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Tanaquil Le ClercqQuery


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#121 pherank

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:14 PM

From the Marina Harss interview of Nancy Reynolds comes this fascinating exchange regarding Tanny:

When did you start taking ballet?
It was a total coincidence. I was enrolled in an after-school program at the King-Coit School, which offered a little dance, a little acting, and a little painting. We studied Duncan dancing. Tanaquil LeClercq’s mother was the receptionist and she said “I have a daughter who is a leading dancer with NYCB, and she’s never taught before and she’d like to give it a try.” So my first ballet lessons, about 40 minutes each, were with Tanny. As I look back it was absolutely amazing to have this gorgeous young teacher – she was about twenty-one then – who spoke excellent English. I say that because later on I had a lot of Russian teachers who had heavy accents and were way past it as far as being able to move goes. I don’t know what did it, whether it was studying with Tanny, or the fact that I happen to have very high insteps, but between the two, after about five months, I knew this was what I wanted to do.

What happened next?
I think maybe those classes lasted about a year, but by the end of that year I was dying to study ballet intensively. I was twelve. By then I knew about the School of American Ballet. But SAB required attendance three times a week and my mother thought that was much too much. So we asked Tanny whom she would recommend, and she recommended Vera Nemchinova, who was teaching at Ballet Arts. I went once a week. By the end of that year I was insistent on going to SAB. And by then I knew who Balanchine was, and I’d seen lots of NYCB performances. I saw Tanny when La Valse was new. She asked me to come backstage and showed me her dress. As for the coat, she said, “Look at those jets,” [the stones decorating the dress] “I think Karinska got them off an old dress.” As you can imagine, I was over the moon.

What was she like?
She had a great sense of humor, and she was absolutely unpretentious, breezy, with nothing of the grande dame. She was sort of a cutup. She didn’t philosophize about dance, at least not verbally. She was down to earth and American, with no airs. A lot of that showed onstage.
 



#122 Stage Right

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 04:59 PM

Fascinating! Thank you.



#123 pherank

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:24 PM

These images will probably not be available very long (as they are part of an auction ), but I've not seen them before. In the article, note that the 2nd sentence should read, "too arty" (so grammar/editing issues are not just to be found on present day blogs). Also they choose to spell her last name as "LeClercq" rather than "Le Clercq" as her family did.

 

3204017_Scan002.jpg

 

3204018_Scan003.jpg

 

Note to Mr. McHugh:

 

3167074_Scan265.jpg



#124 Jack Reed

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 03:48 PM

Nice going, once again, pherank!  But if it's not asking too much, is there more, specifically, a following page to go with that first image?  It says, "(continued)" in the lower right corner.  Or is this an auction for those only interested in images?  



#125 kfw

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 04:04 PM

Fantastic find, pherank. Thank you! How interesting to read that Le Clerq could appear both plain and beautiful. She looks as beautiful in that top photo as in any I've seen.



#126 pherank

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 04:16 PM

Nice going, once again, pherank!  But if it's not asking too much, is there more, specifically, a following page to go with that first image?  It says, "(continued)" in the lower right corner.  Or is this an auction for those only interested in images?  

 

I wasn't able to locate the auction itself, but here's a link to one of the image display pages: http://www.biggerbid...mage_id=3204016

 

Fantastic find, pherank. Thank you! How interesting to read that Le Clerq could appear both plain and beautiful. She looks as beautiful in that top photo as in any I've seen.

 

A happy face is always good. My only quibble would be that the hard lighting of Tanny in her Les Illuminations costume 'de-mystifies' the image I had in my mind - inspired by the more famous Illuminations photos by George Platt Lynes.

