75th Birthday Bash Held For Ballet Legend Edward Villella!

Miami City Ballet dancers, staff, supporters and friends celebrated the 75th birthday of legendary Founding Artistic Director, Edward Villella, with cocktails, dinner, dancing and a pre-screening of the company’s National PBS special!(MIAMI BEACH, FL) On Saturday, October 1st, Miami City Ballet dancers, staff, friends and supporters gathered together to celebrate and honor America’s most renowned male ballet dancer, Company Founding Artistic Director, Edward Villella. The celebration, a special 75th birthday bash for Villella, took place at Miami City Ballet studios (Ophelia and Juan Js. Roca Center) in Miami Beach. The evening’s festivities included cocktails, dinner, dancing and a pre-screening of the ballet’s WNET/ PBS National television special. The evening began with a cocktail reception sponsored by Bacardi U.S.A., followed by dinner in the 225-seat studio theater, and a special pre-screening of the WNET/PBS program: PBS Arts from Miami: Great Performances: ‘Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine & Tharp’. The program features a trio of signature works by George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp that showcase the company’s critically acclaimed performances of Balanchine’s Square Dance and Western Symphony and Tharp’s ‘The Golden Section.’Dancing and tributes followed. Friends and supporters in attendance included Company co-founder Toby Lerner Ansin, Ana-Marie and Robert Barlick, Tina and Dan Carlo, Charlie Cinnamon, James and Bobi Eroncig, Ron and Charlene Esserman, Marvin Ross Friedman and Adrienne bon Haes, Darla and John Karlton, Rose Miniaci and family and Henry and Harriet Pownall. Miami Beach City Commissioner Michael Gongora read a special proclamation declaring October 1st ‘Edward Villella Day.’ The evening ended with a room-wide, standing ovation Happy Birthday serenade as Edward blew out the candles on his cake. A special video montage played highlighting many of the most memorable and outstanding moments of his illustrious career. Corporate sponsorship was provided by Bacardi U.S.A., Brooks Brothers, Aventura Worldwide Transportation Service and Jenny’s Flowers, Inc. Print sponsorship courtesy of Selecta Magazine. The event was a fund-raiser to support the artistic efforts of Miami City Ballet. PBS Arts from Miami: Great Performances: ‘Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine & Tharp’ is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. The program airs on PBS stations across the country on Friday, October 28 at 9 p.m. ET and locally in Miami on WPBT2. Edward Villella is regarded as the greatest American-born male ballet dancer of our time. He proved that a tough, brash kid out of Maritime College could become a major artist, and in doing so, changed the way men danced in America and the way male dancers were perceived. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the School of American Ballet. His biggest accomplishment is co-founding Miami City Ballet with philanthropist Toby Lerner Ansin in 1985. Villella has taken the renowned company to dizzying heights, winning critical acclaim in South Florida, New York and around the world. This July, the company made its Paris debut performing for three-weeks to sold-out houses and standing ovations at the world-famous Th

Company Takes Steps To Make Ballet More Accessible

Miami City Ballet has earned raves from performances in Miami, New York City and Paris, but it was a different kind of performance that brought the company mainstream fame.’One of the things that I think helped us to start dispelling the image of what the ballet is was Alex Wong’s appearance on [Fox TV show] So You Think You Can Dance,’ said Bill Miller, the company’s director of marketing and communications. ‘His appearance did more for us over last summer than maybe any other single initiative that we put into place and I would say that his appearance only helped us send our message out.’…

Premiere Named

Miami City Ballet’s world premiere from British choreographer Liam Scarlett has a name. The ballet, commissioned by MCB and premiering Jan. 6 to 8 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, is called Viscera. Set to contemporary composer Lowell Liebermann’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Viscera is a dramatic, large-scale work and the first American commission for the 25-year old Scarlett, who has earned critical and audience raves for the piece’s he’s done for Britain’s Royal Ballet, where he is also a dancer, and other English troupes. Tickets for MCB’s Program II, including Viscera, are available at 305-929-7010 or www.miamicityballet.org

My Pointe Shoes

Freed of London came to Miami City Ballet School to do pointe shoe fittings. Meet some of our students as they try on pointe shoes for the first time.

Edward Villella To Step Down From Miami City Ballet

Edward Villella, the founding and current artistic director of Miami City Ballet, will step down at the end of the 2012-2013 season, the company announced on Thursday afternoon. Mr. Villella, a former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, who founded the company with Toby Ansin in 1985, is leaving to continue other professional pursuits…

Front Page News: Edward Villella Retiring From Miami City Ballet

Edward Villella, the founder and director of Miami City Ballet, will be leaving the company he has built into one of South Florida’s leading artistic institutions and one of the nation’s top dance companies at the end of the 2012- 2013 season, it was announced Thursday.The move marks a milestone for a troupe that has been a keystone of South Florida’s cultural growth. The change also marks the end of the second period of Villella’s long and storied career, first as a star dancer with George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, and then as the creator of a ballet company that has become renowned across the United States and, increasingly, beyond…

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