PBS Arts from Miami: Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp on WXXI-TV

PBS Arts from Miami: Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp on WXXI-TV

Sun, 10/30/2011 - 2:00pm

Credit: Courtesy of © Kyle Froman Photograph

Witness the grace and beauty of one of America’s finest dance companies in a trio of signature works by George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp.

Great Performances puts the spotlight on one of America’s finest dance companies in Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp, airing Sunday, October 30 at 2 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT 21.1/cable 1011 and 11). As part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival, this program – a trio of signature works by the renowned choreographers – showcases the company’s critically acclaimed performances of Balanchine’s “Square Dance” (music by Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli) and “Western Symphony” (music by Hershy  Kay) and Tharp’s “The Golden Section” (music composed and performed by David Byrne).

From their home base in Miami Beach (and utilizing four performing venues in South Florida), Miami City Ballet – under the leadership of Artistic Director Edward Villella, celebrated its 25th Anniversary Season in 2010-11.  More than 88 ballets are featured in its repertory, works created by a roster of world-class choreographers including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Frederick Ashton, Anthony Tudor and John Cranko as well as such 19th century classics as “Giselle,” “Coppelia” and “Don Quixote.”

Villella is America's most celebrated male ballet dancer.  The artistry and versatility he exhibited during his long career with New York City Ballet (1957 to 1975), and in concert appearances across the United States and Europe and on television, did much to popularize the role of the male in dance.  He is associated with many of the greatest roles in the New York City Ballet repertory and has been a leading advocate for the arts in America.  In 1985, Villella became the founding artistic director of the Miami City Ballet, which has won worldwide acclaim under his direction.

In January 2009, Villella brought the Company to Manhattan’s City Center for its New York City debut, resulting in standing ovations and rave reviews. “Miami City Ballet made its Manhattan debut on Wednesday night at City Center. To watch it dance Balanchine is to see aspects of his choreography more clearly than with any other company today.  Energy; crispness; stretch; dance as a demonstration of music rather than as a response to it; the multidimensionality of the body in space: these basic ingredients of the ballet master’s style shine bright here,” enthused Alastair Macaulay in The New York Times

Dance in America: Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp was directed by Dance in America veteran Matthew Diamond (Balanchine Celebration, The Wrecker’s Ball with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Swan Lake with American Ballet Theatre), and produced by Joan Hershey and Mitch Owgang; for Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

Visit Great Performances Online at www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.

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