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Fans meeting favorite dancers

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#16 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 12:09 PM

In 1980 I was taking class with Maryon Lane at the Urdang Studios in London. I wasn't feeling well and Maryon knew it, so when I felt faint after plies and port de bras, I asked her if I could sit down in front of the class and watch the rest, and she said yes. About a minute after I sat down on the floor next to an empty chair, into the class waked Ninette de Valois, who sat on the chair next to me and kept up a running commentary for an hour and a half! (I just said "Yes ma'am" to everything and nodded a lot). When she left with someone who had come to collect her she had forgotten her coat on the chair, so I picked it up and ran down the street after them in my class gear to give it back.

#17 vagansmom


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Posted 25 June 2003 - 12:23 PM

The parents of one of my daughter's best friends (NOT a ballet dancer) from high school were and perhaps still are friends with Baryshnikov. When this girl first discovered my daughter was a dancer, she asked if daughter knew of B. When daughter said yes, of course, the friend nonchalantly commented that, "when I was little, I got sick and threw up on him."

#18 colwill



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Posted 25 June 2003 - 01:32 PM

For three seasons of the Kirov Ballet in London I stayed at the same hotel as the company, the first time was just luck the next two were planned. It was wonderfull at breakfast to see the dancers drift in with the elegance walk that only ballerinas can manage at that time of day. In the evening, after the performance, it was a different story as very tired dancers returned. I was lucky to see most of the star names but in particular it was Altynia Asylmuratova that made the biggest impression. I was just coming in through the door when she passed me dressed in slacks and a sweater going to the theatre, nobody recognised her as she walked down the road, but I knew that I would see her in the leading role that night.:)

#19 grace


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Posted 25 June 2003 - 06:39 PM

treefrog and atm711, i really enjoyed your stories. Mme. Hermine - i too have done class at the urdang with various people, and with maryon lane at london studio centre - a few years after you. i can appreciate your story, but for the life of me i cannot picture de valois walking through that dreadful entry hall into the urdang studios, and sitting down to watch class there. i guess it had to be seen to be believed. :D

#20 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 06:41 PM

even funnier, grace, is that a day or so later i went upstairs to look at an academy class through the window because someone had told me she was upstairs and i saw her sitting watching the class, but this time she was sitting alone with a stony displeased look on her face, for whatever reason. also if i remember correctly, at the time maryon worked for the royal ballet school, so that may have had something to do with why she was there.

#21 AmandaNYC


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Posted 02 July 2003 - 05:10 PM

I'm a classic story of totally falling apart.

I was a stress case before I discovered the ballet (well, stayed a bit stressed afterwards too)-- ballet finally helped me learn to take time to smell the flowers. Although I had always loved ballet it was more in theory than having seen anyone or any ballets I LOVED. Then, I saw Darci Kistler on the Kennedy Center Honors, and I was a goner (my tape is so warped by now).

I met her less than 2 years later (I was 18 at this point) when she and a small group performed in NJ. By the time my mom and I made it to the backstage area, apparently others had already met Darci and left. But, someone went to go get her for me. The minute I saw her come into sight, I just started crying and crying. I was just so overwhelmed. Thankfully, my mom was there to explain to the concerned Darci why I was losing it. She was so sweet to me. But, it's a bit of a blur after the whole bawling thing. I still have picture from that night-- Darci is still in make-up and my face is all red and blotchy!

When I met her a year later on the night the Balanchine Celebration ended, I held it together... while I talked to her. I mentioned I had been the one crying and crying back in NJ, and she sweetly said, "I remember". After she signed my souvenir book, I turned around to my sis and mom... and started crying.

Thankfully, I don't cry at meeting the dancers anymore. What a relief for them and me.


#22 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 05:16 PM

this one is courtesy of my little (now 33 years old, sigh) brother. having seen the nutcracker, and with all the wisdom of his then 6 years, he came with me to class and said to the director, "I really like the Nutcracker, but I want you to change it." The director, somewhat amused, said "Really? How?" whereupon my little brother said triumphantly: "I want the MICE to win!"