 

[EDIT] While I was looking about for any and all auctions mentioning Tanaquil Le Clercq, I found this listing from July, 2013 mentioning:
 

Collection of (81) black-and-white camera negatives of Tanaquil LeClercq by Milton Greene. Collection of black-and-white 2.25 x 2.25 in. camera negatives (81) on Kodak safety film, with contact sheets (27) and later prints (9), of Tanaquil LeClercq (1929-2000) for Life by Milton Greene, from the Estate of Milton Greene; dated 1-1-51. LeClercq was principal dancer with New York City Ballet and fourth and last wife of George Balanchine who choreographed a ballet for her when she was 15 for polio charity: she contracted polio in 1956 later ending her dancing career paralyzing her from the waist down. Offered with copyrights.

http://www.artfact.c...44-c-a67b8e0486

81 images! Holy cow. Take a look at the thumbnail images - really great shots.  ;)
 



#127 rg

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 05:00 PM

the Cosmo article covers pp. 46 - 53 (four pp. include text, the others, photos). i got a copy  a while ago. the spine is unfortunately tight and fitting it into my scanner would likely damage the binding. 

 

 



#128 pherank

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 05:46 PM

the Cosmo article covers pp. 46 - 53 (four pp. include text, the others, photos). i got a copy  a while ago. the spine is unfortunately tight and fitting it into my scanner would likely damage the binding. 

 

 

Not worth the risk then. I've had the same problem trying to scan old publications - often the binding can't take the abuse.

 

If the article has worthwhile text, I suppose it could be photographed with a camera rather than a scanner.



#129 Neryssa

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:14 AM

If the article has worthwhile text, I suppose it could be photographed with a camera rather than a scanner.

 

I recently took photographs of an article from Life magazine - not with my expensive Canon but with my iPhone which produces better results. I have a few colleagues who use their iPhone camera in the archives too. It is really amazing.

 

Thank you for posting these fantastic photographs.



#130 rg

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:33 PM

the New York Film Festival has sent out a release with the following information:

 

<<

Motion Portraits
AFTERNOON OF A FAUN: TANAQUIL LE CLERCQ (2013) 93 min
Director: Nancy Buirski
Country: USA
A radiant film about Tanaquil Le Clercq - wife of and muse to George Balanchine - who was struck down by polio at the peak of her career, and a vivid portrayal of a world and a time gone by.
 >>

 

learning of specific screening dates isn't clear from the festival's site:
 

http://www.filmlinc....nyff51-schedule



#131 pherank

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 03:59 PM

the New York Film Festival has sent out a release with the following information:

 

<<

Motion Portraits
AFTERNOON OF A FAUN: TANAQUIL LE CLERCQ (2013) 93 min
Director: Nancy Buirski
Country: USA
A radiant film about Tanaquil Le Clercq - wife of and muse to George Balanchine - who was struck down by polio at the peak of her career, and a vivid portrayal of a world and a time gone by.
 >>

 

learning of specific screening dates isn't clear from the festival's site:
 

http://www.filmlinc....nyff51-schedule

 

Good job, RG - I know many people are waiting to actually see this documentary.



#132 pherank

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 04:10 PM

Noted in Sheri Leblanc's "Musings" blog:

 

"Tanny and Robbins’ friendship continued right up until their deaths – Robbins in 1998, Tanny on what would have been her forty-eighth wedding anniversary to Balanchine in 2000. When Robbins died, the only photograph found in his bedroom was a simple, framed snap of Tanny taken at some point in the seventies – not one of her glamorous, Cecil Beaton-taken shots, but one of Tanny simply smiling at the photographer, likely Robbins, from her wheelchair – a memory more than a picture."

 

http://sheris-musing...001658950/tanni



#133 Neryssa

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:12 AM

There are several inaccuracies in this blog entry. I hope Nancy Buirski's documentary addresses a few of them.



#134 Dale

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 07:31 AM

Thank you, RG. I'm excited to see this. Now, if we only figure out what day it's showing.

 

There's a press release here:

 

http://derekbritt.co...rnoon-of-a-faun

 

Official site here:

 

www.tannyfilm.com



#135 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 08:53 AM

Having trouble posting something, working on it.




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