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Posts posted by bart

  1. Maybe not "redefined", per se, agree with that, but that it needs to re assess its surroundings and acknowledge specific real situations for better marketing purposes, it does needs to.

    No dissent from me about that. Provided that no one commits to a predetermined set of outcomes -- or, conversely, to "no change at all" -- before a fair reassessment is completed. It seems to me that Lopez already has this process underway. Input from all sides can only be helpful.
  2. Thanks, Jayne, for posting this family-fantasy-from-hell. My favorite bit:

    Why can’t you stand like that guy on stage? Look at his posture. Forget that he’s black for a second, and just look at his body. His shoulders are back. He has confidence. You look like you’re apologizing even before you open your mouth. You walk in a room, no one notices. He walks on stage, we’re all looking. Look at him, he’s like a walking picture. I never dated a black man. Your father was so attractive in college. It stifled me, in a way. I used to be very progressive.

  3. Very interesting link to the "Poetry and Film" discussion.

    THOMAS: Well, I'm sure that all Maya Deren said was what I would have said, had I thought of it or understood it (laughter and slight applause). I was asked, on the side, whether that meant that I thought that the audience didn't understand what Miss Deren was saying. I'm sure they did, and I wish I was down there. But it sounds different from that side, you know. Now I'm all for (I'm in the wrong place tonight)... I'm all for horizontal and vertical (Iaughter) and all for what we heard about in the avant-garde. The only avant-garde play I saw in New York was in a cellar, or a sewer, or somewhere (laughter). I happened to be with Mr. Miller over there. We saw this play going on ... I'm sure it was fine. And in the middle he said, "Good God, this is avant-garde." He said, "In a moment the hero's going to take his clothes off... "

    Ouch. I hope that was the whiskey talking. Sounds like Thomas was disoriented by what Deren was doing. "I have a feeling we are not in llareggub anymore." wink1.gif

    I'm looking forward to watching the other videos. I still can't get over that image of the dancer's head glaring into the camera as his invisible body performs those accelerating pirouettes.

  4. .... although I sometimes wonder (and not only in Farrell's case) how much of what we're seeing is what audiences saw at the time.
    Good point.

    After I posted above about wishing to see Clarinade again, I went to Google and learned that SF restaged only the pas de deux which she had herself danced. It must not be easy for a dancer who has to concentrate on her own part during performance can restruct what other dancers were doing, at different times in the piece. This is especially the case for works for which the visual record is limited.

  5. Off topic (cont'd.)

    Off topic, but Baryshnikov had a success in movies unparalleled by any other ballet star. He was a genuine movie star and he proved himself a pretty decent actor as well. He's been appearing on stage recently and without having seen him I'll bet he acquits himself well.

    You're right, diract. I don't know why I included his name in that sentence. Perhaps it was because I couldn't, off the top of my head, remember any other ballet-dancer/actors except Stiefel. blushing.gif

  6. Thanks, vrsfanatic for your post. I approach ballet from the audience/subscriber point of view and have my own ballet-going experience and preferences always on my back. I do indeed need to develop deeper understanding of, and empathy for, the various dancer communities out there.

    Cristian, I am afraid I read your original post as somehow advocating or leading to a wholescale redefinition of MCB along the lines of the "Alonso project" (your phrase, not mine), with drastic rethinking, restaffing, and reinvention. I still read your original post that way. I rather like change in the arts, but have also seen cases where well-intentioned overhauls (especially of mission) lead to unanticipated consequences, acrimony, and failure. I don't think that I have anything further to add to that discussion.

  7. Cristian, if your goal is that somehow MCB can be remade into a subsidiary of "Alonso's network," as it seems you suggest in your earlier post, I don't think you will find many takers among current fans of the company.

    The greatest of the Cuban dancers -- eg. Acosta, Carreno among the men -- brought much to the companies they entered. But they also were refined as artists by their experience and contact with new visions of what ballet can be. Europe and North America see only the best of the Alonso system during BNdeC's tours of a very limited range of ballet repertoire. Similarly, the dancers we see are the very best produced in Havana. The dancers who join western companies are not only the best of the best, but actually grow in artistry as a result of their experiences with new work, new audiences, and fellow dancers from different backgrounds.

    Whatever happens in the future, the relationship between the MCB of Lourdes Lopez (herself born in Cuba) and the "Alonso network" in Havana and emigre ballet community in Miami will have to be (as I said above) a "two-way" street.

