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Calliope

Tanaquil Le Clercq

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Ms. Le Celrcqu passed away yesterday.

The NY Times has the obit.

On a personal note, I took class with her once and she told the most magnificent stories of Mr. B. and Jerry (Robbins). A beautiful dancer and an amazing woman.

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Of course, I've never seen her dance live, only on tapes. She was wonderful in Western Symphony (so chic) and Concerto Barocco. But her artistry and wit will live on in such ballets as La Valse, 4 Ts, the Concert, and Symphonie Concertane.

[This message has been edited by Dale (edited January 01, 2001).]

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We can take cheer, I think, in the belief that Ms. LeC is now fully mobile and dancing all over the place (whichever "place" that might be).

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She was before my time also, but I always loved those wonderfully evocative photographs of her in "La Valse" and "Illuminations" by George Platt Lynes. While respecting her wish for privacy, I regret that she didn't give more interviews; she gave a very illuminating one to Barbara Newman in "Striking a Balance" that left one hungry for more.

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At tonight's NYCB performance, there was a card in the program dedicating the winter season to the memory of Le Clercq. A nice gesture I thought.

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LeClerq has long been in my Top Ten of Dancers I Wish I'd Seen. I loved the Barbara Newman interview also. She was constantly saying, "Of course, I couldn't turn." "I had no technique." "I couldn't jump" -- according to her, she couldn't do anything! (Others would disagree) Sadly, though, she never referred to the illness, just to "when I was stopping dancing," as though she had gracefully retired at 42.

Think of the ballets we would have, had she not gotten ill (in Copenhagen, of course).

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From alt.arts.ballet (and so unconfirmed):

Funeral Service for Tanaquil Le Clercq

Friday, January 5 at 10 a.m.

Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch

552 West End Avenue

(entrance on 87th Street)

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I haven't seen the interview Alexandra speaks of. But it seems to me that LeClerq was very reticent and never spoke much about her years with Balanchine after her paralysis, what led up to the divorce, the Suzanne Farrell episode, and other things. If there was anyone who could really have told about many things, it would have been her. But she appears never really to have spoken. And that (tact, taste, grace, loyalty, privacy) is emblematic of what must have made her the sublime dancer she was.

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Checkwriter, you're very right to be skeptical of anything posted on the net that's unconfirmed, but RG is a very reliable source and would know this, I'm quite sure.

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Ms. Tanaquil LeClerq was a beautiful dancer and woman. It is too bad that things in life didn't work out as well as they could have. I am sorry we have lost her.

------------------

GALINA

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Well, I can't help hoping that, for the sake of the historical record, she did talk in more detail to someone and perhaps eventually we will know more. There is so much in both the private and professional arenas that only she could tell us. Balanchine made such special roles for her unique qualities, and it would be fascinating to hear more about them.

On the personal plane, is striking how uniformly protective of Balanchine's memory the ex-wives and lovers have been. Admirable, of course, but the historian (and gossip) in me can't help wondering how it really was. One doesn't want any Gennifer Flowers revelations, needless to say, but it would have been interesting if one of the exes had produced something like Francoise Gilot's memoir of Picasso.

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The information you posted on the memorial service is correct.

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Originally posted by dirac:

On the personal plane, is striking how uniformly protective of Balanchine's memory the ex-wives and lovers have been. Admirable, of course, but the historian (and gossip) in me can't help wondering how it really was.  One doesn't want any Gennifer Flowers revelations, needless to say, but it would have been interesting if one of the exes had produced something like Francoise Gilot's memoir of Picasso.[/b]

Who was it, Kirstein, who said Balanchine had no personality per se except when he was working? I wonder if there really isn't much more to be said than what we've heard. He liked to cook, he liked to iron, he slept in a separate bed from Tallchief, and he was capable of temper tantrums when romantically rejected. And such great ballets he could make! smile.gif

LeClerq was long before my time, but just from the film and photo records alone she thrilled and intrigued me more than any other dancer.

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I saw LeClercq dance many times and in all of her most noted roles. It may seem too trite to say she was "unique" but there is no other way to describe her. Her long, leggy, loose-in-the hips style was quite new. I never thought she had the traditional classic line, but her Symphony in C-2nd movement was very beautiful.

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There is a lovely article and photo of her in this week's New Yorker magazine, article done by Arlene Croce

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