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Unknown Ballerina Challenge-Part II


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Here are some not very famous ballerinas to challenge you with,they are perfect examples of being famous in one country,but not very well-known elsewhere.So let's see if anyone knows the following ballerinas:

Jacqueline Rayet

Dominique Khalfouni

Liane Dayde

Marguerite Porter

Marion Tait

Anya Linden

Anneli Alhanko

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Well Dominique Khalfouni, although ppl here might have trouble identifying her, was extremely famous in Europe as well as in Japan, I mean she was one of the biggest French stars in Japan during the 1980s. Her Giselle was broadcasted on the national television and she made frequent appearances in galas like the World Ballet Festival. And we know that her son Mathieu Ganio (POB -- a rising star) will be following her footsteps...

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To start with Anya Linden - yes, I saw her in London in the sixties, in Swan Lake, a great beauty and I found her lovely as Odette-Odile. (Never saw her doing anything else). She then married Lord Sainsbury, retired and devoted herself to working behind the scenes - she now has studios and I believe a theatre named after her.

Annelie Alhanko - sure! She is actually Finnish, but born in Colombia. Now retired, but was for a long time the assoluta of the Stockholm Royal ballet. A very fine ballerina, excellent in the classics but also, surprising maybe, she is rather pale and Scandinavian in looks, a great dramatic dancer, excelling in Tudor works, Lilac Gardens etc. A truly remarkable dancer - she was even on a Swedish postage stamp - I have one somewhere, I think it was a pas de deux scene with her partner Per Arthur Segerström, from "Romeo and Juliet".

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Jacqueline Rayet and Liane Daydé both were Paris Opera Ballet principals of the same generation (born in 1932) but Liane Daydé's career was faster, as she was promoted to principal in 1951 while Rayet was promoted to principal ten year later; also both created quite a lot of roles for Lifar. But Daydé left the POB in 1959 and joined the Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas, while Rayet stayed there until her retirement (and also premiered Petit's "Turangalila" in 1968, and danced the company premiere of Béjart's "Rite of Spring"). I've only seen some photographs of them, and would be interested in knowing more...

Dominique Khalfouni (born in 1951) started her career with the POB and became a principal in 1976, but she left the company in 1980 to join Roland Petit's Ballet de Marseille, and created many roles there. She retired in the mid-1990s (I had the luck to see her in "Le jeune homme et la mort" around 1997). Actually she might have been more famous in Japan than in France... I wonder what her career had been if she had stayed with the POB? Probably she would have danced more roles, but on the other hand working with Petit gave her an opportunity to have many roles created especially for her, and also to be the big star of the company.

I too find that her son Mathieu is a very promising young dancer, but sometimes I think it must be a bit hard for him to have to bear the shadow of his parents (his father, Denys Ganio, was a principal of Petit's company), a bit like Miteki Kudo who is almost always called "Noëlla Pontois' daughter"...

Edited to add that I found some (short) articles about them on the "Encyclopedia" part of yahoo.fr:



but I think there's a mistake in the article about Daydé (it says she died in 1986 and I think she's still alive).

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Marguerite Porter also danced with the main Royal Ballet company. At one time it was hoped that she would become the next Margot Fonteyn, with whom she bore a strong resemblance..

She originated a part in Ashton's "A Month in the Country".

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I KNOW Anya Linden, what a lovely person she is; she's from Berkeley, California, and occasionally comes thorugh to visit my ballet teacher, her childhood friend Sally Streets; they both studied as children with Dorothy Pring in Berkeley, before Anya went off to London and Sally to NYCB.

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Originally posted by glebb

Marguerite Porter also danced with the main Royal Ballet company. At one time it was hoped that she would become the next Margot Fonteyn, with whom she bore a strong resemblance..

I've only seen Marguerite Porter once: in a taped performance of 'Sleeping Beauty' from Covent Garden starring Lesley Collier or Merle Park and Anthony Dowell from the late '70's early 80's. Porter danced Lilac Fairy and she remains the model for the role, in my opinion.

Glebb, you're quite right about her resemblace to Fonteyn -- it was striking indeed.


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Khalfouni did indeed do Giselle with ABT (and Baryshnikov) in the mid-Eighties. I don't think she was a "guest." Rather she'd joined the company as a principal -- not like there's much difference between the two at ABT, sometimes.

I recall being rather underwhelmed by her Giselle at the time.

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i watched porter with the RB through the early 1980's, so she had a long career if she was also there in the 60's (as posted above). when she retired, she was a principal. she also (co?)wrote an auto- biography, which was quickly out of print - unfortunately, as i didn't have a chance to read it.

while she was very beautiful, facially, (and with strikingly arched feet), it never occured to me that she looked like fonteyn, and i never heard anyone suggest that. ...which is not to say that she didn't or doesn't..., but just that the idea is a surprise to me, because she WAS beautiful to look at, while fonteyn was rather plainer (IMO).

i've always remembered a lovely photo i saw as a child, of anya linden, in penchee arabesque, outdoors, in les sylphides costume, probably still as a student, possibly in the garden at white lodge. lady sainsbury is strongly involved in arts sponsorship, and i believe she has just been appointed chair of the RB board.

marion tait is also someone who must have had a very long performing career. she was still with the sadler's wells RB, as a principal, in the 80's.

Jacqueline Rayet and Anneli Alhanko are the only ones i am unfamiliar with.

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Like Grace, I never thought that Porter resembled Fonteyn. She had the same dark hair and big eyes, but her body was completely different. She was tall and reedy, which was unusual at the Royal in those days (70s and 80s). Despite her romantically appealing looks, she was never technically strong, and had trouble with big classical roles. I saw her do an Aurora that was downright perilous. She became the target of negative criticism in London (especially by one critic) and I think that her rather abrupt decision to retire stemmed in part from that.

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