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Remembering Marnee Morris


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#1 Marga

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:36 PM

I have read via her NYCB friends and co-dancers' posts on Facebook that Marnee Morris has died. I could not find anything on Google to verify her death, as required by Ballet Alert, but thought that the cross next to her name on the New York City Ballet's alumni roster would supply the needed proof.

Cross added to Marnee Morris' name

This news saddens me greatly, especially since the last many years of her life had been so difficult for her. A massive stroke several years was only one of her health problems.

Marnee Morris was one of the most stunning ballerinas at NYCB in the 60s and 70s. Her fast footwork was enviable - few could match it in technique and precision. A smile on her face belied the remarkable movements she performed with her lower limbs, her arms aiding her in staying aloft during swift choreography. I was on the edge of my seat the moment she sprang from the wings.

Morris danced a fantastic, sexy "Rubies" and was stellar in the original cast of "Who Cares" (especially in 'My One and Only'). Her long limbs graced "Apollo" with their elegance. In the original cast of the war-inspired "Symphony in 3 Movements", she displayed her iconic rhythmic fidelity to the beat (made more difficult by the Stravinsky score) in Balanchine's angular modern choreography.

Thanks for the memories, Ms. Morris! You are missed. May you rest in peace. :flowers:
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[size="2"]As has inexplicably happened before, this topic posted twice. Moderators, please delete the excess posting. Thanks![/size]

Edited by Marga, 08 June 2011 - 11:40 PM.


#2 Helene

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 01:12 AM

I am very sorry to hear this, Marga.

The cross next to her name on the NYCB website is an official source by BA policy, since it is confirmation of her death by the company.

Rest in peace, Ms. Morris.

#3 rg

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:46 AM

the impressions Morris left on my viewing experiences of, in particular, the Valse Bluette in Balanchine's SWAN LAKE or as the WHO CARES? ("Embraceable You") ballerina, stay with me as i see those parts over the years.
after first posting this, a friend wrote, on hearing this news, about the unforgettable performances MM gave as one of two soloist (the other was Mimi Paul) in Balanchine's DON Q. i was lucky enough to have see this, and tho' it didn't surface immediately, now that my memory's been jogged, i can still MM's brilliant performance in this role.

#4 Ray

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:09 AM

She is one of the few NYCB dancers one can actually see fairly often on tape: she appears in Dance in America's recordings of Four Temperaments (she's the First Theme woman) and Divertimento No. 15. I'd have to do some sleuthing, but I bet she's in that Italian film (1969?) of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Any others people can think of? As others note, she was in the original cast of Who Cares?, but I don't think she appears in the Dance in America version of it taped in the 80s (?).

Interesting fact about that tape of 4Ts: MM was slightly bowlegged, so before she begins the steps, she stands in plie so that the light from the cyclorama doesn't appear between her knees--she straightens her legs just before taking her first step. An interesting accommodation made for an extraordinary dancer!

#5 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 05:54 AM

She does, however, appear in the Canadian film of Who Cares? made c 1971.

#6 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:20 AM

So sorry to hear. I knew she had suffered greatly.

#7 Ray

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:20 AM

She does, however, appear in the Canadian film of Who Cares? made c 1971.


Thank you! Do you have any more info about that film?

#8 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 06:29 AM


She does, however, appear in the Canadian film of Who Cares? made c 1971.


Thank you! Do you have any more info about that film?


From the Library's catalog:

Le New York City Ballet: Une école, un style, une compagnie, un repertoire [motion picture]1971.
Performing Arts Research Collections - Dance

*MGZHB 12-583 - USE IN LIBRARY
2 reels. 66 min. 2358 ft. : sd. b&w. ; 16 mm.

A production of Radio-Canada, telecast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1971. Text: Jean Basile. Narration in French: Leo Illial. For a separate copy of Who cares?, see: *MGZIA 4-1378 Who cares?.

Choreography: George Balanchine. Performed by the New York City Ballet. Pianist: Gordon Boelzner.

SUMMARY: A documentary about New York City Ballet (with still photographs and films of rehearsals), the School of American Ballet, company management and personnel. Includes three ballets by George Balanchine, who appears in rehearsals.

Contents CONTENTS. - Reel 1. Tarantella. Music: Louis Moreau Gottschalk; performed by Patricia McBride and John Clifford. Movements for piano and orchestra (Image appears on film in reverse of actual performance positions). Music: Igor Stravinski; soloists: Kay Mazzo and Anthony Blum. Who cares? (beginning). Music: George Gershwin; soloists: Patricia McBride, Marnee Morris, Karin von Aroldingen, Jean Pierre Bonnefous. - Reel 2. Who cares? (to conclusion).


#9 kfw

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 07:22 AM

She is one of the few NYCB dancers one can actually see fairly often on tape: she appears in Dance in America's recordings of Four Temperaments (she's the First Theme woman) and Divertimento No. 15.

Unfortunately, in both cases that's Marjorie Spohn. She is in the 1968 Concerto Barocco, with Farrell and Ludlow.

#10 Ray

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 07:59 AM


She is one of the few NYCB dancers one can actually see fairly often on tape: she appears in Dance in America's recordings of Four Temperaments (she's the First Theme woman) and Divertimento No. 15.

Unfortunately, in both cases that's Marjorie Spohn. She is in the 1968 Concerto Barocco, with Farrell and Ludlow.


DARN IT you are right! SO sorry about that!!!

#11 emilienne

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Posted 09 June 2011 - 03:56 PM

Also the German video of Symphony of C, fourth movement (and possibly La Valse in that same series). Also the Rubies 'tall girl' in the truncated Rubies presented on a 70s video of ballet (title to be determined when I find my list) with text written by Arlene Croce.

#12 Kellyaire

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 08:16 AM

I'm so sorry to hear of her passing. Has anyone seen an official obituary?
thank you!

#13 Marga

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 08:37 PM

Marnee Morris died on May 28th, 2011. Her children have started a facebook page in tribute to her and to remember her and ask for posts from those who knew her. The page is called 'Marnee Morris Memorial'. I got the information from Linda Hamilton who posted it on her facebook page.

#14 Ray

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 04:41 AM

Marnee Morris died on May 28th, 2011. Her children have started a facebook page in tribute to her and to remember her and ask for posts from those who knew her. The page is called 'Marnee Morris Memorial'. I got the information from Linda Hamilton who posted it on her facebook page.


Full of wonderful photographs, most of which seem to be culled from former NYCB-er John Clifford's collection.

#15 Marga

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:32 AM

It's John Clifford himself who is posting his pics to the site!


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