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Edward Villella on video: clips only


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#16 dirac

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 09:54 AM

Itís his right. Considering the poor quality of some of those old television tapes, I can understand his feelings. Sometimes the camera does lie. Perhaps he would prefer his dancing be remembered as it was onstage at his best, and in contemporary accounts.

#17 papeetepatrick

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:09 AM

It can't be bad quality in all cases, because he went to the Walter Reade and let a more-then-usually select audience see it anyway. It certainly seems if it can be shown in a theater, re-mastered, it could be shown in a DVD, and canbelto has already said how good he looks in MND, so maybe he'll make exception for this one. But even the theater showing goes back to 2004. Someone did mention it might go to DVD, but I don't know if Villella's desire to suppress all of these means this one can't either. I wonder how this Little Drummer Boy one managed to sneak through, though. I can't imagine he wanted that, and with that easily available, the policy is a pretty strange sort of vanity--because even that one is worth looking at, and yet as a number, it couldn't be more corny. I'm sure many of the others are not.

Mel, do you know anything further about this (that isn't too insider) beyond what rg has told us?

#18 garybruce

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:17 AM

It can't be bad quality in all cases, because he went to the Walter Reade and let a more-then-usually select audience see it anyway. It certainly seems if it can be shown in a theater, re-mastered, it could be shown in a DVD, and canbelto has already said how good he looks in MND, so maybe he'll make exception for this one. But even the theater showing goes back to 2004. Someone did mention it might go to DVD, but I don't know if Villella's desire to suppress all of these means this one can't either. I wonder how this Little Drummer Boy one managed to sneak through, though. I can't imagine he wanted that, and with that easily available, the policy is a pretty strange sort of vanity--because even that one is worth looking at, and yet as a number, it couldn't be more corny. I'm sure many of the others are not.


Not just the Little Drummer Boy but the segment from The Odd Couple, which I'll see this week when I receive Year Four of the comedy series (the episode is called Last Tango in Newark). If memory serves, he does a solo lasting 3-5 minutes.

#19 kfw

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:19 AM

It can't be bad quality in all cases, because he went to the Walter Reade and let a more-then-usually select audience see it anyway. It certainly seems if it can be shown in a theater, re-mastered, it could be shown in a DVD, and canbelto has already said how good he looks in MND, so maybe he'll make exception for this one.

He's great in Man Who Dances too, and he obviously allowed himself to be filmed for that. So 'tis a puzzlement.

#20 papeetepatrick

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:37 AM

He's great in Man Who Dances too, and he obviously allowed himself to be filmed for that. So 'tis a puzzlement.


Thanks for mentioning this, I just found that NPYL has one single old VHS left, and so I will be able to watch this. I'm looking forward to finally seeing him in Rubies, even if just in excerpts.

#21 rg

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:48 AM

there is also this film, noted below in the NYPL cat. which was shown once or twice on tv, but certainly not lately:
Ballet with Edward Villella 1970. 27 min. sd. color.
(Introduction to the performing arts).
Written and narrated by Edward Villella. Choreography: George Balanchine.
Summary: An introduction to ballet, demonstrated by Edward Villella, Patricia McBride and other artists of the New York City Ballet.
PARTIAL CONTENTS.--Tchaikovsky pas de deux excerpt, Villella and McBride.--Pantomimic scene from Act II of Giselle, Villella as Albrecht; music by Adolphe Adam.--Solo from Apollo, Villella; music by Igor Stravinsky.--Excerpt from the Rubies section of Jewels, McBride, Villella, and artists of the New York City Ballet; music by Igor Stravinsky.

#22 papeetepatrick

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:52 AM

there is also this film, noted below in the NYPL cat. which was shown once or twice on tv, but certainly not lately:
Ballet with Edward Villella 1970. 27 min. sd. color.
(Introduction to the performing arts).
Written and narrated by Edward Villella. Choreography: George Balanchine.
Summary: An introduction to ballet, demonstrated by Edward Villella, Patricia McBride and other artists of the New York City Ballet.
PARTIAL CONTENTS.--Tchaikovsky pas de deux excerpt, Villella and McBride.--Pantomimic scene from Act II of Giselle, Villella as Albrecht; music by Adolphe Adam.--Solo from Apollo, Villella; music by Igor Stravinsky.--Excerpt from the Rubies section of Jewels, McBride, Villella, and artists of the New York City Ballet; music by Igor Stravinsky.