    Until everyone involved accepts that idea, I don't see much happening to change the situation that you have posted about.

    Edited to add: I was cross-posting with Jayne, who makes a good, practicable suggestion that MCB might actually invite Cuban students to study here (analagous to the School's current arrangements with high-school age students from Brazilian schools). I also agree with her statement that:

    As for importing the Alicia Alonso ballets to Miami - keep in mind that the dancers are generally defecting to get away from the 19th century relics, and try new things.


    This relates to my second paragraph above.

  8. I knew nothing about this artist -- or the early days of dance cinematography -- until I read your post, phrank. Now, I've had the chance to watch your first film, A Study in Choreography for Camera, several times. As the camera panned along the woods, I started thinking about how this was both like and quite unlike the way our eyes wander across a stage. At first I was unmoved by the way she treats the man -- extending his leg in the woods and somehow breaking through so that the extended leg is the first thing you see in the shot of the room. (Was that a particularly new idea in 1945? Somehow it registered as a trick of the kind one would have expected earlier in the history of film.)

    What did wow me was the sequence of pirouettes in the museum gallery. The head turning slowly at first, then faster and faster, the spotting extraordinarily intense, then the cut to the blur of feet turning.. The intensity of his glare as he spotted towards the camera. Then the jumps, with the final jump ending -- outdoors again -- in a perfectly still wide plie.

    This is an artist I'd like to learn more about. I'd love to hear from others about her work and her influence. What specific "techniques" in that particular film, or in others (by name, please), have had a big impact on dance. Were they truly original to Maya Deren, or did she merely applyl them to dance? Where did they lead?

  9. Cristian, I'm at a loss to respond to your post. There is so much in what you say that I have, literally, never heard before.

    Villella had a particular way to treat the bulk of the ballet environment here in Miami. He never seemed to care about involving his company in the Ballet Festival..."Why is that MCB does not participate in the Ballet Festival..?" is a common question that everybody wonders
    Interesting point. One might add: why did so few in the Miami community support this venture, either? My experience with a couple of programs presented at the Kravis suggested that something was sabotaging the many good intensions. Whether it was the management or other forces, I don't know. All I know is that the program had a good audience its first year and almost no one in the house the second year. Is MCB's non-involvement reponsible for this, or something that the audience saw, and did not enjoy, going on on the stage?
    He never gave pre performance lectures in Miami..they were just reserved for Broward and WPB...
    I did not know this. He certainly was not doing his job in that matter. Paranthetically, my impression was that Villella never liked doing those talks. On occasion, he actually seemed to be sleep walking through something he cared litle about. Philip Neal and the conductor Gary Sheldon did a much better job the last two seasons. I hope that Lourdes Lopez will take this job on during the new season. In all 4 of the venues where MCB dances.
    he has continuously ignored the great potential coaching and teaching of wonderful golden age ballerinas that are struggling around this city without a decent place to pass their knowledge.
    Villella had a school and a company style. I agree that it might have been a good idea to bring in Cuban-trained artists to help the dancers (especially the principals and soloists) with Don Q.(definitely) and Giselle (possibly). Their other full-lengths -- Jewels, Coppellia and Nutcracker -- are Balanchine and got help from Balanchine repiteteurs. (MCB brings in repiteteurs who have been certified by the organization representing the choreographer.)
    If someone had had the vision to link the great force behind the Cuban ballet community-(which includes rich donors, a distinctive audience, a continue influx of defecting dancers and a wonderful array of aging CBN ex members that could had been precious if placed within the wings of MCB)-Miami could be one hell of ballet community. As per now, both ends are as separated as they can be. I know many people is against the idea of MCB becoming a satellite of Alonso's network, but if done with good vision and intelligence, that should not be a problem at all.
    I understand that there are people who feel this way, but aren't you talking about the complete overhaul of Miami City Ballet? In effect, the creation of an entirely different company? Personally, I'd love to see a closer connection between Cuban ballet and Miami ballet. -- exchange of dancers, teachers, students; occasional exchange of, or collaboration in, productions; etc.. But I would be appalled to think that this would lead to creating "a satellite of Alonso's network." Many of us value highly what we have and what you seem to be asking us to give up.

