Recently, Jeff and I had a sparkling evening amongst “the Stars”! Olympian and Canadian Champion Linda Carbonetto Villella and Edward Villella invited us to their gorgeous art filled NYC brownstone for dinner! Along with being a great Canadian figure skating champion, star of Ice Capades, coach and choreographer, Linda was also the director of the Miami City Ballet. Edward Villella, who founded and built Miami City Ballet into one of the top ballet companies in the US, was of course, for years the heart throb male star of George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet. His passionate and athletic performances, along with his movie star looks brought great popularity to the company. Anne Allen (NBC Nightly News producer) and Scott Allen (US Champion and Olympic medallist) were there, sharing conversations about the brilliant new skating/dance company, “Ice Dance International”, which Edward has co founded along with Dick Button and Douglas Webster. (IDI will soon make their debut in the Tri State Area….more on that later!)
Also at the Villella’s last night was another glittering NYC Ballet star, Kay Mazzo, for whom Balanchine created roles such as Tchaikovsky Suite No. 3, Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Vienna Waltzes. Jerome Robbins also choreographed roles for Ms Mazzo, including Dances at a Gathering. Kay is married to the charming Albert Bellas, who among many noteworthy accomplishments, was the Director of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in NYC.
As you can imagine, the dinner conversations were fascinating! Among them were stories Albert shared about those years in which he worked so closely with Lincoln Kirstein (philanthropist, impresario, Co- Founder and Director of NYC Ballet) and George Balanchine!
I’ll never forget this special night (and Linda’s incredible cooking!) And I’m sure I’ll never again be at a dinner party where a sentence begins, “The first time I met Stravinsky…..!!!!”