Getting the Miami City Ballet to come to Cape Girardeau for a variety of events hosted by Southeast Missouri State University was a fine-arts coup.
Under the artistic direction of Edward Villella, the Miami City Ballet has a reputation that is respected throughout the world of ballet.
Villella is a master of his art, but he also is a masterful spokesman for ballet and the arts in general.
World-class arts have a place in Cape Girardeau, as evidenced by the sellout performance of "Rubies," one of the parts of George Balanchine's "Jewels" set to music by Igor Stravinsky.
At a panel discussion, Villella recalled dancing the principal male role in "Rubies" when it premiered. And he recalled the thrill and stress of rehearsing while being watched by both Balanchine and Stravinsky.
Balanchine. Stravinsky. Villella.
These aren't names that come up a lot in casual conversation in Cape Girardeau. When they do, it's quite an event -- one for which we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the university and to everyone who made the Miami City Ballet's visit possible.