Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp from THIRTEEN'S Great Performances Friday, October 28 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS as Part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival

Sep 29, 2011, 12:09 ET from WNET New York Public Media

Artistic Director Edward Villella's company performs George Balanchine's "Square Dance" and "Western Symphony" and Twyla Tharp's "The Golden Section"

NEW YORK, Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- THIRTEEN's Great Performances puts the spotlight on one of America's finest dance companies in Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp on Friday, October 28 at 9 p.m. ET. The program will air as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival.

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This program – a trio of signature works by the renowned choreographers -- will showcase 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).

Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET, one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers. For nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local arts programming to the New York community.

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.  

In a follow-up review, Macaulay opined, "No company today performs 'Square Dance' as well as Miami."

This summer, the company held its debut season at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris to great acclaim. The Miami Herald reported that the company was rewarded with "regular standing (even screaming) ovations from sold-out audiences filling the 2,500-seaet theater."

Laura Cappelle in The Financial Times noted, "Square Dance, one of their calling cards, sets the tone. At home in this whirlwind of spirited classical inventiveness and folk references, soloists and corps de ballet alike articulate the music and the choreography as one, striking notes so blissful that the action sometimes seems to stop for a millisecond."

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.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers and PBS. Major program funding is also provided by Jody and John Arnhold.

Visit Great Performances Online at for additional information about this and other programs.

About WNET New York Public Media

WNET is America's flagship public media outlet, bringing quality arts, education, and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. The parent company of public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET produces such acclaimed PBS series as Great Performances, American Masters, Nature, Need to Know, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Noah Comprende, and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through SundayArts, Reel 13, NJ Today, and the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus.


As part of its commitment to increase every American's access to and participation in the arts, PBS kicks off the multi-platform PBS Arts Fall Festival (PBS Arts) on October 14. Anchored by Friday night broadcasts, the Fall Festival features artists and performances from nine communities across the country, and celebrity hosts from each locale. With full-length performances, local mini-documentaries of arts scenes around the country, backstage access through interviews, artist and performer profiles, online immersive exhibits and classroom resources, the PBS Arts Fall Festival entertains and inspires consumers by offering a front-row seat to the creativity, culture, history and scope of the arts. Funding for the launch of PBS Arts Fall Festival has been provided by Anne Ray Charitable Trust, public television viewers and PBS.

SOURCE WNET New York Public Media