Corella, 38, a former principal dancer with the
Most recently, he ran his own company,
"I've been following the company for quite a while," Corella said in a phone interview from
"I'm thrilled that he is coming to
Corella, who was born in
He will bring that same energy and excitement to his new job.
"I have a lot of plans," he said, including closely coaching the dancers, touring more, giving outdoor public performances, organizing outreach programs with schools, and bringing in new choreographers. He listed
He also wants to reassure his dancers and artistic staff.
"I think that before anything changes, the people and the environment have to feel secure," he said. "We're not going to become a completely different company; hopefully, we can always make it better."
He has heard from outside dancers eager to work with him, but he said it was important to nurture the current crop and to promote from within.
"It's easier to bring people from the outside and say, 'Wow, you have a great company,' but there are a lot of dancers who have been overlooked."
Swartz thinks that's a good thing. "I think the ballet needed to do that [loosen the ties to Balanchine] from a perspective of where they are viewed internationally."
Corella said the great choreographer, who guided
"I'm planning in at least every program to plan a Balanchine ballet, to have the understanding that it is a Balanchine-based company," he said.
"I'm going to throw myself into the company and they're going to get tired of me," he joked. "I'm a person that when I do something, I do it 200 percent. I'll be in the studios, in meetings, always with a very positive energy. Dance is energy. When your dancers are not happy, that shows in the dancing. I love what I do, and I hope they do the same."
Swartz said the ballet was in desperate need of a change.
"The company is very competent," he said. "For people to spend
People also wondered what happened with the
"I always say that it was a money crisis problem, but I think it's more the values of the country," he said. "Focused only in the sport, especially soccer. They took the support away.
"I'm Spanish. You learn and you share. That's what the focus of life should be. I wanted to share it with the people from where I was born. They didn't want it."
And will Corella dance in
"I don't know if they want me to dance, but I don't necessarily need to dance. Focus should be on the company, not on
From there, Corella hopes to breathe new life into the company and build new audiences.
"Hopefully, the audience will see the difference in the dancers, a different kind of energy.
"They can be the best they can if they see that their director is really passionate about it, and I'm a passionate person. If they do their best, I can look good. Dancing on stage is not executing steps.
"The art of dance connects directly with the soul of the audience.
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