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Rest in Peace
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About Richka

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former dancer/teacher/choreographer/writer
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  1. Thank you for your comments dear ballet friends. I enjoyed writing these memories of my teachers though now badly in need of a re-write. Wisps of memories of these remarkable people who should never be forgotten and I guess will continue for as long as I do.
  2. From the start I found your 'ruminations' of tremendous interest. We have had so many of the same experiences in the dance world. We have corresponded before but a long time since. We did exchange pictures of George Chaffee and memories. A few months ago I put a blog up here about my ballet teachers. There is of course some I wrote about Chaffee. He stands out as one of the few who were not Russian emigres. I don't think anyone has read the blog at all; at least there have been no comments. Sometimes I wonder why I bother. Not that I want to rave about Facebook as it does have many faults, but
  3. PRINCIPAL TEXT - UNFINISHED MEMORIES OF MY BALLET TEACHERS Practically all of my ballet teachers were émigré Russians. Some had been in this country since long before I was born. Others had newly arrived from the Soviet Union. Being acquainted with them, even if from a distance, was a lifetime experience I shall never forget. Rather than just an alphabetical LIST of these teachers, I thought it might be better to introduce them as individuals; their personalities, how I came to be a student of these remarkable people in the first place and how they came to influence my life so greatly. To
  4. Oh yes, Mel. I remember that bridge very well as a student at the Old Met. Once or twice after class I went out on it and watched Ballet Russe dancing far below. Dizzying! (Leon Danilion is some Spanish ballet). I liked Opera too and watched that from my high perch as well. The backstage cross-corridor was in use then but had a huge open door onto 7th Avenue where they kept the scenery for each opera as it was being performed. When they used some of us 'ballet boys' as supernumeraries it sure was cold there in Winter, especially if you were in a short tunic. Our dressing room was sort of a dam
  5. Newly arrived in London, my very first visit to Covent Garden was "Coppelia" with Graham Usher, and I believe Merle Park as Swanilda. I sat in a side box and was thrilled; not only to be in London and at Covent Garden but seeing my first "Coppelia". Ten years later, as choreologist for the Harkness Ballet in New York, Graham was guest teaching there and we became acquainted. Oddly enough, he was about to teach the male variation from "Coppelia" but couldn't remember a certain sequence of steps in the variation and asked me to show them to him, which I did. We became good friends while he was
  6. My goodness! I'm replying to a posting dated 2005 I think, so don't know if the Ruminations is actually still around. Anyway, I'll put in about my delight in reading it. George Chaffee. I too studied there . This must have been around 1951. I was a teenager too and had just arrived in NYC. I had already a bit of training in Boston but it was Russian folk dancing and I was basically a beginner in ballet. I took one class with Madame Anderson whose studio was just below Chaffee's as you know, but I not could keep up. Maybe it was a morning advanced class. So went upstairs to Mr. Chaffee. It was
  7. After 36 years as the Artistic Director at Hamburg Ballet, I can't imagine there is a whole lot any of us good "tell" Mr. Neumeier. The man has a huge repertoire of choreography and a devoted following in Hamburg. I wouldn't think of 'telling' Mr. Neumeier anything at all as I have not seen any of his ballet output for mamy years, actually not since 1977 (that's 32 years ago). So my comments may be valueless in this present time. But I did know very well his methods of choreographing then since I worked with him at that time while he was doing a Hamlet for ABT. I was ABT's resident ch
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