Nancy Turano met legendary ballet master Alfredo Corvino as a girl, in ballet class at the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble. At the time, she had no idea of his credentials. “But we all knew we were in the hands of a quiet master,” she says. Corvino's presence has continued to influence Turano throughout her career. When she joined Ballet Hispanico, she ran into him in the hallway on her first day; at her last performance with BH, in Corvino’s hometown of Montevideo, Uruguay, he sent his sister to watch. And now Turano celebrates her 20th year as artistic director of NJDTE—a position she inherited from Corvino, the founding director.
“He had his seven principles of dance, and one of them was balance. He used to balance a pencil on his finger all the time, and he would talk in terms of anatomy and physics. On my last meeting with Mr. Corvino, he was 92. We sat at his kitchen table, and I asked him again to repeat his seven principles. ‘Dear,’ he told me, ‘the most important principle is the law of balance.’ His wisdom followed me throughout my career and enabled me to dance injury-free until age 43. Now I share his words anywhere I teach.”
NJDTE celebrates its 45th anniversary season December 13 and 14 with performances of The Nutcracker at Kean University's Wilkins Theatre in NJ.
Photo courtesy of Turano