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Melissa Hayden has diedBallerina was 83


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#1 Mel Johnson

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 11:27 AM

The stub of an obituary from the Winston-Salem Journal:

http://www.journalno...d=1149189885445

#2 Farrell Fan

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 02:55 PM

So sorry to read this. She was the first ballerina I was aware of in the years when I grew enamored of NYCB. However reluctantly Balanchine choreographed Cortege Hongrois for her farewell ballet, she triumphed in it and left some of the audience in tears.

#3 richard53dog

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:06 PM

So sorry to read this.



I'm also very sorry to read this. She was a real favorite of mine when I was a new ballet goer.
I loved watching her use her powerful attack; it was really something to see.

I also remember her as a very nice lady, very cordial to us pesky fans.


RIP

Richard

#4 Helene

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:14 PM

This is very sad news.

Yisgadal v' yiskadash sh'mey rabbah.

#5 dirac

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:36 PM

I first saw her on camera in the documentary Dancing for Mr. B: Six Balanchine Ballerinas, and judging by that she seems to have been as strong and distinctive a presence offstage as on. Her comments, as quoted by Nancy Reynolds in “Repertory in Review,” on the changes in the company wrought by Balanchine’s preoccupation with Suzanne Farrell are perceptive and to the point. Her talk with Robert Tracy in the book “Balanchine’s Ballerinas” is one of the best in that volume.

#6 papeetepatrick

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:01 PM

I first saw her on camera in the documentary Dancing for Mr. B: Six Balanchine Ballerinas, and judging by that she seems to have been as strong and distinctive a presence offstage as on. Her comments, as quoted by Nancy Reynolds in “Repertory in Review,” on the changes in the company wrought by Balanchine’s preoccupation with Suzanne Farrell are perceptive and to the point.


I agree, and I just hate this and as well, am totally shocked. I'll never forget her the one time I saw her (and I went there not even knowing she was dancing that night) in the one act 'Swan Lake', which is one of the five or so greatest performances by a ballerina I've ever seen. I was friendly at the time with one of the top young modern dance choreographers of the day (and continues) and he went on and on about how Melissa Hayden was 'such a great dancer.'

#7 Mel Johnson

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:19 PM

I have to agree. Farrell was very good as Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and I liked her in it, but then I saw Hayden do the role, and she was great!

I never truthfully thought of her as being 25 years my senior, because I would catch delightful performances, one of which in "Tchaikovsky pas de Deux" prompted Clive Barnes to write to the effect that it made sense for City Ballet to hold onto its senior ballerinas, "because they dance so young!"

#8 kfw

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:20 PM

I first saw her on camera in the documentary Dancing for Mr. B: Six Balanchine Ballerinas, and judging by that she seems to have been as strong and distinctive a presence offstage as on. Her comments, as quoted by Nancy Reynolds in “Repertory in Review,” on the changes in the company wrought by Balanchine’s preoccupation with Suzanne Farrell are perceptive and to the point.


I guess that aired on PBS, what, 17 years ago now? Still, she looks so vigorous in that, the news comes as a shock. Time to go watch the tape.

#9 rg

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:23 PM

i have scanned a few undated publicity photos that include MELISSA HAYDEN - NB: to those who who such things - if these take up precious bandwidth, please let me know and i'll take them down or feel free to take them down as you see fit.
photo #1
CARACOLE - Finale - w/ Hayden in the air of a sissone; from left in background: adams? leclercq & wilde.

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#10 rg

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:28 PM

publicity photo #2
Hayden featured in GLINKIANA and in which she created the central role of Jota Argonese - c. 1967 - (i believe one can see in the background, R. Estopinal? E. Sieveling, D. Richardson, L.Stetson, and ? ?

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#11 rg

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:30 PM

undated publicity photo #3 -
APOLLO w/ D'Amboise & (from left) Hayden, Adams, Wilde

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#12 rg

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:31 PM

undated photo #4
SWAN LAKE - Hayden & P. Martins

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#13 bart

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:57 PM

Like Farrell Fan, I experienced Hayden as the "first ballerina I was aware of" at NYCB.

At that time (late 50s), Tallchief was in the process of leaving and, I suspect, dancing less. It seemed to my inexperienced, awestruck eyes that Hayden was cast in everything -- was capable of everything. Firebird, Swan Lake (Act II), Agon, Apollo, and on and on.

She was also, in those years, the dancer with the strongest stage personallity, and the most power, of anyone in the company. She could be funny, assertive, poignant, and surprisingly Balanchinian. She was also the dancer who made me most aware of the music. Her partnership with d'Amboise was electric.

To this day, I retain images in my memory of Hayden dancing (along with the sections of music to which each image was peformed). These are actually more vivid and more moving than almost anything I remember from the season just past.

Ave, Hayden.

#14 dirac

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 04:58 PM

I seem to recall Martins describing her in his book as "a sensationally challenging partner" or words to that effect.

#15 Helene

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 05:20 PM

NB: to those who who such things - if these take up precious bandwidth, please let me know and i'll take them down or feel free to take them down as you see fit.

We are proud and happy to host these wonderful photos of a great ballerina.


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