Angel Corella fans were heartbroken in 2012 when he left American Ballet Theatre to direct his own company in Spain. But some lucky students in Hartford, CT, are getting an opportunity to work with the Spanish-born star this month. Corella, who was forced to close down his Barcelona Ballet (formerly Corella Ballet) earlier this year due to lack of funding, is spending the summer setting the full-length Don Quixote on the Hartt School Community Division’s “Studio to Stage” summer program students. The four-week intensive culminates in a performance on July 26th at the University of Hartford’s Miller Auditorium.
Hartt’s summer program selects a different artistic director every year to stage a full-length ballet. Corella is a natural choice for Don Q: He was famous at ABT for his charismatic, high-energy Basilio (check out this video with Paloma Herrera). He started his own ballet company in 2008, splitting his time between both coasts before retiring from ABT permanently. But according to an article in the Spanish newspaper Vanitatis, the economic crisis in Spain—as well as the government’s lack of support—had a major impact on Barcelona Ballet’s funding, forcing a frustrated Corella to close shop and look abroad for new opportunities. (He was offered outgoing director Ethan Stiefel’s post at the Royal New Zealand Ballet, but turned it down because it was too far from family). Our hope? His experience here will encourage him to come back to the U.S.!
Angel Corella with Corella Ballet