April 16, 1999
If happiness could jump and turn,
it would be Angel Corella. Whether gallivanting through Don
Quixote, and swashbuckling about in Le Corsaire, Corella
exhibits absolute unadulterated pleasure.
Since making his American Ballet
Theatre debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1995, the 23-year-old
Spaniard's unbridled joy and excellent technique has been sending
audiences home with a smile on their face.
Corella began his ballet lessons
at Colmenar Viejo and later studied with Victor Ullate and Karemia
Moreno in Madrid. After toiling unappreciated in a Spanish company,
Corella went about setting himself free. He was a late entry
into the Concours International de Danse de Paris, where he left
with the Grand Prize and Gold Medal and caught the attention
of contest judge Natalia Makarova. The former ABT prima ballerina
referred Corella to that company's artistic director Kevin McKenzie,
who accepted the teenager into the fold as a soloist in 1995.
A little more than a year later he was made a principal dancer.
Although his first roles were the
Peasant Pas de Deux (Giselle) and the Bronze Idol (La
Bayadere), Corella is more than just his lofty jump and practically
endless spins. He is extremely musical, as shown in Theme
and Variations and Fancy Free.
Corella is also a sensitive partner.
He was originally paired with fellow prodigy Paloma Herrera but
he might be better suited to Yan Chan, especially in Romeo
and Juliet. His special blend of youthful exuberance and
masterful dancing has also attracted choreographers to set works
on him. He has been successful in Twyla Tharp works Americans
We and last Fall's Known By Heart.
Corella performs Tharp's Push
Comes to Shove this summer in New York with ABT as well as
in Don Quixote, Variations for Four, the pas de deux from
Sleeping Beauty, Gaite Parisienne, Romeo and Juliet, Le Corsaire,
Stepping Stones, and the Snow Maiden.
In addition, Corella will make
his Royal Ballet debut in London during their 1999-2000 season
and dance with the Houston Ballet in June in director Ben Stevenson's
Peer Gynt. -- Dale Brauner