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Siblings in the same company


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There are quite a few siblings in companies today and there's been some mentions on the board about Kathleen Tracey "stepping out" a bit more now that her sister Margaret has retired.

As an audience member, do you find yourself comparing the siblings?

(I'd say we can leave out the brother/sister comparison for obvious reasons)

But SF has the LeBlanc sisters (like the Traceys, one a principal the other soloist)

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boston ballet has simon and april ball, both principals.

zach hench and his sister tara were both in boston until zach went to sfb.

previously san francisco had julian and linda montaner.

of course the city ballet had the kirkland sisters and the duell brothers, i'm sure there were others that don't come immediately to mind. manhattnik?

[ February 25, 2002: Message edited by: Mme. Hermine ]

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NYCB also had Peter and Paul Frame, Lisa and Alexia Hess, Francis and Paul Sackett, David and William Otto, Leslie and Melinda Roy, Romy and Zippora Karz. Currently on the roster are Kurt and Kyle Froman, and Jonathan and Abi Stafford.

There might be another Otto that I'm missing. I could never tell the Sacketts or Frames apart. Paul Frame's (or was it Peter's?) finest hour at NYCB came in Episodes, when he danced the restored Paul Taylor variation, which has now disappeared again. Except in the case of Gelsey and Johnna Kirkland, who were quite different dancers, I didn't compare the siblings but thought of them as a package.

[ February 25, 2002: Message edited by: Farrell Fan ]

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I think the good thing is that the Tracey sisters are quite different dancers. It is when Kathleen is put in the happy, snappy ballets that were her sister's forte at one time that she is less effective. But she is very good at dark roles, scoring a notable success in Ivesiana (where is that ballet?), La Stravaganza and Moves and is improving all the time in the 2nd movement of Suite No. 3. She had a hard act to follow, replacing an ethereal Zippora Karz -- another sister act with Romy.

I used to find myself comparing the Roy sisters. When they first entered the company, Balanchine liked to cast them together in ballets as they had the same body type and look.

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And the Nearys, Patricia and Colleen.

There's also the Tallchief sisters, Maria and Marjorie, although I don't think Marjorie ever danced with NYCB. (They also provided Arlene Croce with an opportunity for a tart rejoinder to a fellow critic's overheated declaration, "There is only one Tallchief!" "There are, of course, two," Croce pointed out.)

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I think the Nearys WERE compared, as Colleen was younger than Patricia, and inherited some (many?) of her roles. I found it impossible NOT to compare the Frames, as they were twins, and looked identical -- yet not. Peter Frame was more muscular, and advanced more rapidly, than Paul.

I think it would be terribly difficult to be a sibling in a ballet company -- in any company. Especially when one begins to advance more rapidly, get more roles. The Tallchiefs danced on separate continents! Wise move, I'd say.

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At least since I started attending regualarly (in the late 70's), NYCB has always had mulitple sets of siblings in the Company at the same time. It seems to be rare for both siblings to make it out of the corps, however. The Tracy sisters are one example of a pair that did, as are the Duell brothers. (Did both Frames make it out of the corps? I don't remember.)

I found the Tracy and Duell siblings to be very different in terms of physique, temperament, and style; I don't think I compared them to each other any more -- or any less -- than I compare unrelated dancers generally. Perhaps I might have if they had been more "alike" and dancing the same roles or the same types of roles.

It may be easier to make comparisons when both dancers are in the corps, since they are more likely to be covering the same or very similar roles and may not have developed the kind of distinctive personal style (for lack of a better word) that soloists and principals (ideally) have.

Once I figure out which Froman is which maybe I'll start comparing them ... I'm sharp enough to tell the two Staffords apart, though wink.gif

[ February 25, 2002: Message edited by: Kathleen O'Connell ]

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Alexandra, I haven't seen the LeBlanc sisters on stage for about 2 years unfortunately. But if I recall, they are similar in some technical ways - they both have that clean, strong CPYB foundation that I think is obvious. I think that Tina comes across in a more internal, almost serene manner. And I find her sister to be more about power and directness. Just what crosses my mind when I think of them.

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Guest ballerinaDEDG

About Carmern and Angel Corrella:

Last year I was lucky enough to get a standing room ticket for ABT's Giselle at the Kennedy Center. During the second, Angel Corrella came and stood next to me. He was not dancing that night but he was there to watching his sister Carmen dance one of the soloist roles. It is nice to know that they support eachother so much. They are both wonderful dancers.

[ March 02, 2002, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: ballerinaDEDG ]

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Originally posted by alexandra:

Yes, dmd. I believe both Tina and Sherri LeBlanc dance with San Francisco Ballet.

They might be a good pair to use for Calliope's original question -- do you compare them when you see them on stage?

Mark Morris took advantage of their similarities and differences in Sandpaper Ballet, where he choreographed a section for the two of them.

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The LeBlanc sisters are very different with totally different body types. It is hard for me to compare them at all.

There are also the Martin brothers (Ruben and Moises) here at SFB in the corps. I haven't seen them dance enough to really compare them, though.

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Just for the record, it was Peter Frame that advanced to principal and also performed the reconstructed solo in Episodes (alas, no longer done.) You could definitely tell the two brothers apart; facially, they were quite similar, but not physically at all.

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Back when I was a little kid, and Los Angeles Classical Ballet still existed (late 80s, early 90s), I remember a set of identical twins. When they were 12-ish, they were casted as Clara in the Nutcracker. Let's say Megan was Clara in the party scene for Matinee A- after the battle scene, she'd go behind an oversized present and Leah (dressed in a pretty dress) would come out the other side. It was a crowd-pleaser, esp. since the little kids didn't know they were twins.

Anyways, I had heard they were apprentices with San Francisco Ballet and later joined the corps. They both retired last year or two years ago. I didn't have much info about them but I was looking online and found that they are now teaching ballet. http://www.stardancestudio.net/instruct.htm

What amazes me is that they seemed to have done everything together- summer programs together, joining SFB and even retiring together. Wow. How did they ever maintain their own identity/personalities? Having a sibling in the same company would be difficult enough, much less an identical sibling!

Another pair of siblings- Ilona McHugh and Alina Faye in ABT. I think they're both in the corps.

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