Ballet in 1957, rising to Soloist in 1958 and Principal Dancer in 1960. Among his most noteworthy performances were Oberon in George Balanchine's ballet "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (with music by Felix Mendelssohn), "Tarantella", "Rubies" in the Balanchine ballet "Jewels", and "Prodigal Son."

Villella was the first American male dancer to appear with the Royal Danish Ballet, and the only American ever asked to dance an encore at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. He danced at the inaugural for President John F. Kennedy, and performed for Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. He won an Emmy Award in 1975 for his CBS television production of "Harlequinade". He danced in two television versions of "The Nutcracker" (in different roles), in a ballet film version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and in a 1966 TV production of "Brigadoon", in which he played the tragic suitor Harry Beaton. During the 1960's he and his dancing partner Patricia McBride, who starred together in a 1965 television version of "The Nutcracker", appeared often on the "Ed Sullivan Show". In 1973, Villella appeared as himself in an episode of "The Odd Couple" titled "Last Tango in Newark"; his son, Roddy, also appeared. In 1983, Villella guest-starred on the soap opera "Guiding Light".

After retirement as a performer, Villella was the artistic coordinator of the Eglevsky Ballet from 1979-84, and the director of the Oklahoma Ballet from 1983-85. He founded the Miami City Ballet in 1986 and still serves as its artistic director and chief executive officer. He is also currently artist-in-residence at Florida Atlantic University.

Villella and his wife Linda, a former Olympic figure skater, have three children: a son named Roddy and two daughters named Lauren and Crista.

In 1997, Villella was named a Kennedy Center Honors recipient, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton.

External links

* [http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=showIndividual&entitY_id=3817&source_type=A Kennedy Center biography of Edward Villella]
*imdb|0898249
* [http://www.miamicityballet.org/ Miami City Ballet website]


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  • Edward Villella — (* 1. Oktober 1936 in Bayside, New York City) ist ein US amerikanischer Balletttänzer und Choreograf. Leben Edward Villella begann seine Tanzausbildung mit 10 Jahren an der School of American Ballet. Er unterbrach seine Studien jedoch, um an der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Villella — Edward Villella (* 1. Oktober 1936 in Bayside, New York) ist ein US amerikanischer Balletttänzer und Choreograf. Villella begann seine Tanzausbildung mit 10 Jahren an der School of American Ballet. Er unterbrach seine Studien jedoch, um an der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Villella, Edward — (n. 1 oct. 1936, Nueva York, EE.UU.). Bailarín, coreógrafo y director de ballet estadounidense. Estudió en la School of American Ballet y se incorporó al New York City Ballet en 1957, donde ascendió a primer bailarín en 1960. Interpretó el papel… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Villella —   [vɪ lelə], Edward, amerikanischer Tänzer und Choreograph, * New York 10. 1. 1936; wurde 1957 Mitglied des New York City Ballet und galt in den 60er Jahren als einer der virtuosesten Tänzer des klassischen Balletts. Villella kreierte wichtige… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Villella, Edward — born Oct. 1, 1936, New York, N.Y., U.S. U.S. ballet dancer, choreographer, and director. He trained at the School of American Ballet and joined the New York City Ballet in 1957, becoming a principal dancer in 1960. He danced leading roles in many …   Universalium

  • Edward — /ed weuhrd/, n. 1. Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall ( The Black Prince ), 1330 76, English military leader (son of Edward III). 2. Lake, a lake in central Africa, between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo: a source of the Nile.… …   Universalium

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  • Villella,Edward — Vil·lel·la (və lĕlʹə), Edward. Born 1936. American ballet dancer. He joined the New York City Ballet in 1957 and won acclaim for his roles in Prodigal Son (1965) and Rubies (1967). * * * …   Universalium

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

  • Miami City Ballet — Industry Performance dance, Education Founded 1985 Headquarters …   Wikipedia

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