    There have been reports that Lopez is thinking of and even working on contacts with Havana. There would be much value in a two-way connection between these two great organizations and traditions. MCB has a tradition of its own, with Balanchine at the heart.. That tradition is as cherished in the ballet world -- including its large local audience, most of the donors I am aware of, and the national and international press -- as that of Havana. MCB also has its own school, its own company, its own artistic staff. Somehow the idea that Miami City Ballet ought to serve as an employment agency to provide dancers and teachers from a very different tradition a chance to practice their own tradition in Miami, no matter how worthy these artists are, is mind-boggling.

  10. sandik, "engaged" is the perfect word. Everyone has her own action. According to the Wikipedia article on Russakoff, his school was known as the "school of leaps and bounds." Even the bath towel becomes a version of Isadora Duncan's scarf. Apparently the middle-aged man, wearing the strapped Grecian sandals, is Senia Russakoff himself.


    Somwhere I have a photo in which my mother as a very young woman, in the identical pose of the woman furthest to the right -- leg raised to the front in attitude. It would have been about the same time, the mid-to-late 20s. My mother is also at the beach, and is wearing a sleeker all-white bathing suit without the belt or bloomers. (A New York City look, rather than a Boston look, perhaps?) But the pose is identical, and the hair cut is quite similar. Very art deco. Very evocative of the period.

    You may notice something odd about the wikipedia bio of Russakoff.. It says that he left Russia in 1907, after the Revolution. But the 1905 Revolution was not the sort of revolution that led to emigration. 1907 must be a typo for the year of the Bolshevik Revolution -- "1917."

  11. It's interesting that several MCB male dancers have appeared on Broadway. Wong. Jeremy Cox. Possibly others. But neither had a featured role. (Cox I believe started in Tharp's Come Fly Away in the swing cast and was promoted later.) If I had to choose between the two, I'd go with Cox, who dances best close to the ground, but can jump when needed, not unlike Kelly. His affect is "young but mature," -- again, not unlike Kelly. Assuming that he can speak lines and sing, and dominate the stage while doing so, Cox might be okay. Wong is a creature of the air; his affect is light and young, suitable for something like Newsies.

    Both had a lot of time working with Edward Villella in MCB company classes, and Villella definitely had the swagger, ebulliance, street smarts, and technique to be an excellent Jerry Mulligan, if you rewrote the part to make him come from Queens. But Jerry Mulligan has to talk, sing, and act. Many of us can do one or more of these things well enough. But how many can do it well enough, consistently enough, to carry a Broadway show?

    The limited success that Stiefel, Baryshnikov and a few others have had in movies is one thing. But movies aren't Broadway, where the performer is exposed for long periods of time and does not have access to the movie director's arsenal of tricks that allow him/her to stitch together "a performance" out of bits and pieces from many takes. Every performance on Broadway is the only "take" the audience gets to see.

  12. One advantage that matinees have is that you don't have to drive to the theater when it is dark. This plays a major role when the "high culture" audience (to use kfw's term) is elderly.

    Any addition of matinees (or shifts to them) has to be handled carefully, with a lot of publicity and marketing support. I may be misremembering, but it seems to me that Miami did add a Friday matinee to their West Palm weekend several years ago, but it was not a success and thus was not repeated.

  13. I didn't really follow along with the critical commentary when Wheeldon made a version of AiP for NYCB -- I was glad to see that thread, but I do think it's a very different job to stage a musical adaptation of a film than it is to make a ballet based on themes from the play or the film. Wheeldon's suite of dances from Carousel has many virtues, but it is not a set of excerpts from a stage show.

    The film-to-stage adaptation has become a category all its own in contemporary musical theater -- I think it might be smart to look at works like Hairspray or Singing in the Rain when we think about what a stage version of American in Paris might be.

    Agree completely with this, especially the part I've put in boldface. The world of Broadway musicals is hugely different from the world of ballet dances that use Broadway scores. This includes audience expectations and psychology. (Stephen Sondheim's books, Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat, are especially revealing about the process of creating and putting on a Broadway musical.)

    My local company is currently preparing West Side Story Suite, which they will perform in February. Dancers who can actually sing have already been cast for parts that require it. I'm sure it will be fun. For a 30-minute ballet, there's plenty of room for suspension of disbelief. When you are putting together a full-length show -- one which includes long stretches of dialogue, singing without dance, etc.-- a lot more is at stake and different skills are required.

