Prodigal Son
Dancing For Balanchine in a World of Pain and Magic

Edward Villella (with Larry Kaplan) / 1992

University of Pittsburgh Press / ISBN 0822956667

Edward Villella's list of honors is impressive: 1997 National Medal of the Arts, 1997 Kennedy Center Honors,
the Frances Holleman Breathitt Award for Excellence for contributions to the arts and to education, the
thirty-eighth annual Capezio Dance Award, etc. etc. But nothing can beat the memories of his dancing.

Here he matter-of-factly lets you know how much pain went into every role. How he was finally unable to sleep
for more than a few hours at a time... rolling over in bed would keep waking him up in pain. More and more wine
was needed to help him fall asleep, and still he put off having the hip surgury he knew was his last chance.

Finally in 1981 he flew to London to have what is now so common but was then a breakthrough procedure -- hip
replacement. Although retired from dancing, he was then able to live relatively pain-free and continue a career
as a choreographer and ballet director.

I find this so interesting because my husband was forced to have his first hip replacement at a very young age
(42) and his second less than 10 years later due to an inherited bone condition. Each time it was successful and
made a tremendous difference in his life. But when he was first facing the possibility of surgury he was also unsure
and unwilling to go through with it. But I kept telling him about Edward Villella.

dimensions: 0.9 x 0.6 x 0.1 inches / weight: 1 pounds / volume: 352 pages

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