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Anna-Marie Holmes

Big Lee

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I was just watching the New York Channel 25, and I saw a brief documentary made in the 70s featuring Anna-Marie Holmes and her husband called "Tour en l'air" I though the documentary was rather interesting, especially the dynamic between her and her husband. It seemed as if he treated her as if she were a child, yet this surprisingly managed to motivate her extremely strongly. He even said paraphrasing "If I didn't yell at her about her mistakes, and she made one on stage, she'd be even more upset than when I yell at her in rehearsal."

I noticed that she is choreographing (after Petipa) Raymonda for ABT and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about her, her husband, the documentary or her dancing. I was especially wondering if anyone had seen her live when she was still performing. Thanks!

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What surprised me was that he wasn't her partner or Ballet Master or a professional relation, he was her husband! It was definitely one of the more unusual husband wife dynamics I've seen. Could they really just keep their work at work?

I almost forgot the funniest part of the whole thing. He tells her to keep doing this combination which culminates in a big lift, and that he won't actually lift her until she gets it right. So she does it about five or six times and he doesn't even touch her or move, and she starts breathing heavily, at which point he yells at her "what are you huffing and puffing about, I'm doing all the heavy lifting!"

I can't judge whether this relationship is good or bad either, but I must admit she seemed rapturous when she finally got it right.

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By far the nicest thing I ever saw them do together was a short subject by Canadian film master, Norman MacLaren. It was called "Ballet Adagio" and was in a wonderful slo-mo strobe-effect black-and-white. This ought not to be confused with MacLaren's equally beautiful "Pas de Deux" with Margaret Mercier and Vincent Warren.

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