Thanks for that link, Kristen. As you say, an "interesting interview" -- and a good one, I think. He leaves out a lot, but what he says has the ring of truth.
I didn't focus so much as you and sandik on the comments about Miami, several of which apply to the situtation he entered at the time the company was founded. Nothing isn't true in what he says.
What struck me most was Villella's genuine passion for the aesthetics of the kind
of ballet he grew up with as a student of Balanchine, an aesthetic which is arguably one of the most important American contributions to the20th-century arts.
For example, his well-deserved tribute to MCB's marvellous pianist, Francisco Renno, leads to a memory of the way Villella structured his company classes, and what is to me a rather brilliant observation about Balanchine's work::
I gave all these intricate steps, and he would play and embellish what I was doing. He played a lot of jazz. I looked at the ballets and figured out what kind of barre would benefit these dancers and gave them an insitute into the musicality, the attack. I worked to the back of the room, away from the mirrors, a lot. If I look at Balanchine ballet, it's a series of simplicities that make up an apparent complexity. So I took my time. We didn't do Agon until about the fifth year.
I was touched by the way he talks about the triumphant two weeks in Paris -- as a kind of summation of everything he had been trying to build since arriving in Miami. I think they were. His comment regarding Lopez is generous, and also wise. Miami and MCB are out of his hands now, and he seems okay with that and is signalling to the ballet world that he still knows a lot and has much that is unique and valuable to offer. Good for him.