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Famous Ballet GoersResearch


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#31 Paul Parish

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:45 PM

Jaqueline K Onassis was actually editor for Francis Mason's wonderul book, "I Remember Balanchine."

#32 Mel Johnson

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:47 PM

And King Ludwig I of Bavaria went to the ballet for all the WRONG reasons. His affair with Lola Montez helped force his abdication.

Ditto Cassius Marcellus Clay, no, not THAT Cassius Marcellus Clay, the one who was American Minister to Russia during the American Civil War. He had assignations going with a woman in the corps of the Bolshoi, eventually having a child with her. He also "adopted" her son by another man, and put him on the US payroll as secretary, even though he couldn't understand a word of English.

#33 carbro

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 12:51 AM

Jaqueline K Onassis was actually editor for Francis Mason's wonderul book, "I Remember Balanchine."

And Gelsey Kirkland's "Dancing on my Grave."

#34 4mrdncr

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:09 PM

...Boris Godunov...


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


Yes, how right you are. I knew that "opera guy" would mix me up somehow. Should have remembered Sascha.
At that time, though, we were all concerned about the two "Shuras" Danilova, and MB's daughter just born.

#35 4mrdncr

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:14 PM

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).


She supposedly invited the gold medal winner(s) of the 1994 Concourse to dinner afterwards. I do not know if she attended the entire Concourse or only congratulated the winners at the end. But yes, her interest in ballet seems to be longstanding.

#36 Ray

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 03:59 PM

A less popularly known ballet-goer is Richard Poirier, co-founder of the Library of America and Raritan, and former editor at the Partisan Review. And he's actually written about his NYCB infatuation (he's a very good writer) in various places, such as a chapter called "Balanchine in America" in Trying It Out in America: Literary and Other Performances (2003), and I know he's written about Suzanne Farrell too. So he's "supported" ballet by writing about it in his own sphere, which is American literature.

#37 kfw

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 04:48 PM

A less popularly known ballet-goer is Richard Poirier, co-founder of the Library of America and Raritan, and former editor at the Partisan Review. And he's actually written about his NYCB infatuation (he's a very good writer) in various places, such as a chapter called "Balanchine in America" in Trying It Out in America: Literary and Other Performances (2003), and I know he's written about Suzanne Farrell too. So he's "supported" ballet by writing about it in his own sphere, which is American literature.

Wow, thanks, Ray! I'll ask for "Trying It It in America" via inter-library loan tomorrow.

#38 bart

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:17 PM

he's actually written about his NYCB infatuation (he's a very good writer) in various places, such as a chapter called "Balanchine in America" in Trying It Out in America: Literary and Other Performances (2003), and I know he's written about Suzanne Farrell too.

And Bette Midler. One of the things I like about this collection is the way that Poirier -- who came of age along with the rise of the NYCB -- is not afraid to link the his attraction to the work of Balanchine and even Midler to more standard Americal Lit subject matter like Whitman and Henry James.

#39 mmded

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:47 PM

We sat directly behind Yves Saint-Laurent at a POB performance of La Sylphide a few years ago. My non-dancer daughter spent the entire time watching him and memorizing every detail of everything about him so she could search out photographs of him to convince herself it was really him! He was whisked out immediately after by the person who had accompanied him but she managed to make eye contact with him for an instant. :angel_not:

#40 Drew

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:32 PM

To remain with the twentieth century: Joseph Cornell and Frank O'Hara; one can find traces of their love of ballet in their work (more in the case of Cornell than O'Hara).

In the 1970's (I think) I used to see Kissinger at the ballet and around the same time I read an interview with Farrell in which she talked about meeting him and says something along the lines of...'he really knows something about ballet.'

I saw Steve Martin at a matinee Coppelia years ago and since he was once married to Baronova's daughter, I vaguely assumed he must have some real interest and/or knowledge of ballet. But I don't really know.

#41 innopac

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 02:14 PM

The relationship between ballet and celebrity -- whether its genuine admiration, mutual exploitation, artistic influence, or whatever -- woulld make quite an interesting story.


Bart, you mentioned Zelda Fitzgerald in your post. I hadn't realized she had loved dance so much....

Blog on Zelda Fitzgerald.

#42 Alexandra

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 02:35 PM

From DC, I very seldom see political figures at the Kennedy Center these days, but in Olden Times (70s, 80s) quite a few Cabinet members, Senators, newsmen and Kennedys came regularly. Senator Fulbright's season tickets were right behind the Post's seats on Wednesday night. I remember after one "Les Sylphides" I heard him say to his wife, "That was real purty, honey."

Dan Rather used to come regularly when he was anchor in D.C. Joan Kennedy and family would often put in appearances -- John Kennedy Jr. also came when he was in town.

One FBI Director, whose name I forget (after J. Edgar), was also a regular attendee. I remember one performance when his administration was in disgrace for some reason or another, and no one would talk to him at intermissions. Brzezinski (sp) seemed to be a fan -- I remember seeing him often, once in a box with Beryl Grey, and they were obviously friends.

Ronald Reagan would attend his son's Joffrey performances. Both he and Bill Clinton (at separate times, obviously) were in the audience at Lisner Auditorium, and the Secret Service was obviously hating every minute -- not only the ballets, but the layout. It's a typical college auditorium, and even with guards stationed every 20 feet down both sides, heads pirouetting constantly, it was a very open space.

Elizabeth Taylor came to a few performances when she was appearing here in a play. AND Sandra J. O'Connor was an avid modern dance fan.

#43 Brioche

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 06:13 PM

Alexandra, was that William Sessions? His daughter was in San Franciso Ballet.

#44 Paul Parish

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 10:01 PM

Indeed, she was -- Sarah Sessions, the tallest girl in the corps and a wonderful dancer. She was a great "big swan," she was terrific in Agon, and she was really good in modern dance-y things like Othello and Company C.

She's also the poster girl for Ballet.co.

Alexandra, was that William Sessions? His daughter was in San Franciso Ballet.



#45 canbelto

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 08:54 AM

I've seen Caroline Kennedy a few times at ballet performances.
Maybe my best sighting was during the Romeo and Juliet this year. I all of a sudden heard a little commotion and turned towards the aisle and saw Allegra Kent walking down the aisle. People were randomly saying hi and she was smiling and blowing kisses to it seemed like everyone. She is as pretty as ever, and contrary to the image she presented of herself as a kind of bohemian who made her own purses from rags and stockings, she was very well-dressed and chic.


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