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Favorite Female Dancers


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Included on my list:

Natalia Makarova

Susan Jaffe

Bernice Coppieters--She actually may be my favorite. However, I have only seen her in two productions--an excellent Romeo and Juliet and an excerable Cinderalla so it is difficult to judge against dancers I have seen much more often.

Karen Kain--Also have seen her in only two productions,

Swan Lake and Don Quixote.

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to Ed Waffie:

could you give me more information about Bernice Coppieters? I'm sorry to say that I have never heard of her, but I suppose that is because I live rather far from the dance capitals of the world. Is there a web page,or something for me to get info?



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She is with the Ballets de Monte Carlo which presented programs here in Detroit a few years ago.


If you follow the above url (may have to cut and paste it) you may get past the flash ridden opening pages.

I just realized that in one of pictures she looks a lot like the actress Charlotte Gainsborough (another of my favorite women performing artists).

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Dear Ed:

thank you for your post - I entered the page you indicated and was struck by very innovative productions of both classical ballets (as Beauty, Casse-Noisette), and more moden ones, such as Cinderella or Romeo & Juliet. What was your impression of the company? Maybe I watch too many Bolshoi and Kirov videos, so I am rather unused to such modern renderings!!!

Ah, Bernice is a beautiful woman as well!

thanks again for your reply


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My favorite female dancers are Noëlla Pontois, Monique Loudières and Elisabeth Maurin, but I also like Elisabeth Platel, Karin Averty, Claire-Marie Osta, Marie-Agnès Gillot, Agnes Letestu, Marie- Claude Pietragalla and Sylvie Guillem.

That's a lot, I know :) But each of them has her own qualities ! If I have to choose only a one, it will be Noëlla Pontois, because she was my favorite when I was a kid !

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Guest glissade_jete

Well gosh. How do you choose? But when it boils down to the black and white, I, too, am with kitsker. Gelsey Kirkland was great! She went through so much and is such a strong woman. Also, the thing I really like is how she always worried about being an actress and not just doing tricks. That is the mark of a great dancer.

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Guest AEDancer

I am a major fan of Patrica McBride, Kyra Nichols, Patrica Barker, Darcy Kistler, Julie Kent, and Wendy Wealhan!!!!!

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Although I have never seen much of her I can't help but admire Tanaquil LeClercq. Besides being a wonderful dancer (I have seen a few film clips) she had something that just made you want to watch her. I also enjoy Suzanne Farrell, Sylvie Guillem and Viviana Durante.

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Guest AEDancer

I have not actually seen Pattie McBride dance before I am 14 so the ages wouldnt really work!!!:) I have seen pics of her and read stuff on her and she has a great story to tell!!!!!!!!! She is petite around 5'3" I think I read short for a City Ballet dancer so it was very interesting to hear her story on working to the top even if she was "vertically challenged!"

- Megan

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I'm interested to see that a couple of people have said that they feel Darcy Bussel is over rated. As somebody who has seen very few ballets I was wondering why this is? I have never seen her dance, but have, until now, only ever heard her spoken of in revered tones!

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My favorites at the moment are all from NYCB mainly because that is the company I see every year and love dearly. I love Abi Stafford, Maria Kowrowski, Janie Taylor, Miranda Weese, Wendy Whelan although I wish she would gain some weight, from the audience and even in person she's looking awfully thin and I worry. I do enjoy Alexandra Ansanelli as well.

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Sorry that I have to be so redundant - but Suzanne Farrell is in my memory in a class by herself. She was just amazing. The sadist period of ballet going was in the early 70's when she was out of NYCB. Her daring was palpable - the title of her biography Holding On to Air fittingly describes her dancing. Never saw anyone who could compare to her presence on stage except maybe Baryshnikov.

Of the current crop, I am madly in love with Maria Kawroski. She very much reminds me of Farrell - but has her own unique qualitites as well. Her legs are just amazing. Those extensions are mind blowing.

Other favorites have included Merrill Ashley, Heather Watts, Darci Kistler and Wendy Whelan. All NYCB to be sure, but that is where I see about 95% of my ballet. :D

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Guest isabella

Margot Fonteyn

Ann Jenner (with Royal years and years ago)

Antoinette Sibley

Ekaterina Maximova

Natalia Bessmertnova

Alessandra Ferri

Valentina Kozlova

Alina Cojocaru

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balletstar811, I saw Lunkina when the Bolshoi performed in New York in 2000. As Giselle, she was all you could want - young and innocent in the first act, grave, otherworldly in the second. She also danced the first movement of Symphony in C. Although she had a nagging injury, she showed herself off as a lovely lyric ballerina.

I saw her again at a Stars of the 21st Century Gala. I think it was the last one in NY, maybe 2002. I remember she was very beautiful in Specre de la Rose and some Bourneville.

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I will only list those that I have seen with the Houston Ballet since the majority of my ballet watching experience is with this company, and everyone else seems to have listed most of the legends...

Janie Parker

Barbara Bears

Lauren Anderson

Mireille Hassenboehler

Nina Ananiashvili

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In response to balletnut's question as to where Viviana Durante is now dancing, she is listed as a "resident guest star" at the Teatro di San Carlo. I'm not quite sure what the title means though......

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Suzanne Farrell is always going to be my favorite. She was extraordinary. It was magical when she danced with Peter Martins. What else can I say?

I also loved watching Merrill Ashley. She made it all look so easy. I envy her SAB students and the dancers in other companies where she restages Balanchine ballets.

Kathleen Moore is another favorite retiree. I was so happy when she got the leading role in Lar Lubovich's RED SHOES (which, in retrospect, is a masterpiece next to his recent ARTEMIS). Though regulated to character dancing, Ms. Moore was wonderful in the Tudor and DeMille repertory. FALL RIVER LEGEND's "dream" sequence with her and Cynthia Gregory was chilling.

Among active ballerinas I like Jennifer Ringer, Jeannie Somogyi, and Alexandra Ansanelli very much. Also Ballet Tech's Patricia Tuthill, who I hope can continue dancing either with a "re-formed" Ballet Tech or elsewhere. She's too good a dancer not to dance.

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