rg

Yvonne Mounsey

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the following has come in an email today from a woman in California who was close to Mounsey:

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I write with sad news that Yvonne died yesterday evening (Saturday) at her home.

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What sad news. PNB's Kylee Kitchens was trained by Mounsey, and she was one of the post-performance Q&A dancers last Saturday. Dancers are always asked to describe where they grew up and trained, and Kitchens had great things to say about her teacher. One thing she told us was that Mounsey was very glamorous, even into her '90's.

My condolences to her family, friends, and students.

Rest in peace, Ms. Mounsey.

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NYCB publicity photo with Mounsey, 1954

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Thank you, rg, for thatphoto. It evokes so much ballet history. So much darning of point shoes must have taken place in those dressing rooms. I see Nijinsky on the wall. I wonder where and when it was taken.

This is sad news. The generation of dancers who helped create a genuinely American ballet is slowly leaving us.

The good part of the larger story is how long and productively Ms. Mounsey was able to practice her art as dancer, teacher, school principal, coach, and stager. Bernard Taper's biography of Balanchine includes two large photographs of Mounsey dancing the Siren, to Francisco Moncion's Prodigal Son.

Here's another of the Prodigal Sun photos available on-line: http://artsmeme.imag...gal%20sonJr.jpg

And a link to Mounsey's biography, from the website of the school she directed, Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, California..

http://www.westsideb...ol/faculty.html

Mounsey was a Principal Dancer at the New York City Ballet from 1949 - 1958. (I started attending NYCB around the end of that period, but have lost a lot of the names and details.. I like to think I might have seen her as the Queen in The Cage, a work often performed around that time.)

In 2011 -- age 92 -- she was among thirty female dancers honored by receiving the 2011 Jerome Robbins Award. All had worked with Robbins. Here's a link, with photo of the winners on stage, along with some of Mounsey's thoughts concerning working with Jerry. That's Mounsey in the first photo standing center stage, arms spread wide.

http://artsmeme.com/...jerome-robbins/

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I loved Ms Mounsey's recent interview in Ballet Review. Thank you for sharing, Bart and rg. I keep checking the Internet for an obituary in the NY and LA Times, but nothing has appeared as yet.

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