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Famous Ballet GoersResearch


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#16 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 07:57 PM

I read somewhere that Joanne Woodward is a fan. I think the Newman's Own Foundation may have even made some charitable donations...


Yes, Joanne Woodward is a fan and has acted on the boards of several smaller CT companies, I think.

Paul Simon and Donald Trump had children at SAB. Ivanka Trump has tried to parley that into her publicity.

Don't forget Rudi and Barishnikov!

#17 Mel Johnson

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:11 PM

...Boris Godunov...


Only shortly before my time. Alexander Godunov, now him I remember. God only help the company Boris supported!

#18 Estelle

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 03:43 AM

Bernadette Chirac, the wife of former French president Jacques Chirac, is said to be very interested in ballet (and she was involved in the organization of some ballet festivals).

#19 Andrew73

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 05:51 AM

Princess Diana was a regular visitor to the Ballet at the Royal Opera House.

Princess Margaret was too - though she never used the Royal Box. She preferred to sit in the centre of the stalls circle; no-one thought to point out that she shouldn't take her gin and tonic with her. And I don't recall anyone telling her that she shouldn't smoke, either. Not sure who provided the ashtray. And that was only about ten years ago.

#20 Amy Reusch

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:14 AM

Mary Tyler Moore, Grace Kelly, Picasso, Steve Wright, Edward Gorey and some major economist, was it Keynes?

Does being married to a dancer or having a dancer girlfriend count as being a fan?

Parents with kids in the ballet, I don't know if they are fans themselves, but Michael Jordon's daughter took classes with Ken von Heidecke.

I think Martin Scorcese might be a fan,

Are you only looking for living celebrities?

#21 32tendu

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:47 AM

At this stage, all of this information is being used for research material for potential future script writing. Living and non-living are all welcomed!

If the program were to get off of the ground, I would certainly welcome all ballet fans. Not just the famous!

#22 bart

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 10:29 AM

The original question is about celebrities who are "seen [to] support" ballet. I've been wondering about what constitutes "support." For many celebrities, just showing up in lovely clothes and walking around the lobby offering photo ops may be quite as much support as they are interested in giving. The relationship between ballet and celebrity -- whether its genuine admiration, mutual exploitation, artistic influence, or whatever -- wouldl make quite an interesting story.

Did anyone mention Jaqueline Kennedy (Onassis) and Arthur Schlesinger Jr.? Or Edward Gorey. You could fill several screens with the names of celebrities -- including actors, writers, musicians as well as socialites -- who liked to be seen at ABT and Balanchine's company in New York.

[ ... ] and some major economist, was it Keynes?

Keynes was married to Diaghilev ballerina Lydia Lopukova, who eventually became "Lady Keynes" after he was knighted.

The Bloomsbury Group and its contemporaries became fans for a while when Diaghilev came to London before World War One. According to Lynn Garafola, Keynes's interest in the Diaghilev ballet pre-existed Lopukhova. He travelled to London from Cambridge to see, he claimed, Nijinksy's legs. Lytton Strachey sent Nijinsky flowers. E.M. Forster was impressed by Nijinsky's portrayal of the Faun; George Bernard Shaw was passionate about Karsavina. Later, Harold Action, Cyril Connolly, Anthony Powell and all three Sitwells were among the younger generation of writers who frequented the ballet. As did Cecil Beaton, Lady Cunard, Lady Diana Cooper and other socialites and fashionistas.

In Paris, how about Proust, Cocteau, ee cummings, John Dos Passos? Or Coco Chanel and the fashion crowd after WWI. Picasso was a big groupie for quite a while, during his haut bourgeois period; he went to far as to marry the ballerina Olga Koklova and to dress up quite richly and elegantly for a while. Among expatriate Americans in Paris: Gerald and Sara Murphy, Jannet Flanner, Zelda Fitzgerald (who was inspired to become a kind of ballet dancer herself).

Garafola's book, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, is brim-full of celebrity citings and quotes from that period. How many actually came for the ballet -- or stayed after the initial rush of fashion died -- is hard to say. By the way, Garafola is very good in describing the way that fashion marketing -- clothing, perfume, etc. -- entered into the mix very early on -- precursors of the Blackgama mink "Legend" ads with Fonteyn, Nureyev, and Graham.

#23 papeetepatrick

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:21 AM

Several have mentioned Jackie Onassis. She and sister Lee Radziwill were very close friends of Nureyev, and obviously major ballet attendees. I don't know if Lee still is, but probably.

I just remembered that, during her Viking Press days in the 70s, Jackie wrote a long paean to Nureyev in the New York Times Magazine. It was considerably more inspired than the other one I read of hers in that publication-about Diana Vreeland; although that one was very good too, because, on looking back, she stuck strictly to reportage rather than her own opinions.

#24 Mel Johnson

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 11:28 AM

And then, of course, there was Louis XIV. You couldn't keep him OFFstage. (It's good to be the king) He and Prince William III of Orange danced together in a "Ballet de la Paix" in 1668. I suppose that the only thing that kept King Charles II of England from being there too were all those girlfriends, oh, and being a relatively-recently-restored sovereign kept him pretty occupied, as well.

#25 vagansmom

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:04 PM

I saw Donald Rumsfeld at a NYCB performance 4 or 5 years ago.

I'm glad someone mentioned Edward Gorey. Why, one could write a whole book about his enthusiasm and support of the NYCB! I believe they still sell the famous"Gorey Five Positions [of ballet]" on NYCB T-shirts, mugs, etc. Much of his artwork and books for children reflect his devotion to ballet, and the NYCB in particular.

#26 SanderO

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 01:43 PM

If I saw Rummy, I woulda socked him in the tummy.

#27 pj

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 02:07 PM

Well, if you are at all interested in more "pop" culture of the more current Hollywood variety, I saw Jennifer Garner and not-yet-hubby Ben Afleck in the audience at L.A. Music Center when NYCB was there a couple of years ago. That was actually about a week before their first "official" siting at a Baseball game on the opposite coast. They either left or changed seats at intermission because there were a lot of fans that noticed them and were beginning to be a little bothersome, at least from where I was sitting.

#28 Alina

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 02:30 PM

Joanne Woodward has been mentioned by others but it is a fact that she was the primary funder of Dennis Wayne's company Dancers that he started in 1976.

#29 papeetepatrick

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 03:04 PM

And then, of course, there was Louis XIV. You couldn't keep him OFFstage.


And banished those from court who made imperfect gestures, so he was also OFFstage as an audience for his courtiers, disciplining them at whim. I always find the Hyacinth Rigaud portrait amusing, and one easily imagines his delicate prancing when listening to Lully.

#30 Amy Reusch

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 08:06 PM

I have been given to understand the expression (and consequences of)"faux pas" started to have significance in Louis XIV's court


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