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Important Women in Ballet


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#16 Yvonne

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Posted 18 May 2001 - 10:15 AM

Although many might disagree, I would add Suzanne Farrell and Gelsey Kirkland to the list, as "recent" American ballerinas who really pushed the envelope with the artistry and near perfection of their many performances. Farrell now is passing on her knowledge of Balanchine's works in a pure and undiluted manner (as is Maria Tallchief, also). Kirkland is behind the scenes, teaching, trying help young dancers to "feel" what they are dancing and to "think" about what they are doing and why. To remember that dancing requires your whole heart and body, not just a strong pair of legs and great feet! :)

#17 leibling

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Posted 19 May 2001 - 09:00 AM

Nancy Reynolds- for her Balanchine Foundation projects- which gives some dancers a chance to work with the closest direct links to Balanchine, and then preserves the rehearsals for generations to come.

#18 BryMar1995

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Posted 19 May 2001 - 02:50 PM

I forgot about Anne-Marie Holmes and Maina Giulgud who both were directors in Boston and other places. Violet Verdy directed there as well and is a very outstanding influence in my dance career. Can anybody name some current or up and coming female ballet choreographers?
Rick :)

#19 Lukayev

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Posted 19 May 2001 - 03:56 PM

I don't know if we've really moved onto dancers now, but what about Dame Margot Fonteyn?

I'm sure the soloists waiting in line at Sadler-Well's were just waiting until her dancing age was over, but then came along Nureyev, and it was that flick of the whip that made the prima ballerina assoluta what I think that people remember her as. My mom thinks that dancers are pushing it in mid-late 30's to be dancing, and I semi-agree. But this lady was on her toes into her fifties! Just another example of how the human spirit can defy 'set' laws like *that*!

Ta!
Luka

#20 Alexandra

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Posted 19 May 2001 - 04:33 PM

A couple of comments on Fonteyn. First, she was a prima ballerina long before the partnership with Nureyev, and secondly, I think dancers recognize when there's a Queen or a King around. There will be grumbling, of course -- dancers live in a perpetual state of scarcity (roles) -- but I've also heard too many dancers say that it was an honor to be in the theater when this or that dancer was around, and that they all were better for the inspiration, that a great dancer made them better. I think there are more problems when there are a lot of good dancers and a lack of great ones; then it's too easy to think "what's he got that I haven't got?" (There are some people who will think that no matter who is the competition, but when there's a great star around, they'll get whacked for saying it out loud :) )

We have mentioned dancers on this thread, but I think Rick's intention was to shine a spotlight on important women who WERE NOT dancers, but important to ballet in other ways (choreographerss, company directors).

#21 Lukayev

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Posted 19 May 2001 - 08:30 PM

Alright, then, to name someone who was not a dancer but whose work was seen as vital as dancing (according to a book or two I read).. Karinska, the one-name costumer for Balanchine's company. Her costumes graced famous bodies for performances and from the examples I saw as photographs on several pages, they're exquisite and beautiful!

I have never seen a live performance of NYCB (really, the only performance I've seen is Peter Martins' Swan Lake aired on PBS a few years ago). But, seeing of how much she made an impact on the books and articles of NYCB's Balanchine days, I think that costumes came alive then, and maybe even now, if there is stage magic enough. :)

Ta!
Luka

#22 Guest_dance4ever_*

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Posted 20 May 2001 - 07:00 AM

I'd say Gelsey Kirkland. She always was behind the scenes doing research trying to figure out how she should feel at this point and then at this point. She also showed what drugs can do to dancers. I also agree with Margot Fonteyn, and Agrippina Vaganova.

#23 salzberg

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Posted 20 May 2001 - 07:42 AM

Every teacher who first got one of us interested in dance. In my case, it was Mary Ella Montague.

#24 leibling

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Posted 20 May 2001 - 09:37 AM

Rick- you asked for current or emerging female choreographers- I could only think of two.... Lynn Taylor-Corbett, and the girl in San Francisco- Julia Adam(?). The fact that there seem to be so few female choreographers makes these two women important figures in ballet.

#25 BryMar1995

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Posted 21 May 2001 - 09:21 PM

I've admired the work of Lisa de Ribere. I have wondered why we haven't seen more of her work around the country. I know of a young talent whom I believe came out of Julliard - Jessica Lange I think. She did some work for ABT II. Anyone else hear about her? Also, Miriam Madhvadiani from NYCB (forgive me for not spelling her name correctly). Are there any local female choreographers people are proud of? I've met a few on RDA adjudication tours.
Rick

#26 Christinebrady79

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:21 PM

I believe that Barbara Fallis, who was married to Richard Thomas and taught in New York CIty was an Important Woman in Ballet.  She was the nicest, most helpful teacher I ever met.  She had been a soloist in England and with the New York City ballet.  She and her husband created the US Terpiscore which toured the US with young people.



#27 California

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 05:46 AM

In spring 2012, the Colorado Ballet presented a program called "Tribute" with choreography by three female choreographers (Emery LeCrone, Jodie Gates, Amie Seiwart), in honor of the two women who founded the company, Lillian Covillo and Freidann Parker: 

 

http://www.denverpos...-dances-knowing

 

Gates is the new director of the USC Kaufman School of Dance: http://kaufman.usc.edu/



#28 bart

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 06:36 AM

Thanks for reviving this thread, Christine and California.  It's an important and interesting topic, and there has been a lot of development since the thread last flourished in 2001. 

 

PLEASE, everyone, tell us about the "Important Women in Ballet" that you feel deeply about.  (I'm working on my list right now.)



#29 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 11:31 AM

Rather than individual dancers or choreographers, I think more in those whose strong will and determination have propelled significant forces within the art form.  Ninette de Valois, Lucia Chase and Alicia Alonso are three of those.  Current important cornerstones of the ballet world are basically and definitely radiations from their efforts.



#30 DanielBenton

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 01:45 PM

Allegra Kent, a true artist. 




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