#23 PK



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Posted 03 July 2003 - 04:26 AM

I have to admit I melted when shaking Edward Villella's hand!

#24 Mark D

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 01:42 PM

Earlier this year Kyra Nichols gave a talk in New York State Theater. At one point she said she was out with her son at the local McDonalds when she heard a woman seated next to them address her own daughter as "Kyra." She asked the woman where she got the name. The woman told her that she named her daughter after Kyra Nichols the dancer and Kyra Sedgwick the actress. Kyra Nichols then introduced herself. The woman must have been absolutely stunned.

#25 glebb


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Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:14 PM

One night in 1987 after a performance I was leaving the stage area at City Center to head for my dressing room and I came face to face with Margot Fonteyn. She was beautiful in a white fur coat and white fur hat with strands of silver hair showing.

We spoke about the performance for several minutes in which she gave me the feeling we had known each other all of our lives.

I don't remember changing clothes and walking home that night.

#26 Guest_lsauvageau_*

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 09:08 AM

Two years ago the Governors School for the Arts was on a field trip to NY. My daughter and 2 of her friends were getting ready to take an advanced ballet class at Steps. Baryshnikov was there taking the same ballet class. There escort to class had worked with Baryshnikov some time ago and was able to introduce the girls to him. They were awestruck. They also took class that morning with several ABT company members.

#27 piccolo



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Posted 25 July 2003 - 01:28 PM

I'm totally late with this thread but here goes. When I was 15 I was moving from Japan to the US -- very traumatic. I didn't want to leave Japan but here I found myself, the day we were to leave, having a grilled cheese sandwich at the hotel we were staying at in downtown Tokyo. (All of our stuff had been shipped to the US at that point.) My younger brother and I, shoulders caved in, are barely eating. I look up and in walks Baryshnikov wearing off-white linen shorts and matching jacket and a white T-shirt. He looked awesome. He was with a very, very large man -- maybe his manager? In any case, I ran out to the lobby, asked a lady for some hotel stationery and a pencil (yes, I hadn't started using pens yet) and she asked what for. I told her I wanted Baryshnikov's signature. She smiled and said, oh honey, you're going to want a pen for that. I rushed back in, and as calmly as I could muster, I said "Mr. Baryshnikov, may I have your signature, please?" He gave it to me -- no other words were spoken -- and he transformed my day. The entire flight over to the States, I held his signature in my hand, and looked longingly out the window back towards the rapidly disappearing island. One of those best/worst days.

I did have another opportunity to meet him about 15 years later. Turns out he's a golfer, my dad's in the golf business, B. came to the company to get fitted for clubs. I got to see him swing a golf club (no comment) and then I had lunch with him and some of the guys from the golf company. Pretty cool. And no, I didn't tell him about the time he gave me his signature.

#28 Alexandra


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Posted 25 July 2003 - 01:49 PM

That's a lovely story, piccolo -- and you're not late at all. Any thread can be revived.

#29 Hans


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Posted 27 July 2003 - 08:10 PM

I remember meeting Tanaquil LeClerq at the New York State Theater several years ago. Extremely polite and gracious, and still very beautiful. She died quite soon after that.

I also remember being in class with Baryshnikov at SAB, the time Rasta Thomas complimented my dancing (I was shocked, as I had just been out for over a month with a back injury, and then Christmas break on top of that!), and shaking Edward Villella's hand after he signed my program.

Then there was the time I went to see the Kirov at the Kennedy Center and Daria Pavlenko & several friends sat at the next table. And on the way out, I got Danila Korsuntsev's autograph :wub:

But what was really fun was having people (mostly small children, but not always) recognize me as the Nutcracker-Prince at the Starbucks across the street from the Warner Theatre in DC the years I was in Washington Ballet's Nutcracker :D. I got to be "famous" for a few minutes whenever I went out to get peppermint hot chocolate between shows :o

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