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About duffster

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former professional ballet dancer
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  1. Dennis Wayne Has Died

    I danced with Dennis when I was with the Harkness Ballet. We performed the monster Bats in Brian Mac Donald's Firebird- he was a great partner- never dropping me in the awkward and dangerous lifts. He was outstanding in John Butler's Sebastian, Mac Donald's Time out of Mind,and the friend in Monument for a dead boy by Van Dantzig. He was a prankster- one time (during a rehearsal of a ballet he did not like), when the balletmaster left the room- jumped up and changed the hands on the clock by 15 min. so we could get out earlier. We all loved him. RIP Dennis
  2. SF Ballet Announces 2017–18 Roster

    Could it be Charles Askegard?
  3. Wardrobe malfunctions

    During a performance of Sleeping Beauty- with the National Ballet of Washington- I was dancing one of the friends of Aurora, I had a complete blowout of the seam of one of pointe shoes.It was during the fast passe section- my feet were so swollen from dancing many performances- I doubt the audience saw it. Another time during my entrance in the ballroom scene ( Ben Stevenson's Cinderella) as one of the guests, part of the front of the bodice had ripped off- I think it caught on part of the scenery- I could not see anything- we were wearing masks and my eyesight is not the greatest- I asked my partner if I should exit, He said go! So I was sewn back in my costume and was able to start the waltz without missing anything. I was thown into a performance of Graduation Ball, to replace an injured dancer. It was the pig-tail girl- the bloomers worn under the costume were too big for me and kept falling down. I don't know how I managed the variation without killing myself.
  4. Rose Adagio balances

    Yes ABT fan, I'm pretty sure it was Sallie Wilson as the Queen Mother. I also noticed Kevin Mc Kenzie and Michael Owen as two of the suitors. I just love the way Cynthia Gregory starts her last attitude balance- just goes for it with no fear. It is wonderful seeing a ballerina enjoying dancing the Rose Adagio. Does she do any coaching at ABT?
  5. Name 5 ballets.

    Still to this day I remember these ballets that I saw as a young student. As a birthday gift my mother introduced me to Swan Lake with the Kirov(now Marinsky). Later Don Q with the Bolshoi ( Maximova and Vasiliev). Years later Symphonic Variations (Sibley and Dowell) and my favorites to dance were Allegro Brilliante( Balanchine) and Lilac Garden( Tudor).
  6. RIP Violette Verdy

    I was very fortunate to have been awarded a Ford Foundation scholarship from Violette Verdy. She was so generous and kind. I still remember her wonderful smile. RIP Violette.
  7. Ballet Title Generator

    Alice's Dances of the Camellias
  8. Yes Mme.Hermine, That is Dennis Poole on the left.
  9. My Apologies- Thank you Mme. Hermine !
  10. Wow, These photos bring back such memories. I was in the company at the time but did not dance in this gala .In the first photo, Kevin Mc kenzie is standing in front of Christine Spizzo-Serrano. To the right, holding the sign is ( I think) Nadine Frolich- Jean Pierre Frolich's sister. The second photo Desmond Kelly and Margot are seen - Freddie Franklin is there as the king. He usually performed Cattabutte. I remembered one rehearsal with these celebrities- Gwen Verdon was so friendly and warm, Julie Newmar seemed to be in her own world and Paulette Goddard still strikingly beautiful- kept looking at herself with her compact mirror. Thanks Helene for the photos!
  11. I remember Margot very well when she guested with us with the National Ballet in Washington. She performed Sleeping Beauty with Atillo Labis in several performances. Very approachable, she took company class with us and always was supportive of the dancers.She gave me the fright of my life when I had just finished my variation ( Diamond) and ran to the wings. Out of breath I hear her voice saying to me " That was just lovely, but I think you should burn the gloves". They were elbow length and I think they were gone after a few performances. I still could not believe that this great ballerina was standing in the wings and watching us dance. She always was so pleasant - never showed signs of fatigue or any clue of what personal problems she could have had at the time.
  12. Photos of London's 1921 "Sleeping Princess"

    Yes, with the elongated cat eye and the bowed lips. Does anyone know if they did their own makeup?
  13. Next Artistic Director for ABT

    Manuel Legris
  14. Misty Copeland

    I'm wondering what coaching Part and Copeland are getting . Back in my day it was the responsibility of the staff to help you with your weaknesses in technique while rehearsing a soloist role. If -after weeks of working on it and still there was no improvement- the role would be taken away from you. It seems that there are many other factors that contribute to less than adequate performances- lack of rehearsals, nerves,lighting,slight injuries,etc. Dancers are rarely given positive feedback. Give them a break.
  15. Brian MacDonald

    How very sad to hear this. Brian took me into the company ( Harkness) after a year of being a trainee at the school. Even though I was one of the youngest members, he gave me many opportunities from the start. I enjoyed dancing in his Firebird and the difficult Time Out of Mind. He always challenged you. RIP.