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Conversations On Dance Podcast

The Conversations on Dance Podcast: Edward Villella Part II

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Happy #ConversationsTuesday! DanceWear Corner is the proud sponsor of the “Conversations on Dance” podcast.  Most recently, we helped take the podcast hosts Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden to New York to conduct in-person interviews with the ballet world’s best and brightest.  In the coming weeks they will be posting this content, and we can’t wait to share it with you!


edward villella balanchine dancer, george balanchine, edward villella, new york city ballet, miami city ballet, balanchine dancer, school of american ballet, balanchine ballet, coaching, rebecca king ferraro, michael sean breeden, miami city ballet dancers, professional dancers, jewels, tarantella, a midsummer night's dream, oberon, rubies, bugaku, patricia mcbride,Welcome to the second installment with Edward Villella, Balanchine Dancer and founding Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet.  Edward was hired into the New York City Ballet by George Balanchine in 1957 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 1970.  Balanchine created many famous roles on Edward including Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Rubies section of JewelsTarentella, and many others, which we discuss today.  Edward became quite famous, not only for his dancing, but his innumerable TV appearances during his career including “The Ed Sullivan Show” and an appearance on “The Odd Couple.”  After his dancing career, Villella founded the Miami City Ballet in 1985 and would remain at the helm for 27 years, developing it into a world renowned company (which we will discuss with him in Episode Three.)  Today Edward talks about working with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins and he tells Rebecca and Michael how he saw it as an important role to share ballet with the American Public, and how he still does.

To catch up on the first installment with Edward, tune into episode 47.

 

Listen now on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Listen through your browser at conversationsondancepod.com/listen-now

DanceWear Corner Master Class with ‘Conversations On Dance’ Hosts

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One of the great things about being a teacher, is the wonderful opportunity to shape the next generation of dancers.  When Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, the hosts of the “Conversations on Dance” podcast, teach a ballet class, they start with one simple question, “Who has heard of George Balanchine?”  In this post they explain why this questions is so important to them, as we excitedly await their Master Classes here at DanceWear Corner headquarters on August 13th.  This post will give you some insight into their vision and an idea of what to expect from their class.  Reserve your spot today with Michael and Rebecca before it fills up! You won’t want to miss this amazing opportunity for dancers of Orlando!

 


 

As teachers, it is so important to help young dancers develop their technique and understand how to execute steps.  But it’s even more important for us to offer them a history of the art form. By offering a context behind what they are doing, students receive a deeper appreciation for dance and become more motivated.  We must remind them that there have been many dancers before them who have danced the very same steps, as there will be many after them, but the way they do each step is entirely their own.  That’s the art.  That’s the very special thing about what we do.

This is our vision when we teach a master class.  We like to start at the beginning of our training and talk about a man who, though we never were able to meet him, has shaped our lives and our careers: George Balanchine.  He founded the School of American Ballet and the New York City Ballet, and is known as the “Father of American Ballet.”

American history is an essential part of every child’s education in this country.  And similarly, all ballet students should know about the history of dance in this country, and that starts with Balanchine.  He essentially brought ballet to this country when he arrived in 1933.  Though 1933 may seem like a long time ago to today’s students, when comparing it to the overall history of ballet, which spans centuries, Balanchine is quite modern.  Students today really are a part of his lineage, since their teachers were taught by teachers, who were taught by Balanchine.

George Balanchine founded The School of American Ballet with Lincoln Kirstein in 1934.  “But first a school,” he is famously quoted as saying.  The establishment of a school was integral to what Balanchine accomplished in this country: he created an incubator, where he could shape his dancers and give them the skills they needed to dance his ballets.  With the establishment of Ballet Society in 1946 (which would later become The New York City Ballet), he already had a base of dancers to pull from.  We want our students to know, this is why ballet school is so important: it is meant to prepare you for all that you do onstage and serves as a laboratory to develop as an artist.

Balanchine choreographed an incredible 425 ballets over his lifetime, and somewhere around 90 of his works still exist.  It was important to Balanchine that once he was gone, his ballets continue to be danced to his standards. In 1987, after his death, an organization called The Balanchine Trust was established to protect the remaining ballets.

