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Mme. Hermine

ballet dancers in television roles

64 posts in this topic

I'm a fan of 6 Feet Under, THere are a couple of episodes 3rd or 4th year, where the artistic kid sister gets to fantasize herself dancing and the actress gets to TEAR IT UP with multiple pirouettes and renverses and wild kicks and rond de jambes.... which turn outjust to have been little fantasies....

Paul,

I'm a great 6 ft under fan too. I went through terrible withdrawl when it ended.

I don't remember this scene all that clearly though. Is this where Claire is sitting in an empty classroom with some photo work she has done? And she goes into the fantasy while daydreaming for the teacher to show up?

And it ends with her realizing she is missing a leg or am I mixing your scene with another one?

Richard

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Here's a new one for me:

Three Secrets

(summary from the box):

Driven by the chance to reclaim the child that they each gave up for adoption five years earlier, three women, each one possessing a secret past, rush to a rescue site where a five-year-old boy is the only survivor of a plane crash. Each woman has her own reason to believe that the child is hers. Susan Chase (Eleanor Parker) is now happily married, but during the war she fell in love with a marine and bore his child out of wedlock. Phillis Horn (Patricia Neal), now a successful business woman, rather than give up her career, gave up her child when her marriage failed. Ann Lawrence (Ruth Roman), a ballet dancer, was forced to give up her son after she was convicted of murdering her racketeer boyfriend. The events leading up to the boy's rescue, and the tension that builds while trying to determine who the real mother is, creates a powerful and unforgettable human drama. "THREE SECRETS" was directed by Robert Wise, director of such classics as "The Day The Earth Stood Still", "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music."

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Darcey Bussell had a guest spot on the English sitcom "The Vicar of Dibley" some years back (USA broadcast on PBS). She played herself and danced opposite Dawn French. Absolutely hilarious!

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Darcey Bussell auditioned and was considered for the lead role in the remake of "Sabrina" with Harrison Ford but lost the role to ice cube Julia Ormond.

Meanwhile, arthritis made the Royal Ballet dancer Christopher Gable (1940 - 1998) turn to acting in "The Slipper and the Rose" and "Lair of the White Worm" - he also played a sensitive complicated alien in "Doctor Who"

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i don't think anyone has so far mentioned the following w/ leclercq:

A candle for St. Jude 1952. 56 min. : sd. b&w.

Live television drama based on the novel by Rumer Godden, adapted by Elizabeth Hart. Originally telecast on Westinghouse Studio One, CBS-TV, February 4, 1952. Rereleased as a videotape in 1983 by Video Yesteryear.

Director: Paul Nickell. Producer: Worthington Miner.

Choreography: Ruthanna Boris. Sets: Richard Rychtarik.

Cast: Lili Darvas (Madame Holbein), Tanaquil Leclercq (Hilda), Marc Platt (Lionel), Betty Low (Caroline), and others.

CONTENTS. - Backstage drama about a small ballet company; contains many brief rehearsal scenes and a short ballet.

i think this was once on the market from a small-time outfit as a videocassette but i'm not positive where or when.

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Gosh, I'd love to see that, rg! What a cast!

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i started to put this with the movies thread and thought that it might be too unwieldy so i'll put it here, thinking of all the times we've seen dancers in roles on tv series as themselves or in story lines (as opposed to showing a ballet film on tv by itself. the first that comes to my mind is this one:

****************************************************

i was doing class at dokoudovsky's school in new york at the time and we specifically asked him about this; evidently he'd given permission for them to use his name! (i seem to have the impression that someone connected with the series took class at his school and thought it would be a lark, i also think the character is the one that is murdered).

*************************************.

"Hart to Hart"

HARTS ON THEIR TOES 3/ 9/82

A visiting ballet dancer wants to defect because he is in love

with a ballerina who is not Russian. Complicating his situation

is the murder of his rival.

Ballet consultant Howard Jeffrey

Yuri Rostoff....................Victor Barbee

Zabin...........................Clive Revill

Michelle Barrie.................Anna Rodzianko

Christopher Hawks...............Xander Berkeley

Federal Investigator............Gerald Gordon

Boris Lermontov.................Alexander Minz

Policeman.......................James Jeter

Marty...........................Alexander Lockwood

Vladimir Dokovdovsky............Mark Bratcher

Not often do I top off something I started so long ago!

