Texas Turns to Chicago:
The Joffrey Ballet's Mauro Villanueva
by Dean Speer and Francis Timlin
August 15, 2005 -- Joffrey Ballet Headquarters, Chicago
Thanks for taking your break time to meet with us. Tell us how you got started in ballet and of your journey to the Joffrey Ballet.
I’m from San Antonio, Texas. I saw Houston Ballet do “Nutcracker” when I was six and decided I wanted to try it myself. I studied at a small competition school and later, when I was ten, started more serious ballet training with Buddy and Susan Treviño. They are the directors of the Joffrey San Antonio Summer Intensive. I did this for six years.
I next went to Nutmeg Ballet in Connecticut while I was a junior and senior in high school. Upon graduation, I auditioned for the Joffrey and was one of six original apprentices in the reconstituted company. So I joined in July of 2000.
What are some of your special performance memories or highlights?
I went to San Antonio this Summer and did “La Bayadere” – the Kingdom of the Shades act. It was nice to do something so very classical. Arpino’s work is challenging but in a different sort of way.
What makes the Joffrey Ballet special for you?
What makes Joffrey special to me is the variety of repertoire and the artistic as well as physical challenges that such a repertoire demands. It’s a joy.
What are some of your hobbies?
Reading, music of all kinds. Chicago is great as it combines a relaxed atmosphere and big-city culture.
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