Tanny

Tanaquil Le Clercq

195 posts in this topic

Dear friends,

My wonderful librarian found a Paul Tanaquil poem, but it was different from the one I remembered, so she’s retrieving that one, too, and I’ll post it when it comes.

I’d hoped to include the pdf images of the mag cover, title page, etc., but I don’t see how to do that here, so I’m just typing the text. This was on p. 10 of The Measure, A Journal of Poetry, number 47, January, 1925.

“Over a Dead Poet

There was in him no factual trace of sin,

Here was a child, a subtly wayward one at that,

Lacking all sense of appropriate discipline,

Loving color and contour, despising the dull, the flat.

If he were forced at times to be cruelly clever,

He wrapped his sword-point in lint lest blood fall on the ground,

He was both too strong and too weak completely to sever

Evil from good, he was too versatile to be profound.

He never wore dirty collars by choice nor adopted loud socks,

He loathed the arid sham, the melancholy middle-class tie,

Here was no daring aphorism, no disturbing paradox,

R.I.P. Life did rather well in letting him die.

Paul Tanaquil”

In the Contributors section, there is this;

“ ‘Paul Tanaquil’ has recently returned from Europe to teach in the department of Romance Languages at Columbia University.”

The fact that the journal put the name in quotes shows that it recognized this as a nom de plume.

Hope this is interesting, Tanny and others.

Happy weekend,

L.V.

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Here is the other Le Clercq poem from Measure, October, 1925, p.6.

HENRY

In his compositions he sought

The bizarre. How very banal

His present decomposition!

ROBERT

He insulted God

Nor ever forgave God

For forgiving him. God!

CLAUDIA

She was no poetess,

But Sappho alone

Could aptly mourn

Claudia’s passing.

EUGENE

Dead? Nonsense!

He sailed to Paradise

To study mystic technic

From the Holy Ghost.

GORDON

Tread softly: here is the bigamist!

Ghosts of three fat women

Haunt his dreams.

PHILIP

Eminently methodic,

Dependable, regular –

Suddenly your heart stopped,

But your watch went tic-tic …

VIOLET

She loved to dance,

She hated to dance

With me. Let her dance

Now.

Jacques Le Clercq

(“Paul Tanaquil”)

In the Contributors section is this. “Paul Tanaquil, as most of us know well, is one of the more interesting of the young poets, who can write either with lyrical music or with satiric brevity. What most of us did not know, however, is that “Paul Tanaquil” was a pen name for Jacques Le Clercq.”

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A friend recently sent me this link. It's not well organized -- you'd be hard pressed to create a halfway accurate timeline from the essay -- and I wonder about some of the facts, but I'm just passing it on, as some of the nuggets, for whatever they're worth, are interesting.

:)

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carbro, anyone who can write about Le Clercq (as has Barry Katz):

"…..a long-limbed grace, …musicality, and a certain comic, witty streak that lept off the stage to engage audiences…" has written something right and true.

I remember her as such in Metamorphoses.

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This seems to me a very well done piece, which deftly combines the facts of Tanny's life with insights into her personality. Thanks for posting it, carbro.

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I happen to really like that article, but then again, Barry is a friend - in fact we met over a discussion of her old home.

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A friend recently sent me this link. It's not well organized -- you'd be hard pressed to create a halfway accurate timeline from the essay -- and I wonder about some of the facts, but I'm just passing it on, as some of the nuggets, for whatever they're worth, are interesting.

:)

Thanks for the link, carbro. Definitely worth reading, although I agree with you that it could be better organized.

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Thank you for posting the link Carbro. It really made me smile. The last paragraph in particular is really lovely.

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There are several (too brief) clips of her in the Balanchine biography (first shown on PBS, now on DVD): Concerto Barocco, Western Symphony, Concertino, and La Valse. (This DVD is a must for any Balanchine lover.)

http://www.amazon.com/Balanchine-George/dp/B00019G8BA/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1329524164&sr=1-1

(But if you are going to buy this, work through the Amazon box on the lower left corner of this page.)

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Thanks, garybruce. I love her feverish intensity, the way she seems to be impelled to dance by a force outside herself. It's almost impossible to believe that this can be the same dancer who appears in as the self-absorbed young ballet student of Afternoon of a Faun, in the film with d'Amboise.

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bart, you're spot on: she is quite amazing as an "actor" of dancing - she inhabits the character of the piece she's performing through the steps, the gestures and the overall spirit of the choreography. The only dance videos we seem to have of her are these two yet they demonstrate the extent to which she was an artist. I hear there are others in the NYC public library at Lincoln Center. Has no one thought of assembling them into a DVD?

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I am new to this site and was pleasantly surprised to see my sister's post. My sister is named after Tanny LeClercq. We all grew up very proud of Tanny LeClercq's accomplishments on and off the stage. Thank you so much for these wonderful posts.

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Welcome to BalletAlert!, and thank you, Jackie1956, for checking in and introducing yourself. We are so proud to boast among our members three members of Ms. LeClercq's family.

