Dance Institute Of Washington Welcomes Crista Villella to Artistic Staff

The Dance Institute of Washington has named Crista Villella to its artistic staff. In her new role, Villella will be rebuilding DIW's ballet program, seeking new development opportunities and teaching ballet to DIW students.

Crista Villella, daughter of ballet icon Edward Villella, was a ballet master at Miami City Ballet and has staged ballets for choreographer Twyla Tharp.

The Dance Institute of Washington Founding Artistic Director, Fabian Barnes, praises Villella's arrival: "Crista Villella comes with a wealth of experience in the industry, having spent the last seven years at Miami City Ballet where she played a key role in the ballet company's internationally acclaimed artistic achievements."

Crista Villella's extensive professional background includes staging Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago February 2012; directing three ballets for Miami City Ballet's three week run at Théâtre du Châtelet, in Paris during its Les Etes de La Danse in 2011; and staging Tharp's The Golden Section for PBS's nationally televised Great Performances Dance in America: Miami City Ballet Dances Balanchine and Tharp, in 2010.

Villella also directed three ballets for Miami City Ballet's New York's City Center performance in 2009, and staged all of the children in Miami City Ballet's production of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker since 2005.

She has assisted and served as a répétiteur for some of the world's most notable choreographers including Alexei Ratmansky and Twyla Tharp.

Villella, who recently spent six months studying development at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is intent on making a difference at The Dance Institute of Washington.

"I see tremendous opportunity at the Dance Institute of Washington to not only service the community of Columbia Heights, but to help DIW evolve and develop its ballet program into one that can train and prepare young dancers for the diverse repertoire that is now the reality of the major dance companies around the world," Villella said.

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by Barnett Serchuk