  14. Picque turns after a few fouettes is also characateristic of Balancine. In other ballets he uses it as a way to get the dancer into the wings, if my memory is correct. I like the Preobazhenskaya's idea of encircling the poor prince. (With each circle tigher than the one before, I hope).

  15. A marvelous set of images, rg. Thank you. I love the idea of putting Taglioni at the top, even though she had retired.

    Are you aware of other comparable 19th-century composits from Paris, or from other companies? Am I right in assuming that each of these dancers would also have her "own" card in the collection?

    A random fantasy -- I was unable to magnify the photo on my screen, but I swear that I could see what looks like a young Queen Elizabeth II in the upper left quadrant. She's wearing what must be a wreath white flowers but also might be a tiara. There is also a plump Queen Victoria, as she looked in her 30s, in the lower right quadrant. I doubt, however, that Victoria ever had one of her super-sized crinollines cut down to show off her calves.

  16. dirac, thanks for that link. Some excellent reviews and comments. Definitely worth reading.

    phrank, thanks for the video of "The Goblins. McRae does seem to have some of the necessary style. He got excellent reviews for his dancing of the Mad Hatter in Wheeldon's Alice, so has the advantage of knowing the choreographer well. wink1.gif

    I Googled and came up with this article (March 15, 2013) from The Guardian:

    Steven McRae -- the Ballet Star who's a Modern-Day Fred Astaire

    The careers of countless British actors demonstrate that good training and hard work can allow you to acquire all sorts of "American" accents. All you need is a good coach, and London probably has plenty of those. But can he sing?

    Here's part of Judith Mackrell's commentary on the video.

    McRae looks like a Broadway natural, but you can see the classical dancer at work in the easy, graceful counterpoint of his arms and upper body, which acts as kind of jazzy épaulement to the footwork at 3.29 and 4.11 as well as the actual ballet moves, not least the expertly controlled drizzle of pirouettes at 4.20 that are worked into his routine.
  17. For me, training and where you have your career are what makes someone an "American" performer. The idea of worrying about things like "place of birth" or claiming that "American" means "the U.S." only, seems oddly out of date.

    Having said that, I'm surprised I'm the first to nominate Suzanne Farrell. Locally trained in the Midwest -- caught the eye of a visiting American ballerina -- whisked away to Manhattan to continue her study -- catching the eye of the company director -- rising quickly to the top rank of one of the great ballet companies. What's more "American" than a story like that (if Horatio Alger is your template wink1.gif ).

    Also, if you think about the qualities that Macaulay looks for in a true ballerina, she had them all. This includes what may be the hardest for any performer to attain -- the power to "own their own space and light up the space beyond themselves." Farrell had the quality very early on, and worked hard to perfect it.

    Which makes me think about Jeanette Delgado. She has that quality. But she also always dances as a team player, conveying the feeling of how delighted she is that others on stage are doing so well. That's rare in a "ballerina," and most appealing.

  18. The article says:

    The staging of lost Balanchine works is one of Farrells aims, formulated in her Balanchine Preservation Initiative. A noble goal, even if one sometimes wonders if ballets like Pithoprakta and Clarinade really needed to be revived.

    A good question. What should be revived; what should probably not? How do you justify an investment in one production when something more "important" is ignored? It's been interesting to read the responses to this, especially kfw's.

    I'd like to speak up for reviving Clarinade. This was on the first program I saw after NYCB moved to Llincoln Center. (I remember because I was down in NYC for spring break and because Benny Goodman was playing the clarinet composition that Morton Gould had written just for this ballet. I used to play the clarinet.)

    My memories are sketchy. The corny costumes are the only negatives that stick in my mind. Everything else was clearly Balanchine in his jazzy mode, blending ballet and jazz dancing in a way that wasn't all that far from parts of Agon, though more exhuberant, youthful, and free. Flexed feet, pelvic thrusts, and that sort of thing. There was an adagio pdd. The finale was big, with lots of dancers dancing their hearts out (as the used to say about 30s musicals) and doing their best to fill up the Lincoln Center stage. I liked it, though I was aware that many people in the audience definitely did not.

    Any revival should probably jettison the costumes, and skip the exaggerated, hey-kids-let's-have-a-party "acting" that Balanchine allowed his dancers to indulge in. A revival should let us see the dance without visual clutter and dated emoting. Dress the dancers in leotards, and you might have something worth looking at closely -- for its own sake, and not just for the historical record.

