Ballerinas/danseurs who met tragic ends in real life
Posted 03 July 2003 - 01:57 PM
Great crop of American Dancers swept away.
David Peregrine from RWB died in a plane that he was flying, I believe.
Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:05 PM
Posted 03 July 2003 - 02:34 PM
Jacques Garnier had died of AIDS around 1989 when he was about 47 (he had been a POB sujet in the 1960s, then had left the company with Brigitte Lefèvre to create their own company the Théâtre du Silence, then had come back to the POB in the late 1970s to be the director of the GRCOP. Unfortunately, it seems that only one of his choreographies has survived). His mother had written a small book about him and especially about his last days, it really was heart-breaking.
Jorge Donn (principal dancer of Béjart's company) died from AIDS at 45 in november 1992- shortly before Dominique Bagouet (a prominent French modern dance choreographer) at 41, and Rudolf Nureyev at 54... I remember an issue of "Les Saisons de la Danse" with all those obituaries, and its late director André-Philippe Hersin, who was a close friend of Donn and Bagouet, had only written a few words instead of his usual editorials because it was too hard for him to write more...
The former POB principal Claire Motte died in 1986, when she was 49, from cancer. She had stopped performing, but was one of the POB's ballet masters, and left two young sons.
Well, that's really a depressing thread...
Posted 03 July 2003 - 05:23 PM
Posted 03 July 2003 - 05:51 PM
Posted 03 July 2003 - 06:26 PM
Posted 03 July 2003 - 07:19 PM
It's so important to remember these people and to avoid the wasteful loss of other lives, but to take Emma Livry as an example, isn't it sad and ironic for a talented dancer to have her death to be the thing that defined her life? Is that all she is to be remembered for?
Posted 03 July 2003 - 08:17 PM
So in a sense she's remembered because her death was so horrible (read Guest; he does a lovely blow by blow, right down to the butterfly fluttering over her casket all the way to the cemetery) but also because it was not only a thwarted life and a thwarted career, but a thwarted era, one of the great What Might Have Beens in dance history.
(And, after all, if you start a thread asking for tragic deaths, it's gonna be morbid )
Posted 03 July 2003 - 09:13 PM
That it may evoke strong emotions, especially when we knew a dancer, is not a bad thing. It may be therapeutic to be able to have a moment to grieve again.
And, certainly, to talk about a deceased dancer who had so much more to do, allows their star to shine a little again.
I know it does me good to think about Joseph Duell, Patrick Bissell, Christopher Gillis, Jeff Duncan, and many others, from time to time. Just remembering their brilliance makes me happy they graced the dance world when they did and that I was there to see it.
That they died tragically is so very hard to take, but, that's the risk of being alive. Many of us may die tragically as well. It's built into the nature of life that some die sweetly, maybe even painlessly, at a ripe old age, and others have to go through hell, perhaps long before their time.
Posted 03 July 2003 - 09:23 PM
I didn't exactly feel morbid reading over this thread, but I did find it rather upsetting...the impact of AIDS on the generation of dancers I, so to speak, grew up with -- William Carter is yet another-- was particularly devastating.
On a lighter note (sort of) I do think popular culture tends to encourage a view of ballet and ballet dancers as somehow 'tragic,' or, at any rate, melodramatic. I'm thinking of The Red Shoes or even the Turning Pointe. And Kirkland's first book, the one detailing her failed love affairs and drug addiction, was the best seller, not the second one where she details her ideas about interpretation.
Posted 03 July 2003 - 09:31 PM
(The Eddie Stierle story is another -- not saying that he was self-destructive, not at all, but the story is very much about "they said he didn't have the right body for dance...") If Emma Livry had been American, she would have inspired the muckrakers. ("Evil theater owners who install unsafe gas lamps purely for Profit and Greed destroy the Life of our little Butterfly....")
Posted 04 July 2003 - 05:03 PM
Posted 04 July 2003 - 05:05 PM
Posted 05 July 2003 - 08:36 PM
He won a gold medal at the 1973 Moscow International Competition and danced with the Bolshoi for 13 years. In New York, he danced 3 years with ABT and even with Alvin Ailey.
I remember him best in "Witness," where he made his film debut in 1985. What a striking figure he was -- tall, blond, chiseled good looks with a very fine line and superb technique in ballet!
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