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Barbara Fallis, the first Cuban Myrtha-(1948)

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I'm hoping that maybe someone could give me some input on American dancer Barbara Fallis, member of BT during the 40's, who turned out to be our very frist Cuban Myrtha in Havana, 1948. atm711...? tiphat.gif

http://rgrossmusicau...ce2/fallis2.jpg

Fallis with Marjorie Tallchief, Alicia Alonso and Andre Eglevski in Apollo

http://www.danzaball...00Scan10001.jpg

Diana Adams, Barbara Fallis in Shadow of the wind. / (Tudor - Mahler - Mielziner)

http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl/oneITEM.asp?pid=2029385&iid=1111122&srchtype=VCG

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I was so excited to see Barbara Fallis' name. I studied with Barbara Fallis and her husband Richard Thomas for many years, before her death. They ran the New York School of Ballet which has a New York School of Ballet Alumni page on facebook. Richard and Barbara also danced with NYCB. Barbara was an American but was trained in England. Just think, she had worked with Massine, Fokine and Balanchine along the way.

Watching her demonstrate when she taught was amazing. The first time I took her class I remember thinking - she can't really expect everyone to do that! She could also construct a class that would lead you to do things better than you had ever done them. The exercises always built to a purpose and point.

I was in some productions that she staged. In Giselle I did corps, one of the friends and Zulma. I also learned Peasant Pas from her. She had so much insight into stage craft, technique and musicality. I could go on and on! I had no idea she was the first Cuban Myrtha

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Early on at the Dance Notation Bureau, there was a great deal of work done with notating classroom combinations, in order to create a bank of material that you could use in teaching people to read notation. When I was a notation student in the late 70's, I remember working with several of her combinations, and they were very satisfying to dance. Musical, and just a bit tricky.

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Barbara Fallis and her husband Richard Thomas taught (as guests) at the Pennsylvania Ballet school many years ago. Her classes were very inspiring as she demonstrated quite alot. I especially remember the beautiful adagio combinations, she had a lovely serene quality executing the most difficult ones making it look very easy.I remember her being very kind to the youngest in the class, such as myself, at that time. I never realized that she had worked with Massine and Fokine. I may be mistaken but I thought that she and her husband danced for NYCB as well as ABT.

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Thank you so much for your responses! Barbara Fallis was actually in the opening night of the Cuban Ballet Company as a member. She danced, along with Alonso, Melissa Hayden and Nora Kaye, Grand Pas de Quatre that very night. I have a very lovely picture of it. I looks as she was highly praised by both the press and the audience.

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Fallis was a prominent soloist with BT during the 40's---her signature role at the time was the solo waltz in Les Sylphides. I don't think she danced Myrtha at that time---when Hightower left the Company the role went to Marjorie Tallchief and Diana Adams.

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Fallis was a prominent soloist with BT during the 40's---her signature role at the time was the solo waltz in Les Sylphides. I don't think she danced Myrtha at that time---when Hightower left the Company the role went to Marjorie Tallchief and Diana Adams.

So could that be that the Cuban 1948 Giselle premiere was Fallis' debut in the role...?

Thanks, atm711 for your response! tiphat.gif

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I may be mistaken but I thought that she and her husband danced for NYCB as well as ABT.

Jack Anderson's obituary for her in The New York Times is entitled, "Barbara Fallis, City Ballet Soloist And a Dance Teacher, Dies at 56; Joined Alonso Ballet in Havana Opened Own Studio". Being the NYT, one of the first things they note is that she was actor/director Richard Thomas' ("The Waltons") mother.

The full obituary is under the NYT "paid" scheme.

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I may be mistaken but I thought that she and her husband danced for NYCB as well as ABT.

Jack Anderson's obituary for her in The New York Times is entitled, "Barbara Fallis, City Ballet Soloist And a Dance Teacher, Dies at 56; Joined Alonso Ballet in Havana Opened Own Studio". Being the NYT, one of the first things they note is that she was actor/director Richard Thomas' ("The Waltons") mother.

The full obituary is under the NYT "paid" scheme.

I just want to add that Barbara Fallis and her husband Richard Thomas, took their son Richard Thomas (who would later have Waltons fame) on tour with them when they were in NYCB. Richard & Barbara had wonderful stories about how lovely Mr. B was with their son.

One more thing. I mentioned in an earlier post that Barbara Fallis had worked with Massine, Fokine and Balanchine. I forgot to mention that she also worked with Tudor.

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