One in this educational public affairs series that traces the origins and development of the American musical theater and examines the careers and contributions of the creative artists who have made the musical a native American art form. In an informal workshop setting, New York City high school students meet the composers, lyricists, and performers who have shaped the American musical and question them about their work. Host Earl Wrightson opens this edition by introducing New York City born, bred, and trained Edward Villella, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet known for his leaping ability. Villella discusses his beginnings in ballet after he was hit on the head with a baseball, and describes his training and education both within and outside of the dance world. He then explains what he perceives as the difference between the training of European and American dancers, and his definition of "manly grace" in a ballet dancer. After examining the characteristics that define classical ballet, Villella performs George Balanchine's male variation of Tchaikovsky's Black Swan pas de deux from "Swan Lake" as an example. Wrightson then introduces New York City Ballet principal ballerina Patricia McBride, who describes her beginnings in ballet including, like Villella, a scholarship at the School of American Ballet. Wrightson also introduces New York City Ballet conductor Robert Irving, who then leads the CBS Orchestra as Villella and McBride dance the pas de deux from the adagio of "Swan Lake." Next, Villella expresses his views on the process he uses in creating and developing a role, the importance of acting in ballet, and the differing ways of relating to the music as practiced by Russian and American dancers. Following a discussion of the importance of breathing, phrasing, and timing in both dancing and speaking on stage, Villella closes the program with choreographer Agnes deMille's Sword Dance from the Lerner and Loewe musical, "Brigadoon."

Cataloging of this program was made possible by The Marc Haas and Helen Hotze Haas Foundation, 1998.


  • DATE: December 26, 1964 Saturday 3:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:29:41
  • COLOR/B&W: B&W
  • CATALOG ID: T:53210
  • GENRE: Dance
  • SERIES RUN: WCBS (New York, NY) - TV series, 1959-1965


    • Ethel Burns … Producer
    • Bill Bryan … Director
    • Herman Glazer … Production (Misc.) , Production Supervisor
    • Robert Irving … Conductor, Guest
    • CBS Orchestra, The … Music Group
    • Earl Wrightson … Host
    • Edward Villella … Performer, Dancer , Guest
    • Patricia McBride … Performer, Dancer, Guest
    • George Balanchine
    • Agnes DeMille
    • Alan Jay Lerner
    • Frederick Loewe
    • Petr Ilyich Tchaikovsky