Aha, that got my hopes up, but the copies aren't reservable. Maybe eBay has it, I can have it watched there if not.

#23 rg

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 11:02 AM

i've not known any copy of BALLET WITH EDWARD VILLELLA to ever be on the market, so it's doubtful anything will be on ebay, etc.
i'm unclear on what 'reserable' means to the NYPL dance coll. procedures.

#24 papeetepatrick

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 02:44 PM

i've not known any copy of BALLET WITH EDWARD VILLELLA to ever be on the market, so it's doubtful anything will be on ebay, etc.
i'm unclear on what 'reserable' means to the NYPL dance coll. procedures.


rg--are you talking about the reference and special Lincoln Center collections? I just was talking about general circulation that I can look up on 'LEO', and that said they had 2 copies Reservable Copies 0. Oh, now I looked back and it is not even a vhs, this one, but rather 2 film reels, which I guess you can go over there and watch, but they're not circulating, as I had thought on just quickly looking at first. Man Who Dances does have one circulating copy.

No, here is what it looks like:
Performing Arts Library - Circulating Collections Y M16 1142 B LPA Young Adult Film 2nd Floor Reserve Film & Video Collection 16MM Film Transfer/Rotation

Performing Arts Library - Circulating Collections Y M16 1142 B LPA Young Adult Film 2nd Floor Reserve Film & Video Collection 16MM Film Transfer/Rotation

So circulating, but for schools or going over there, etc.

#25 Helene

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 03:36 PM

What I find remarkable about the clip is the way he starts out so slowly and accelerates from adagio in the blink of an eye.

#26 Marga

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 03:57 PM

i've not known any copy of BALLET WITH EDWARD VILLELLA to ever be on the market, so it's doubtful anything will be on ebay, etc.

I bought 2 copies (different sellers) of "Ballet with Edward Villella" on ebay -- as 16 mm reels. I had one of them made into a VHS tape so that I can watch it. It's wonderful! Eddie Villella was wonderful, still is, and I remember his dancing so fondly. He was everyone's favorite. The Tchaikovsky pas de deux with Patty McBride is a real treat. And, because I never saw him dance Albrecht anywhere, the excerpt from Act II Giselle is a precious gem.

#27 carbro

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 04:06 PM

What I find remarkable about the clip is the way he starts out so slowly and accelerates from adagio in the blink of an eye.

That, and the smooth, quick rebounds from plie.

#28 vipa

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 04:56 PM

What I find remarkable about the clip is the way he starts out so slowly and accelerates from adagio in the blink of an eye.


Yes, I so agree. I was also struck by his port de bras. He really knew how to shape his arms beautifully in a way that worked with his proportions.

#29 kfw

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 05:50 PM

It's a wonderful segment, and even better -- I think -- if you replay it without the smaaltzy music (which has little do to with the choreography, anyway).

Is it safe to guess that Villella choreographed this himself? The smaltzy music makes me laugh at his serious demeanor as he enters. Poor guy -- I guess they didn't take class to The Little Drummer Boy at SAB! But then . . . wow! vipa, thanks for pointing out those beautiful port de bras, and the intelligence with which he must have shaped them. And that attack! I never saw Villella on stage, but this is the most impressive, in that respect, that I've seen him on film.

#30 Phaedra392

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 11:03 AM

I cut my teeth on Villella dancing on TV during the sixties, when they still showed ballet on television (remember that?). Although I have never seen him dance in person and have not seen those television programs for years and years, I will never forget their impact. I particularly remember the "Bell Telephone Hour," which had clips from "Rubies." He left me gasping -- such athleticism and wit. I went to D.C. a few years back to see Miami City Ballet and was sitting in the auditorium during intermission when he suddenly appeared just a few yards from me to chat with someone in the audience. I could feel the blood leave my face. It was like seeing a god step down from the heavens. And did he ever look good -- so handsome, and instantly recognizable as the same man who thrilled me so and made me love ballet.


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