Today I found this episode on line -

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In looking back over this old thread, I don't find any mention of Gelsey Kirkland's role in an episode of LA Law in 1994. She played an aging dancer who sues the company director for denying her roles. Although she was seen in practice garb in the studio, she didn't really dance and I don't even think she could be seen wearing pointe shoes.

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Joss Whedon must like ballet dancers. He has always hired at least one former ballet dancer (usually professional) as a series regular on all his programs. As a Whedon fan, I've always had fun picking out the dancers among his cast. Summer Glau, mentioned earlier in this thread) got her start in that "Angel" episode, then quickly went on to become a series regular in Whedon's "Firefly." Her character was a genius whose talents included dance. Besides Glau, other Whedon series regulars who were also ballet dancers, either as actual professional dancers or long-time pre-professional students include:

1. Juliet Landau (Martin Landau and Barbara Bains's daugher (Drusilla on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") was a professional ballet dancer. Years ago, I saw some beautiful photos online of her dancing in a professional company, but I can't remember which one.

2. Harry Groener (The mayor in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") was an apprentice with the San Francisco Ballet Company.

3. Amy Acker ("Angel" "Dollhouse" "Much Ado About Nothing") was a pre-pro student for 13 years who had to quit ballet in high school due to a knee injury.

4. Robia LaMorte (Jenny Calendar on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") was a professional dancer who studied ballet, tap, jazz all throughout childhood. She has some very physical scenes in "Buffy" where her ballet training is clearly on display.

Other series regulars in Whedon works with dance (though not specifically ballet pro or pre-pro) background include Julie Benz (Darla on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel"), who competed in the US Figure Skating Championship in ice dancing (her partner was David Schilling), Emma Caulfield and Michelle Trachtenburg, a longtime dance student. Sarah Michelle Gellar herself was a competitive figure skater for a short period during childhood. Both Caulfield and Trachtenburg shine in the "Buffy" episode "Once More, With Feeling" where, through a mysterious force (Hinton Battle's character), everyone in Sunnydale must sing and/or dance, some with such a frenzy that they burn up completely.

Those are just the regulars I can remember off the top of my head. Throughout the years, Whedon's also employed guest actors with strong ballet background.

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Oh, thanks for bringing this back up! The phrase we use in our house when we spot someone in a film or on television is "it's always good when dancers are working." Because it is.

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Joss Whedon must like ballet dancers. He has always hired at least one former ballet dancer (usually professional) as a series regular on all his programs. As a Whedon fan, I've always had fun picking out the dancers among his cast. Summer Glau, mentioned earlier in this thread) got her start in that "Angel" episode, then quickly went on to become a series regular in Whedon's "Firefly." Her character was a genius whose talents included dance. Besides Glau, other Whedon series regulars who were also ballet dancers, either as actual professional dancers or long-time pre-professional students include:

That's interesting - I knew Summer Glau but I didn't realize how many other Whedon actors are from ballet. I heard an interview with Whedon last summer (on BBC radio's Wittertainment) in which he said that he'd like his next project to be a ballet. It wasn't clear if he meant filming a ballet or staging one, but either way, I'd be very interested. I think he'd do a great Coppelia or Giselle. Coppelia especially seems to coincide with lots of his interests (uncanny dolls, magic, strong female central character, etc).

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Swanilda8, I went searching for that BBC radio interview and found this other interview where he discusses his reasons for wanting to do a ballet about a library. The interview is really about his black-and-white short film "Much Ado About Nothing" (modern rendition; it's both hilarious and poignant), but it leads to his ideas about film as movement and how he loves dance. I've pasted some excerpts below, but you can read the full interview at

http://flavorwire.com/395000/joss-whedon-praises-shakespeares-female-characters-wants-to-make-a-ballet-about-a-library/

But movement is the essence of film, it’s why there’s film...Dance for me is the most sublime thing that there is, and free action kind of replaced dance in American cinema. We used to have Fred Astaire and now we have guys flying through plate glass windows...One of the things that I loved best, obviously, was working with Summer [Glau]. Because she acts with her entire body, her fingernails are emotive. I think some of you may already know how I feel about her feet. If you watch [Fireflyseries finale] ‘Objects in Space’ it gets a little weird.”

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Thanks! I heard him talk about it in another interview about Much Ado this summer, but I didn't get that much detail. That he talked about it in two interviews fairly recently gives me more hope that he's actually going to make it. Fingers crossed!

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