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A fairly recent article on Tanaquil Le Clercq:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/t-magazine/inside-the-mind-of-tanaquil-le-clercq.html

I'm not sure if anyone mentioned the excellent DVD, "Jacques D'Amboise: Portrait of a Great American Dancer". It contains rare footage of Tanaquil Le Clercq dancing with D'Amboise in Jerome Robbin's "Afternoon of a Faun". [it also contains (I believe) the only complete filming of the older version of Balanchine's Apollo, and has the finale to Mr. B's "Stars and Stripes". So, well worth purchasing if you're a balletomane.]

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Thank you so much, pherank, it's lovely to see this gathering of photos. I'm delighted to learn that there will be a documentary about this wonderful dancer.

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Yes, a documentary is pretty exciting - there's some chance that there is going to be more film footage of Tanny dancing! There is footage in the archives, but it never seems to see the light of day.

Here are a few more large images -

Tanaquil Le Clercq and Jerome Robbins in "Bourée Fantastique"

http://www.metmuseum...os=7#fullscreen

Metamorphoses

http://pinterest.com...54808791401365/

Jones Beach publicity photo

http://www.metmuseum...os=8#fullscreen

Article with some small photos

http://www.capitalne...d-times-and-aft

http://www.gettyimag...photo/124511753

http://www.gettyimag...photo/124035307

http://farm4.staticf...513fafc31_z.jpg

Oh, and evidence of hidden treasures:

http://www.worldcat.org/title/valse/oclc/438155528

Edited by pherank

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She is mesmerizing...and that last link is very intriguing!

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She is mesmerizing...and that last link is very intriguing!

I agree, Bonnette -- it's hard to take one's eyes off Tanny. Can't wait for the documentary and am glad Ric Burns is producing it. Thanks, pherank, for the beautiful photos, especially the Metamorphosis shots.

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Oh, and evidence of hidden treasures:

http://www.worldcat..../oclc/438155528

Oh! Victor Jessen! The maker of the film of Gaite' Parisienne on the VAI 4384 DVD. Aha! Yes, let's pray that sees the light of day.

Meanwhile, over in the Ballet Videos forum, we have been talking about the 1954 French film of Western Symphony, not mentioned in this thread so far, which has LeClercq and Jacques d'Amboise in the fourth movement Rondo; in a slightly-battered black-and-white print, it's on a French web site, ina.fr (where the Rondo begins at about 20:15).

(As you can see if you open the link, the NYPL catalog dates this film to 1957, but Bernard Taper, in his biography Balanchine, dates LeClercq's polio onset as October 1956, so I suppose it may have been shot in the earlier year and then released in the later.)

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Thank you so much for posting those links, Jack, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the video. Wasn't she sparkling, saucy and captivating! I'm having terrible bandwidth problems tonight, which was my good fortune in this instance - for I got to see many of the performances in slow motion (with quite a few interspersed stills, LOL). Utterly delightful.

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I agree, Bonnette -- it's hard to take one's eyes off Tanny. Can't wait for the documentary and am glad Ric Burns is producing it. Thanks, pherank, for the beautiful photos, especially the Metamorphosis shots.

You're very welcome - I do periodic searches on the Internet for images, and Tanny is one of the persons I've been most interested in finding decent photos of. It pays to do searches periodically since the availability of images changes. Someone on eBay just spent a lot of money on an original photo of Tanny and Jerome Robbins together, and if you scroll down on this page you can see an image of the photo - pretty great stuff:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/JEROME-ROBBINS-TANAQUIL-LECLERCQ-Ballerina-NYC-Ballet-Dancers-ORIGINAL-PHOTO-/370664929337?viewitem=&nma=true&si=FeWnSYFwe6lmn5G3P8t3rgrb%252FDM%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Meanwhile, over in the Ballet Videos forum, we have been talking about the 1954 French film of Western Symphony, not mentioned in this thread so far, which has LeClerq and Jacques d'Amboise in the fourth movement Rondo; in a slightly-battered black-and-white print, it's on a French web site, ina.fr (where the Rondo begins at about 20:15).

Really great find, Jack - I was so hoping that I was going to run into the same type of film of La Valse, on the Web, but not yet. ;)

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Just a few more. ;)

Concerto Barocco. Tanaquil Le Clercq, Diana Adams

http://24.media.tumb...2lkvo1_1280.jpg

George Balanchine, Tanaquil LeClercq, and Truman Capote

http://www.corbisima...d-truman-capote

At rehearsals

http://www.corbisima...cq-at-rehearsal

In her apartment

http://www.corbisima...n-her-apartment

Apollo at New York City Ballet with Andre Eglevsky with Diana Adams, Maria Tallchief and Tanaquil LeClercq. Photo by George Platt Lynes

http://mariakucinski...10/imag0742.jpg

Getty has some 'at-home' photos:

http://www.gettyimag...aquil Le clercq

> Search on 'George Balanchine' on the Getty site and you'll see some interesting publicity photos (there's a bunch of Harlequinade and early Apollo images for example). Here's one of the famous images:

http://www.gettyimag...-photo/89043422

That's all for now.

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