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26 NYCB Ballerinas to Be Presented with Jerome Robbins Award30 September 2011


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#1 Helene

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 08:38 AM

Here is the press release; I've highlighted the names of the dancers, who appear towards the end:

THE 2011 JEROME ROBBINS AWARD WILL BE GIVEN TO 26 NEW YORK CITY BALLET FORMER AND CURRENT PRINCIPAL BALLERINAS ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Hosted by New York City Ballet, the Jerome Robbins Award will be presented on stage.

26 New York City Ballet former and current ballerinas, all of whom worked with Jerome Robbins, will be presented with the 2011 Jerome Robbins Award on stage at an all-Robbins New York City Ballet evening at the David Koch Theater on September 30, 2011. The award will be presented during the second intermission and will be followed by the ballet, "West Side Story Suite."

"We are grateful to Peter Martins and New York City Ballet for hosting the Robbins Award on stage that evening," says Christopher Pennington, Executive Director of The Jerome Robbins Foundation and The Robbins Rights Trust (http://jeromerobbins.org). " We are especially honored that Chita Rivera, whose Broadway work with Jerry is legendary, will present the awards."

In 1970, Jerome Robbins, a preeminent figure in the dance and theater world, established The Jerome Robbins Foundation with the intent to support dance, theater and their associative arts. Following the outbreak of AIDS, Mr. Robbins directed the Foundation's resources almost exclusively to addressing the AIDS crisis. Before his death in 1998, Mr. Robbins expressed his wish that the foundation again extend its resources to the performing arts -- dance and theater especially, but not exclusively -- including what developed into The Jerome Robbins Award.

"I would like there to be established a prize to some really outstanding person or art institution," explained Mr. Robbins in 1995. "The prizes should lean toward the Arts of dance and its associative collaborators but not necessarily be defined by that surround." Mr. Robbins cited many callings, from teachers and designers to choreographers and presenting organizations, enjoining the directors to award the prize only when warranted by the distinction of the person, organization, or project. Past recipients of the award are Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp, Jennifer Tipton, Robert Wilson, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.

This year, 26 former and current New York City Ballet principal ballerinas, so vital to the decades of Robbins' creative life at New York City Ballet, will share the honor. "Robbins was a groundbreaking choreographer and director who made NYCB his artistic home for nearly 40 years. It is only appropriate that we host this wonderful event, honoring Jerry and his incredible ballerinas, right here from the NYCB stage. We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting evening," states Peter Martins, New York City Ballet's Ballet Master in Chief.


"We are so happy to recognize the Robbins ballerinas that helped make Jerry's work dance for us,” says Allen Greenberg of The Jerome Robbins Foundation. Ellen Sorrin, also of the Foundation, added, "The ballerinas themselves have been so moved on learning of the award and are all looking forward to this wonderful evening.”


Images of each ballerina, in a Robbins ballet, will be projected as they accept their award. The ballerinas will also offer remembrances of working with Robbins, which will be included in that evening's printed program. The Robbins Award carries an honorarium, as well as a statue representing the award.

The dancers receiving the award are: Helene Alexopoulos, Alexandra Ansanelli, Merrill Ashley, Yvonne Borree, Maria Calegari, Suzanne Farrell, Judith Fugate, Jillana, Allegra Kent, Gelsey Kirkland, Darci Kistler, Maria Kowroski, Sara Leland, Lourdes Lopez, Kay Mazzo, Patricia McBride, Yvonne Mounsey, Kyra Nichols, Jenifer Ringer, Melinda Roy, Stephanie Saland, Margaret Tracey, Violette Verdy, Heather Watts, Miranda Weese, and Wendy Whelan. Melissa Hayden, Nora Kaye, Tanaquil Le Clercq, and Janet Reed will be recognized posthumously.

"The legacy of Jerry's ballets took years to form and years to be maintained and strengthened," stated Daniel Stern of the Foundation. "Only a series of committed ballerinas following one another in waves could do that, each adding her uniqueness. We celebrate the Robbins legacy and those whose talent has carried it forward."

#2 ksk04

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 04:46 PM

Farrell back at NYCB in honor of Robbins. Interesting. :blink: Kirkland too.

#3 bart

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 06:39 PM

Including several dancers who are no longer living is a moving touch.

I'm not sure what criteria were used to compile the complete list, but for the four posthumous awards, each was a participant in the creation of a new work. LeClercq (Afternoon of a Faun) and Kaye (The Cage) are obvious. But I had to check the Deborah Jowitt biography to find that Reed and Hayden were both in the original cast of Interplay, for Ballet Theatre, back in 1945.

#4 Helene

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 09:34 PM

I think that every dancer who worked with Jerome Robbins for over a year on "Goldberg Variations" and was expected to learn and remember versions a-z.1.3.g should receive a purple heart.

That is going to be some group gracing that stage. Congratulations to them all and a toast to the memory of Hayden, Kaye, LeClercq, and Reed.

#5 carbro

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:38 PM

All of these ballerinas are from NYCB. While Robbins choreographed most of ballets there, he did other work elsewhere, too. For ABT, he created not only Fancy Free but also Les Noces. And since not all of the dancers who are to be honored were originators of roles, I wonder why no one with no connection to NYCB isn't among them. Most conspicuously absent is the originator of the woman's role in Other Dances who is alive and well and often in New York, Natalia Makarova. Whoops!

#6 sandik

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:48 PM

All of these ballerinas are from NYCB. While Robbins choreographed most of ballets there, he did other work elsewhere, too. For ABT, he created not only Fancy Free but also Les Noces. And since not all of the dancers who are to be honored were originators of roles, I wonder why no one with no connection to NYCB isn't among them. Most conspicuously absent is the originator of the woman's role in Other Dances who is alive and well and often in New York, Natalia Makarova. Whoops!


While it does seem unfortunate to overlook Makarova, Reed was in the original cast of Fancy Free at Ballet Theater

#7 carbro

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 12:13 AM

While it does seem unfortunate to overlook Makarova, Reed was in the original cast of Fancy Free at Ballet Theater


Yes, but unlike Makarova, Janet Reed was an alumna of NYCB as well as ABT.


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