Villella, Edward

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Edward Villella, 1936–, American ballet dancer, b. Long Island, N.Y. Villella studied at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet, joining the New York City Ballet in 1957. He soon became a principal dancer with a large repertoire of roles, most notably The Prodigal Son. Villella's dancing was remarkable for its tremendous vigor and dynamic style. He served as artistic coordinator of the Eglevsky Ballet (1979–84) and as director of the Oklahoma Ballet (1983–85), then founded and directed (1985–2012) the Miami City Ballet, which became a major regional ensemble.

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