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Stage Names


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#16 Guest_Jhora_*

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 10:51 AM

How do parents react when their son or daughter changed her name? I think my parents might be a little hurt.

#17 Mel Johnson

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 10:59 AM

Now, "Jhora" has something going for it - it's distinctive and musical! smile.gif However, if your last name were Herpelsnonk or Thitherspurtle or such like, usually a change is in the offing. Although, come to think of it, those would definitely have distinctiveness going for them.

#18 Alexandra

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Posted 12 January 2002 - 12:01 PM

Jhora, what a kind question smile.gif I think sometimes the stage name is suggested -- or insisted upon -- by the company or perhaps the dancer's agent. So that gets you off the hook. "But MOM, they MADE me do it" smile.gif

#19 Guest_Jhora_*

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Posted 17 January 2002 - 10:46 PM

I dont know if its courteous necesarily but pride in my heritage, but I guess being able to pass if off to your agent, or the director of the company might just be helpful.

#20 dirac

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Posted 18 January 2002 - 01:15 PM

I'm not sure if hurt feelings would be justified for parents who saddled their daughter with the moniker Tula Ellice Finklea.

It should be noted that Cyd didn't go out of her way to hurt her parents' feelings, however. Her girlhood nickname was "Sid" and Sid happened to marry a Mr. Charisse....

#21 Richard Jones

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Posted 18 January 2002 - 01:50 PM

But Cyd had already had another name-change, because she danced in Colonel de Basil's Ballets Russes (from 1939) under the name of Felia Sidorova! (She studied with Bolm). As we know, there is nothing new in this kind of name-change. One I like is John Cooper (c1575 - 1626), an English composer and viol player, who changed his name when he visited Italy; he became Giovanni Coprario, and kept the name when he returned to London. His pupils included King Charles I.

#22 felursus

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Posted 18 January 2002 - 05:23 PM

Grace Archer, Michy? Now if you'd been in England you'd know that there is (or was) a long-running radio soap-opera called "The Archers" over there and, yes, there was a character called "Grace".

Too bad I don't have a good use for my own birth name, which I think would have been a great stage name: Karen Karman. Perhaps I can still become famous (or infamous) for something.

I knew someone who was asked to join the NYCB back in the 60s. She had 3 days to decide on her stage name. Now she had already used her own name on stage, as she had been a child actress and had appeared in several Broadway productions. Her real name was Betty Jane Siegle, and I guess it was thought to be "too Jewish-sounding" at the time. She changed it to Bettijane Sills, and became known in the NYCB as "BJ" (although someone once refered to her as "the girl with the initials".)

#23 Guest_gracieful_*

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Posted 30 January 2002 - 08:33 PM

I was thinking about this last night..hehe
Anyways, wow, I learned a whole lot just now, that is so cool. I think that I would change mine to Diana Day--I don't know why..lol!
gracieful

#24 Mel Johnson

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 07:22 AM

There's also a union constraint on use of names. If, for example, there already is a, say, "Mel Johnson" in AGMA or Actor's Equity, then the performer has to take a variant or change it entirely, even if it's his own name. A recent example was Emma Watson, of Hermione Granger fame. Film historians were astonished to find that she had acted in films as early as 1914, and in 2001 had acted the part of a twelve-year-old in Harry Potter. The first Ms. Watson, however, had, by then, passed on to the great casting call in the sky, and the name wasn't "taken" anymore! An interesting possibility would be for the young performer to take the stage name "Abishag Hooplenoodle" and then announce they had changed it TO Abishag Hooplenoodle, and have the curiosity drive ticket sales. Of course that didn't work for Klinton Spilsbury, but.... wink.gif

#25 Estelle

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 08:24 AM

Wasn't it what happened to Stewart Granger, whose real name was... James Stewart? (A bit the same as what happened to Linda Merrill/ Merrill Ashley...)

There are at least two actors from Hong-Kong called Tony Leung: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, and Tony Leung Ka Fai. This is all the more complicated as they have approximately the same age, and have played in several films together, and sometimes just are credited as "Tony Leung"...

#26 Helena

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 09:31 AM

I've always been a bit surprised that Belton Evers changed his name to Erik Bruhn, which I would have thought (though admittedly I'm fairly ignorant about Danish names) was roughly the equivalent of John Smith or Mark Williams in England, i.e. very ordinary. When very young (dare I admit this?) I naively looked him up in the Copenhagen phone book and found a great many Erik Bruhns!

[ February 01, 2002: Message edited by: Helena ]



#27 Jane Simpson

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 10:03 AM

I've often wondered why NYCB didn't make Patricia McBride change her name to avoid confusion with Pat - I wonder if they'd accept a Suzie Farrell or a Pete Martins these days? (What was the first PMcB like, by the way?)

#28 Alexandra

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 10:12 AM

WHO was the first Pat McBride??? (blush) I think I missed her!

Re Erik Bruhn, I've never researched this, but I thought Belton Evers were his middle names. The Gruen biography says "Erik Belton Evers Bruhn". If he changed it, he did it as a child, because every reference I've seen to him in Danish books is under the name Bruhn. I've had discussions with Danish dancers of that era about other dancers who changed their names, and he has never been offered as an example. I believe (again, I write from memory without checking smile.gif ) that Evers was his father's name while Bruhn was his mother's; one may draw one's own conclusions from that. So there may have been a name change, not for stage reasons, when he was a child.

All these are fascinating, though. I wonder if there's a list of all the English and American dancers who had to change their names to Russian ones during the Ballets Russes era?

#29 Helena

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 10:51 AM

Alexandra,that would explain it. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Ballet - the old one - just says "Erik Bruhn (orig. Belton Evers)", and I had just believed that.

#30 Alexandra

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Posted 01 February 2002 - 11:22 AM

Helena, I remember reading that, too. And it may well be correct; some people don't like a name change to be known. I have to call some people in Denmark this weekend to check a few facts, and I'll ask that one as well.

On Danish phone books, I've looked up almost every dancer there. There are so many people with similar names (there are 13 pages of H.C. Andersens!) that, as I'm sure you noticed, they also print the person's occupation so you can tell Lis Jeppesen, solodanserinde, from Lis Jeppesen, damens frisoer (women's haircutter, and the Danish is probably misspelled). Kirsten Simone is listed as "prima ballerina" and Niels Bjorn Larsen simply as "balletmaster". Everyone is listed, even if the phone number is unlisted. There will be a "secret number" where the phone number should be!


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