  19. Wheeldon would have to reinvent the choreography to a huge extent to make it work for a ballet dancer, even the esteemable Damian Woetzel at his prime. Assuming that this dancer would also be doing the acting and singing, a decision to hire any of the male ballet dancers mentioned so far would require a major reinvention of the story.

    If I were a casting agent I'd be more likely to be thinking along the lines of -- Does Hugh Jackman dance? Does Rasta Thomas sing? Does Savion Glover act?

    As for the female lead, a ballet dancer seems more possible. (Leslie Caron was one,). Foreign accent would be a necessity, not a liability. And they could always fall back on that hoary dance cliche: the culture clash between an American hoofer and a prim but classy ballet girl. Something like the plot of the pop song "Sk8er Boi" -- "He was a punk; she did ballet" etc. etc. But that girl didn't get the boy.

  20. kfw, there are indeed "more tactful ways to say that a dancer is less accomplished in some ballets than in others than to call her a "part-time ballerina." Sometimes Macaulay's phrases do indeed aim at the clever/memorable at the expense of other considerations. Could that be due to pressing deadlines? Or impatience with performers (and chroeographers) who are less than the ideal, especially when these artists seem not to be growing? Note the comment about about Chase Finley "still learning" in the quotation box below. Watching someone who is "learning (stretching, experimenting, willing to take chances but able to reverse course when the results are unfortunate) can be even more exciting as watching someone who has at all down pat. That is what I think he is referring to when he uses the phrase "highly individual" in such a positive manner.

    Regard the other Macaulay piece I referred to above, phrank wrote:

    Perhaps it was this one?


    Mr. Martins’s policies are at their most perplexing in the way the company dances Balanchine. It’s baffling that several dancers — Megan Fairchild, Rebecca Krohn, Ask La Cour, Abi Stafford and Jonathan Stafford — were made principals. Useful executants, they’re not remotely authoritative. They neither own their own space nor light up the space beyond themselves. (I would add the generally bland Ana Sophia Scheller to that list but for the élan she brought to the “Embraceable You” role of “Who Cares?” on Friday.)

    In this season’s best performances, four highly individual ballerinas — Sterling Hyltin, Sara Mearns, Tiler Peck, and Teresa Reichlen — kept extending their range, reaching new peaks of musicality, stage artistry and individual style. Among the company’s men, Robert Fairchild has become one of the most lovable and impressive dancers in America. Among the company’s other men, the young Chase Finlay — a principal since February — is evidently still learning, but his blend of seriousness, bloom, nobility and amplitude make him continually eye-catching.

    But is there a single woman beneath principal rank who could light up Balanchine’s most exalted roles? These roles depict elusive, independent, challenging and inspiring women. Yet for the women in the City Ballet of Mr. Martins, few hurdles are harder than the task of shaking off girlishness. He allows a handful of them to grow into true artists, but elsewhere he gives us a company in which many dancers inhabit a state of perpetually arrested development. After 30 years it seems unlikely that Mr. Martins wants it otherwise.

    That piece stood out for me, so I copied out that section.

    Yes, that was that piece. smile.png I had the clipping on my desk for quite a while, hoping for the chance to post something about it. But time passed, and so ... mysteriously ... did the clipping. Maybe just as well, since I remember seeing only 4 of the dancers he referred to, one of them quite dull (though technically proficient) in one of the greatest Balanchine ballerina roles.

    Note the negative phrases: "useful executants," "not remotely authoritative," "neither own their own space nor light up the space beyond themselves," "bland." If you reverse these ideas -- turning them into their opposites -- you get a fairly good idea, of what Macaulay thinks a "real ballerina" ought to be. I can't say that I disagree.

  21. As Quiggin mentions, Macaulay and the Times do seem to be devoting a lot of space (including photos, web slideshows, etc.) to ballet, which is a plus. He's able to develop his thoughts at length, unlike just about every other newspaper reviewer. Having lots of space is a luxury. But it can also be a disadvantage if the writer is tempted to drop in things that may not always be relevant to his topic or serious enough to be worth mentioning. With the article in question, however, such criticisms are relevant, imo, since we are talking about an overview of a week of many different casts. I always appreciate the chance to read about a number of casts for a series of performances I cannot see, whether Macaulay is doing the writing or one of our excellent Ballet Alert members.

