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Perfect roles for 50s-60s NYCB dancers in classics


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The current thread on NYCB's Sleeping Beauty made me think of those whose dancing I am more familiar with. I don't live in New York anymore and don't get to see NYCB in its present incarnation. But oh!, I can imagine the following, for starters:


Maria Tallchief

Patricia McBride

Kay Mazzo

Prince Désiré:

Jacques d'Amboise

Peter Martins

Helgi Tomasson


Lilac --

Diana Adams

Tanaquil LeClercq

Gloria Govrin

Suzanne Farrell

Candide --

Allegra Kent


Coulante --

Mimi Paul

Sara Leland

Breadcrumb --

Violette Verdy

Marnee Morris

Canary --

Suki Schorer

Violente --

Melissa Hayden

Patricia Wilde

Patricia Neary

Marnee Morris

Carabosse --

Patricia Wilde

Melissa Hayden

Gloria Govrin


Eddie Villella

Arthur Mitchell

John Clifford

Princess Florina:

Suki Schorer

Merrill Ashley

Red Riding Hood:

Carol Sumner

Puss in Boots:

Deni Lamont

White Cat:

Susan Hendl


Karin von Aroldingen

On to Giselle!

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Very interesting idea! I would put down Adams for Aurora, just to see how she would do it. And Erik Bruhn's involvements with NYCB were short and none too sweet, but we have to fit him in as Désiré somewhere.

And Farrell has to be a Sixties Aurora!

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I'd have Mimi Paul as Lilac, Gelsey Kirkland as Princess Florina, Conrad Ludlow as Prince Desire, and Marie Jeanne as Aurora.

And since Mr. Balanchine occasionally danced character parts (Don Quixote and Drosselmeyer), I'd have him dance Carrabosse. :grinning:

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To Perky:

Mimi Paul as Lilac -- YES!!!

I always felt she didn't get her due. No wonder she left during the Farrell years.

I would have loved to see Mimi Paul as Nikiya, with Suzanne Farrell as Gamzatti. I can just imagine the passion.

I also considered Gelsey Kirkland as Princess Florina. I decided not to put her in my list because the last time I saw her onstage was when she was still in the corps.

I saw Balanchine as Don Quixote! I agree he would make a good Carabosse. Thanks for that suggestion.

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Very interesting list, Marga. For me, the unrivaled Carabosse from that era would have been Shaun O'Brien.

I agree with you, too, Farrell Fan. Shaun O'Brien would have done the part to perfection. I saw him many, many times as Drosselmeyer. I was a big fan of his. I totally forgot about him when I was working on my list!

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I have always harbored a secret desire to see Maria Tallchief dance Nora Kaye's Ballet Theatre roles. Tallchief had a great dramatic potential that was never fully developed with NYCB, or her later ABT performances. She would have been a formidable Tudor dancer---but then, I remember reading somewhere that she did not approve of some of Tudor's methods.

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