Interviewer subpage 02

Edward Villella
Dancer, Choreographer
“How do you slow yourself down when your passion propels you with such intensity?”

“I had to learn that slower is faster. If you practice every day with patience and correctness, you will get there. It’s like preparing for a jump. You can’t rush it. You must summon the appropriate energy with split-second timing and have an understanding of purpose to get up in the air. It requires training, confidence, and mental effort. You can’t have a vocabulary without the alphabet. Balanchine used to say, ‘Do you want to be a poet of gesture or do you want to be a physical entity?’

“You wrote in your autobiography, ‘Balanchine made me very uncomfortable because he was so sure of himself and his art, and I was not yet me.’ What is the recipe for an artist to come into his or her own?”

Be guided. Face what you don’t know and allow those who do to help you reach your full artistic potential. There are no great talents out there who are fully evolved and developed without understanding the history, tradition, philosophy, behaviors, and relationships pertaining to their particular artistic expression. You can’t just rely on the audience loving you because you do wonderful tours in the air. That’s great, but all of that has to be networked with all the other aspects of the art form. So often we have brilliant talents who show us their brilliance but never achieve the artistry.”