María José del Barrio Tellado, the economist urging us to think about dance
Misty Copeland, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Anna Pavlova, Frederick Ashton… must I go on? If not all, at least one must sound familiar. Think bouncing bodies, draping dresses, and sensual strides. Think foundations in 15th century Italy and developments soon after across France and Russia. Need more? Think ballet.
Since its early form -- in which dancers wore masks and large headdresses atop layers upon layers of brocaded costuming -- ballet has fascinated the world over. Those small hops. Gentle slides. Expansive stretches. And strong promenades. Something about them coming all together enthralls us. It mesmerizes us. And in some cases, it even overwhelms us.
Whether it is Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev performing Romeo and Juliet or Marius Petipa and Carlotta Grisi performing Giselle, it is art and it is an art that María José del Barrio Tellado is determined to see as the subject of our attention, appreciation, and awareness, regardless of professional background.
Working from a background in accounting and economic efficiency analyses, but with a deep affection for the arts, María José, along with her husband Luis Cesár Herrero Prieto, is pioneering a new terrain by marrying methodology and analysis with ballet and performance. She brings new energy to the cultural economics community, and she envisions a future in which ballet and dance are the subject of adoration and devotion by many more. Her research is impeccable and her results are inspiring. What’s more, her willingness to mentor young professionals (like me!), and encourage them to see the value of introducing ballet and dance into discussions that stretch far beyond the stage, is something worth celebrating! So, as we get in the spirit to celebrate National Dance Day this summer, let us pause and salut María José, the Superstar of Culture championing dance, even in the world of economics!
Superstar snapshot: María José del Barrio Tellado
Superstar strength: maintaining optimism
Superstar secret talent: balancing more roles and responsibilities than anyone I know, from professor, to mentor, to mother, to chef, to world-traveler, and all in between!
Superstar noteworthy quote: “vamos a ver”
(photo credit: Universidad de Valladolid)