    Drew makes an interesting point about Macaulay's NYCB reportage which has definitely shown a willingness to say rather negative things about some NYCB dancers, almost as a way of reinforcing his preference for those other dancers he admires. He does the same with choreographers. The article we are discussing is not the first time that he has singled out a number of female principals for negative attention. I remember another review from about a month ago in which he praised some NYCB principal women and skewered others. I can't find the reference right now, but I recall that article only because his preferences AND disllikes in dancing are rather similar to mine.

    I suspect that Macaulay has in idealized image in his head of what makes a "ballerina" and that this is quite different from the way that others may use the term. I don't have references in front of me, but he often writes about the "ballerina's" ability to hold the attention of the audience -- even while remaining still -- and about an element of total commitment to the role and/or choreography -- and in a wide range of choreographies. He uses the word "interesting" a lot. I suspect that a dancer who interests Macaulay in a range of roles is one he looks at more closely and works hard to appreciate. (Thus his criticism of Whelen, who he sees as great in some things, not so special in others. He has mentioned Bouder in this category, as well). Macaulay has also referred on a number of occasions to the "arc" of a performance (most recently in reference to Gillian Murphy in ABT's recent "Sleeping Beauty"), and he frequently associates ability with the artistic "intelligence" of the dancer he likes.

    The space Macaulay has allows him to focus on detail. He often comments on beautiful finishes, as in Alban Lendorf's "luscious depth and fluency of [... ] plie on landing" during a solo in a recent ABT "Sleepling Beauty." Macaulay has the eye to notice these things, the experience to value them, and the time and space to remind us that they are important. But if these gorgeous moments are not part of a larger "arc" of sustained, linked, intelligent dancing, he will mention that too. That's quite valid, I think, but others may not feel the same.

  22. Buddy, it's good to hear from you. We do agree on Villella's artistic contributions, and I'm glad that Helene persuaded you to read the interview.

    vrsfanatic, thanks for your balanced post. Those of us who live down hear know how rich the arts experience can be -- across the whole gamut: classical music, opera, ballet, theater, visual arts. Not to mention fine arts education, of which your own Harid Conservatory and MCB's school are probably the most significant in terms of national ballet prestige and influence. Villella was always part of this fine arts tradition, and could sometimes be dismissive -- even when addressing his audiences -- about artistic endeavors that were merely "entertaining." He always attracted a core of financial supporters who were generous and supportive of what he wanted to do, though one could argue that he had difficulty adjusting to a newer kind of philanthropy, some of which had a different artistic vision and sense of proper business practice.

    cubanmiamiboy has often posted here about the amazing offerings (musical especially) available to Miami audiences and serious music students. The Knight Foundation, which includes Miami as one of the communities it favors,s has been a hugh part of this. A similar, though more limited, story holds true for Palm Beach County, where I live. The audience and donor base here tends to be North East in origin and committed to the kind of culture they (we) grew up with. It helps, of course that some of these Palm Beach people are super rich. But there are super rich people all over, nowadays, and relatively few of them support ballet and the other higher arts.

    (On the negative side, the Palm Beach community allowed Ballet Florida to slide into bankruptcy.)

    As for ballet, the story has been more mixed. The financial ups and downs of MCB are a part of this mixed bag. It might have been undiplomatic of Villella to make some of the statements he made about Miami, but there is more than a little truth in what he says. For me, one of the most striking examples of this is that the audience for MCB in Miami (a big city) is actually numerically smaller than in West Palm Beach (a small city by any standards). By this I am referring to subscribers and other ticket buyers. Also, considering the size of the Cuban American community in Miami (and the wealth of many Cuban American business families) , I'm always astonished by the hard financial time that valuable companies like Cuban Classical Ballet have had.

    About the Villella videos -- I agree that they are remarkable. There are two qualities which give an idea of just how sensational his performance in "Rubies" was, and why it thrilled people to much. First, the way he runs on stage, like a street kid bursting with energy and love of movement for its own sake. Second, the way he links everything together, so the big jumps and fancy foot-work flow directly -- inevitably, one might say -- into what comes next. There are more recent dancers who do the steps better, and who are more elegant especially in upper body, but there are not so many who can maintain the seamless flow of energy throughout, as Villella could in his prime. .(Even when he had to collapse in pain as soon as he was off-stage, as one of the videos so powerfully illustrates.)

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