Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

RIP Richard ThomasFormer dancer, teacher Richard Thomas passed away today


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 vipa

vipa

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,089 posts

Posted 27 July 2013 - 03:54 PM

Richard Thomas passed away today.  Many studied with him at the New York School of Ballet, a school in NYC which he owned and ran with his wife, Barbara Fallis.  He had danced with a number of companies, including the NYC ballet, ABT, the Ballet Russe as well as the Alonzo company in Cuba.

 

His wit, intelligence and ability to describe the mechanics of ballet technique, along with the art and musicality of ballet were truly amazing.  Anyone who took his class has their favorite "Dick Thomas story."  He and his wife had great impact on their students whether they were professional dancers or people studying for their own enrichment.  All good students were taken seriously.  They taught their students about ballet, music, art and how to approach work - no matter what that work was.  May he rest in peace.



#2 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,349 posts

Posted 27 July 2013 - 03:57 PM

I had read about him as one of the great American ballet teachers for as long as I've been reading about ballet. 

 

My condolences to his family.  Rest in peace, Mr. Thomas.



#3 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,455 posts

Posted 27 July 2013 - 07:02 PM

even those who didn't take Dickie Thomas's classes doubtless have fave stories.

i rem. coming to a performance of one of the programs put on by his U.S. Terpsichore with Edward Gorey, who'd done so graphics for UST gratis, as he admired the plucky troupe, and Mr. T. greeted us in the lobby but excused himself soon, as he needed to go back to do some work on the group's very fine staging of LES SYLPHIDES, put into the rep. by the much, and rightly admired and revered Miss Fallis. Said Mr. T as she dashed off: "Now I have to go and try to make some lace out of that barbed wire."

Sean Lavery danced for Mr. T's group(s) as Owen before going to Germany, if mem. serves, all before returning in fine form to join NYCB and make quite a name for himself.

he was especially close to Eliot Feld in the early days of his career as both choreographer and company director.

and the stories go on, and on...



#4 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,661 posts

Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:41 PM

Between the two of them they seem to have had a hand in every dance career in NYC.



#5 Renata

Renata

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 100 posts

Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:33 AM

I took his class as an amateur (I was in law school at the time).  I will remember his wry sense of humor and his excellent corrections and interest in me, even though it was clear I was not going to be a dancer.  May he rest in peace. My condolences to his family.



#6 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,455 posts

Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:00 PM

f.y.i. from a NYC press office:

 

 

                                                                           RICHARD THOMAS 

                                                                                 (1925-2013)



RICHARD THOMAS, prominent ballet teacher, passed away July 27 in Kentucky.    Born December 3, 1925, Thomas was a dancer with New York City Ballet and owned the New York School of Ballet, where he and his late wife Barbara Fallis trained many prominent dancers.  

Three of his former students, Eliot Feld, Christine Sarry, and Daniel Levans, placed the following obituary in The New York Times:

Richard Thomas, known affectionately as Dick, master ballet teacher, mentor, willful iconoclast, sublimely human and adored by umpteen generations of dancers, is said to have died on Saturday morning July 27.   For those of us who knew him, who were privileged to brush against his vital and provocative nature, he lives on!   The ripples from his kindness, wisdom, sensibility and wit endure.   So too, his divine lickety-split petit allegros, even his excesses, which were excessive, his passion for dancing and dancers, and his knowledge of ballet technique combined with this intellect and his gift for cajolery to impart the lesson to we who were eager, so eager.   He lives forever within us.   He has become a part of who we are.  Indelible.   It seems only appropriate that Dick should have the last word, as was his wont and dessert deserved.   Accordingly: in ballet class, half a century plus ago, though it seems like yesterday, at the conclusion of the Grand Allegro, he opined to the class and to the Gods if they would only listen and learn - "the cow jumped over the moon but he was still a cow".


 

 



#7 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,763 posts

Posted 05 August 2013 - 04:32 PM

From David Coll today:

 

 



#8 liebs

liebs

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 495 posts

Posted 05 August 2013 - 05:25 PM

When I first moved to NYC, I took class at his school and watched him teach Sean Lavery.  I saw a Giselle he staged with Lavery as Albrecht.  It was in a high school auditorium on west 84th Street.  He had an eye for talent.



#9 Amy Reusch

Amy Reusch

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,781 posts

Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:58 PM

Thank you for posting the video... so lovely.

#10 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,661 posts

Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:56 PM

He has become a part of who we are. 

 

 

 

 

What a wonderful thing to say about someone.



#11 Gina Ness

Gina Ness

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 256 posts

Posted 05 August 2013 - 11:41 PM

Thank you, David, for this beautiful tribute to Richard Thomas...  Love, Gina 



#12 rg

rg

    Emeralds Circle

  • Editorial Advisor
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,455 posts

Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:21 AM

thanks to Mme. H for posting this heartfelt tribute and to David Coll for compiling it.

for those who might not know him, Coll can be seen in one of the shots in the NY School studio with Eliot Feld, DC is the curly haired fellow in the white cable-knit sweater.



#13 duffster

duffster

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:58 PM

Thank you all for the lovely tribute.  I loved his classes- especially his barre combinations that were tricky- you really had to think. He had beautiful feet and a high extension. Would demonstrate just about every combination- he made it look easy. His one-liners were hilarious. One time in class, I was at the bottom of a grande plié( in first position) walked right next to me and said  " Well how ya  dooooin. I think he was trying to stop me from being so serious and intense. He was one of a kind.



#14 treschic53

treschic53

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:59 PM

Richard Thomas and Barbara Fallis were my teachers for four wonderful years--1966/67 -1970-71. I was there almost from the beginning of the school on W 56th St.  Funny--they almost never called me by name-- I was called "little one".  ( I was little and I was young).

 

I do remember Mr. Thomas having a high, very straight extension...but he disliked seeing extreme, exaggerated extensions from us in class. He would do hilarious imitations of high, crotch-revealing developpé to make his point.  And I loved the petit allegro---always en dedans and en dehors.  You had to think fast in his classes.  Great Cecchetti foundation for young dancers.  Miss Fallis would give pointe class without pointe shoes.  She had amazing feet.....

 

And so glad that somebody else remembers Sean Lavery as Owen-- he was a young boy in class then........

 

There were usually some excellent professional dancers in the class, too---not only the Feld dancers, but Joffrey, NYCB, etc. so it was always an interesting studio....................



#15 Gina Ness

Gina Ness

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 256 posts

Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:48 PM

Thanks for your memories, treschic53... 




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):