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Edward Villella on video: clips only


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#61 carbro

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 05:37 PM

During one break Goulet walks into one of the mock-up Brigadoon cottages and it just happens to be a little Armstrong showroom! Goulet then does a little spiel for Armstrong home products right there in Brigadoon village.

:P Sounds like a clumsy precursor to today's ubiquitous product placements.

#62 Jemil Akman

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 12:55 AM

As someone who worked with Edward, I have to say that he was a great man. We used to do lecture demonstrations at various schools when he ran the New Jersey ballet (Late 1970's, early 1980's). I never saw someone who loved passing on dance like he did... and he liked to push us to our limits.

In 1969 Life magazine ran a story about Villella, "Is This Man the Country's Best Athlete?" Two years later, Sports illustrated featured him in the profile "Encounter with an athlete".

around the time of the article, it came out in the press that doctors had ex-rayed his (Villella's) feet in the middle of the season and found that every bone in his foot had been broken at least once, some of them twice and some were still broken, although he was still dancing on them. They (Sports Illustrated) proclaimed ballet dancers the greatest athletes (and it was around then that many a football coach started sending their players to ballet class to build strength and grace on the field. In my case, he often pushed me to do things that I had never done before.

I have enclosed a link to the article. I hope others enjoy it and get much out it.

http://vault.sportsi...85347/index.htm



Thanks, garybruce. Here's the link.


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). I love Villella's opening: the handsome closeup followed by his graceful hand-miming of "dance." You definitely get a sense of VIllella's stage presence and charisma, qualities which grew over time. One of the things I remember is the way which, once he matured, he could hold your eye even when standing still and looking with concentration at his partner. It's one of the qualities which made him a much better Siegfried than people who never saw him in these roles might think.

:beg: It was good to see even a clip of Kukla and Ollie at the beginning of the segment. Also -- PLEASE! -- stick around at the end for the Bacchus After-Shave commercial. First I thought it was some sort of Monty Python take-off. WAS there such a product? And was there ever a real ad campaign like this? :beg:



#63 Mel Johnson

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 06:14 AM

It's not currently done, but certainly recoverable. It wasn't great Balanchine, but pleasant, attractive and well-made. Sort of in the same lot with "Pas de Deux and Divertissements", Classical Revival (as opposed to Neo-Classicism) as entertainment.

#64 Jack Reed

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 02:50 PM

As a light footnote to one of Jemil Akman's remarks, I recall someone asking Villella at the end of one of his pre-performance talks in recent years whether it was true that football players study ballet. "Only the best ones," was Villella's instant answer.

I was glad to read Jemil's testimonial to Villella's quality, and I hope I won't be thought to disagree with it in any way, but for me, the greatest testimonial to Villella's recent decades is Miami City Ballet's quality of dancing. I used to think their Jewels evening was their best, but they keep surpassing their own previous standards, and judgements like that become dated...


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