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Diana L

Question regarding the "leaving of ballets" to someone

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During my recent vacation, I read the Maria Tallchief biography and what seemed like endless articles on Tanaquil LeClerq. In the course of reading all this, it was noted how ballets were "left" to people.

With the passing of Ms. LeClerq, it seemed many Balanchine ballets were left to her and several people needed to obtain permission to perform some of them, now what happens to those pieces?

Can they be left to someone else?

Again, I'm sure I'm repeating a topic that's been discussed, I just find it curious. Thanks.

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It's a good question. It's my understanding (and someone please correct me if this is wrong) that there are two issues: one, royalties and the other permission to perform. I would imagine that, if Ms. LeClercq had held permission-granting authority, that would revert to the Balanchine Trust. BUT it's also my feeling that she didn't; she just got the royalties.

Balanchine's will is supposed to be in the newest version of the Taper biography, which I don't have. Does anyone here have that, and, if so, can you add information?

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My understanding is that Balanchine left his ballets to 14 different individuals (this was made possible by the ability to copyright choreography, granted by Congress in 1976). Several of the major rights holders deposited their rights into the newly-formed Balanchine Trust. Tanaquil LeClerq retained her rights but the administration of the rights/ballets left to her was handled by the Trust. She, therefore, received the royalties for performances of the ballets for which she held rights (which, I believe, were the American performing rights to most of Balanchine's ballets). I'm shooting from the hip here (Taper's addition re Balanchine's will was also published in Ballet Review in two separate issues, but I'm too lazy to dig them out), so correct me where I'm wrong. If we get into nitty gritty, I'll dig them out.

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