By Valerie Gladstone
Corella’s Barcelona Ballet Fulfills a Dream
Many great ballet dancers dream of starting their own companies, though few get the opportunity. Even as he performed with American Ballet Theater, Angel Corella was plotting to establish a ballet company in his native Spain.
Unlike most European countries, Spain had never been able to sustain a first-rate ballet troupe and ballet school, forcing Spanish dancers who wanted a career in ballet to leave home to make their names. “Even though many of us have loved performing with the great companies of the world,” he says recently, “we miss Spain and bringing the art to our people.”
Corella went about the formidable task with determination, first establishing a foundation to support classical ballet in 2001 and slowly building enthusiasm among potential supporters and the government. By 2008, he had fulfilled his dream and was awarded a base in a small town near Segovia, not too far from Madrid.
The Corella Ballet started touring Europe—and the United States, most importantly—winning a strong Spanish following almost overnight. But last year, with Spain suffering from a severe economic recession, he lost his original backing. Undaunted, he found support in Barcelona, and in February, the Corella Ballet became the Barcelona Ballet.
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