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Rosella Hightower


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#1 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 04:39 AM

From a newspaper in Singapore

http://www.straitsti...ory_298337.html

French ballerina Rosella Hightower, who danced with Rudolf Nureyev and was ballet mistress at the Paris Opera and Milan's La Scala, died overnight Monday to Tuesday aged 88.
Her daughter Dominique Monet Robier told AFP that Hightower, who was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, passed away in the Riviera city of Cannes after suffering several strokes.


A French report from LeFigaro:

http://www.lefigaro....-hightower.php#

Another French report:

http://www.nicerende...ILE-n-4460.html

#2 atm711

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 04:52 AM

I guess I am one of the very few BTers who saw Hightower dance in her prime. She was a ballerina in the early days of Ballet Theatre. She was one of my first Odettes and had a very beautiful classical line; she was also my first Myrtha (with Markova and Dolin's Giselle) and she showed me from the beginning that Myrtha was a ballerina role. Her interpretation of the pig-tailed girl in 'Graduation Ball' was a real gem; and she also did the Nutcracker and Bluebird PDDs. I dare say, she was our first Native American ballerina---the two Tallchiefs were soloists at the time. Rest in peace, Rosella.

#3 rg

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 07:13 AM

two publicity photos of Hightower, neither dated.

1] portrait as Odette - "S. Hurok presents Original BALLET RUSSE Col. W. DEBASIL, Dir- Gen." [stamped on back] [crossed out next to this stamp another indicating: "S. HUROK presents THE GREATEST IN RUSSIAN BALLET by the BALLET THEATRE"] (the same portrait was also used in a 1944-45 Ballet Theatre souvenir booklet.

2] autographed photo ("to Paul") as Odile [no captioning, etc. on back]

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#4 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 10:35 AM

some fragments on youtube, some shorter, some longer.







http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

#5 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 10:55 AM

Another Icon gone..The little group of true old-timers is getting smaller and smaller.
RIP, Miss. Hightower :P

#6 leonid17

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 11:34 AM

I guess I am one of the very few BTers who saw Hightower dance in her prime. She was a ballerina in the early days of Ballet Theatre. She was one of my first Odettes and had a very beautiful classical line; she was also my first Myrtha (with Markova and Dolin's Giselle) and she showed me from the beginning that Myrtha was a ballerina role. Her interpretation of the pig-tailed girl in 'Graduation Ball' was a real gem; and she also did the Nutcracker and Bluebird PDDs. I dare say, she was our first Native American ballerina---the two Tallchiefs were soloists at the time. Rest in peace, Rosella.


It is is always foolish to envy someone who is older than one but I always wished I had seen Rosella Hightower when she was younger as you did. I was 17 when I saw Miss Hightower dance and she was in her forties by that time. I did however see her close to in several situations later in her life and watching her and listening(eavesdropping) to her, I was impressed by the modulation of her voice and her expression that fascinated me as she projected a kind of goodness that created something special about and around her. As to her dancing, I was too young to fully appreciate her as artist as at that time I was discovering ballet and was intoxicated with its historical figures and the glamour of the Royal Opera House. What is clear, is that she made an important contribution to the art which we all love and the memories of her will not disappear.

#7 bart

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 01:40 PM

Although I never saw her dance, I remember, as a child, hearing the name "Hightower" and imagining her dancing in a ballet based on Rapunzel.

Thanks, Mme. Hermine, for the YouTube clips. Watching the young Hightower dancing on what appears to be an esplanade in Monte Carlo -- and then seeing her in profile as she rides, wind sweeping through her hair, in a motor boat -- and then again,, much later in her life, working with Elizabeth Platel on Sleeping Beauty: it's marvellous. These clips help me understand leonid's youthful impression: that she

projected a kind of goodness that created something special about and around her.


So much of her career was in France. I'm looking forward to hearing from some of our French members and those who saw her (or knew her) from there.

#8 chiapuris

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 03:28 PM

I guess I am one of the very few BTers who saw Hightower dance in her prime........


I saw her on stage in Paris several times (in the fifties) when she was with the de Cuevas Ballet.
A vivid recollection remains with me of taking a class taught by John Taras, which she also took.

Among her roles, if my memory is accurate, was a ballet called Piege de Lumiere.

On stage she radiated an aura of serenity, confidence and nobility that I found phenomenally unique.

She was an exceptional artist of the ballet.

#9 zerbinetta

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 04:26 PM

Was Hightower not American Indian? Chocktaw, I think.

Ergo, the name.

#10 leonid17

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 04:49 PM

Was Hightower not American Indian? Chocktaw, I think.

Ergo, the name.


You are correct, she was from a Choctaw family background and according to Wikipedia she is honored in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with four other Native American ballerinas (Yvonne Chouteau, Moscelyne Larkin. Maria Tallchief and Marjorie Tallchief with a larger than life-size bronze statue in the garden of the Tulsa Historical Society.

#11 bart

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 05:01 PM

she is honored in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with four other Native American ballerinas (Yvonne Chouteau, Moscelyne Larkin. Maria Tallchief and Marjorie Tallchief with a larger than life-size bronze statue in the garden of the Tulsa Historical Society.

Wonderful! I can't imagine that there are many American cities with large public sculptures devoted to ballet dancers. (Or, indeed, any small-scale public sculpture.)

I've always wondered how a smallish western city like Tulsa managed to acquire an admirable classical ballet company. This story must be part of the reason.

#12 leonid17

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 05:11 PM

she is honored in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with four other Native American ballerinas (Yvonne Chouteau, Moscelyne Larkin. Maria Tallchief and Marjorie Tallchief with a larger than life-size bronze statue in the garden of the Tulsa Historical Society.

Wonderful! I can't imagine that there are many American cities with large public sculptures devoted to ballet dancers. (Or, indeed, any small-scale public sculpture.)

I've always wondered how a smallish western city like Tulsa managed to acquire an admirable classical ballet company. This story must be part of the reason.


I am not very good at getting links to work, but if you go to http://www.gtrnews.c...rina-sculptures (type it in if you have to) there is a picture of the sculptor and Rosella Hightower in an exhultant arabesque.

#13 bart

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 05:20 PM

The link works perfectly. :P Thanks, leonid, for doing the research.

#14 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 09:08 PM

Great info indeed. Thanks, Leonid.

#15 carbro

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 02:52 PM

A brief tribute from NPR: Remembering Ballerina Rosella Hightower.


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