Before establishing The New York City Ballet, Balanchine spent time choreographing for Broadway and for major films in Hollywood.  These experiences contributed to, among other things, his unique style that fused technique from his background in classical ballet, with other schools of movement.  Here is a brief list of some of the characteristics of a Balanchine aesthetic for ballet:

  • Speed and articulation
  • Musicality
  • Deep plies
  • Emphasis on lines
  • Abstract arms
  • Hand placement
  • Pirouette from a lunge with a straight back leg
  • Spotting front for turns
  • An athletic dance quality

These unique characteristics are built upon a classical ballet foundation, which all ballet students understand.  These options that we present dancers with allow them to place finishing touches on their dancing creating a professional look.  Just knowing that these differences in style exist in ballet, prepares students for any future audition class where they may be asked to execute step in this way. Our students are able to take some of their classical technique and expound upon that by adding more extreme movements.  I could tell they were really enjoying the experience of learning a piece of ballet choreography that was out of their comfort zone.

We hope you will join us this August in Orlando at DanceWear Corner’s Superstore for Master Classes incorporating this specific style.  We are so passionate about ballet and cannot wait to share our knowledge with you in this exclusive event.  For more information, visit DanceWearCorner.com.

Learn more about Balanchine on the “Conversations on Dance” podcast as Rebecca and Michael talk with his former dancers.  You won’t want to miss the stories these dancers provide about the “Father of American Ballet.”

 

The Conversations on Dance Podcast: Jennifer Homans, Founder and Director of The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU

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Happy #ConversationsTuesday! DanceWear Corner is the proud sponsor of the “Conversations on Dance” podcast.  Most recently, we helped take the podcast hosts Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden to New York to conduct in-person interviews with the ballet world’s best and brightest.  In the coming weeks they will be posting this content, and we can’t wait to share it with you!

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apollo’s angels, Ballet Historian, ballet history, ballet podcast, Conversations on Dance, dance history, dance podcast, Featured, jennifer humans, Michael Sean Breeden, New York University, NYU, NYU Ballet fellowship, NYU fellowship, rebecca king ferraro, scholar, the center for ballet and the arts, the center for ballet and the arts at New York University, the conversations on dance podcastThis week Rebecca and Michael welcome Jennifer Homans, Founder & Director of The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University.  Jennifer is well known in the dance world for being the author of Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet, named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Before publishing Apollo’s Angels in 2010, she studied at the School of American Ballet and danced professionally, most notably with Pacific Northwest Ballet.  As her career came to a close she decided to complete a higher education, graduating from Columbia University with a BA, and holds a Ph.D. in Modern European History from New York University.  For this interview, they met her in the Center for Ballet and the Arts offices at NYU.  They talk with Jennifer about her personal journey in the dance world, how ballet became her scholarly pursuit, Apollo’s Angels, and if she in fact still believes that ballet MAY be a dying art form.

 

Listen now on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Listen through your browser at conversationsondancepod.com/listen-now

The Conversation On Dance Podcast: Ezra Hurwitz, Filmmaker

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Happy #ConversationsTuesday! DanceWear Corner is the proud sponsor of the “Conversations on Dance” podcast.  Most recently, we helped take the podcast hosts Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden to New York to conduct in-person interviews with the ballet world’s best and brightest.  In the coming weeks they will be posting this content, and we can’t wait to share it with you!

_______________________________________________

american ballet theater, the kennedy center, ezra hurwitz, dance film, dancer, ballet film, professional ballet dancer, micheal sean breeden, rebecca king ferraro, miami city ballet, miami city ballet dancers, the conversations on dance podcast, dance podcast, ballet podcast, This week Michael and Rebecca are joined by Ezra Hurwitz, Filmmaker.  Following a seven year career with Miami City Ballet, Ezra retired from the stage to study film and business strategy at Columbia University.  Since beginning his work as a dance filmmaker following his time at Columbia, he has created viral videos for numerous clients including San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theater, The Kennedy Center, and most recently the New York Times.  Ezra’s work has been featured in publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, and the Huffington Post to name a few.  In this episode, Rebecca and Michael talk with Ezra about his decision to leave ballet, his time at Columbia, how he got his start in film, and what’s next for him.

Listen now on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Listen through your browser at conversationsondancepod.com/listen-now

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