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Who was your "first love"..as far as ballerinas go....


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Mine has to be Gillian Murphy. The first full length ballet I've seen was on Youtube with Gillian and Angel dancing ABT's Swan Lake.

I have since grown to respect others..Alina Cojocaru and Marianela Nunez for instance...but Gillian will always be my first love.

She's a very strong dancer and she's not a stickarina. I have very minor quibbles artistically ( in Swan Lake....her miming "tears" is a little overdone in my verynewtoballet opinion.)

I will always enjoy watching her.

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Melissa Hayden. Roles: Balanchine's Firebird, Swan Lake, Still Point -- all dramatically striking roles.. I didn't know anything about the subtleties of ballet technique, so I looked for heart, intensity, strength. The company was still small in those days, so the principals all took on a LOT of different roles. Partnerships can also play a role in falling in love. For me it was Hayden/d'Amboise first of all.

A key variable was the chance, in those days at the low-price City Center, to see NYCB dancers from quite close up. Fonteyn I saw a number of times in those days at the old Met, but the distance (from cheaper seats) made it impossible to form an emotional connection. Subtlety and even humanity were lost. Fonteyn became my favorite only with the arrival of tv and video closeups.

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Suzanne Farrell. Old programs show that I saw a Nutcracker with Hayden (probably one of her last before retirement, I guess) and Kirkland. I loved ballet but a specific dancer didn't capture my attention until Farrell. I saw her perform as a child and then pored over her picture in the special booklet my parents bought me. She was the one I wanted to see on our trips to the ballet. I loved her dancing, but I think looking at her in performance pictures also added to my favoritism. She had a special manner. She didn't grin or have a fake stage face. She was this serene goddess doing the most amazing things.

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I don't know! I know I first became interested in ballet as a very young child after seeing it on the Ed Sullivan Show or Firestone Theater or Bell Telephone Hour, but my family wasn't interested in going to the ballet, since they already indulged me with Ice Capades and Ice Follies, where I dozed my way through chorus lines of fruit and cartoon creatures aimed at my demographic, waiting for the "real" skating to happen.

I do remember seeing a performance of "Pillar of Fire" on PBS as a kid, and I was knocked over. I thought the Hagar was the most remarkable woman I had ever seen on TV -- Sallie Wilson? Cynthia Gregory? -- but if I knew her name then, I forgot it quickly, since I never thought I'd ever get to see ballet live.

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I came late to ballet... wasted most of my life in the wilderness. When my eyes were opened it was Julie Kent, but many others have dazzled my eyes since. I'm fickle or I like too many to choose now. If I'm not near the girl that I love, I love the girl I'm near... or something like that.

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Trinidad Sevillano caught my eye when she was a newbie (at the age of 16) at LFB and I was a newbie watching ballet. I saw her perform many roles over the few years she was with LFB but my two favourites were Juliet (Ashton) and Odette/Odile in Makarova's Swan Lake

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Merrill Ashley. I was a dance student myself at the time and Ashley was the paradigm of The Good Student. Struggling to gain technique, one watched her and believed that anything was possible with assiduous, persistent work.

Shortly after, when I saw her Juliet, Makarova, who showed one the opposite - that not everyone could be that gifted.

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Patricia McBride, and that's not why she's my favourite again after all these years. It's because of the old early 60s 'Balanchine Nutcracker', with her and Villella, which was the first time I ever really saw ballet at all, even though on TV. I saw this even before seeing Fonteyn and Nureyev in their many TV appearances. I think I saw that old 'Nutcracker' at least three times, it was annual for awhile, I believe. Later on, I fell in love with many ballerinas, but she was the first, and it interests me that she has become the first for me again.

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Miss Natalia...may I use the beginning of your answer...?

The One and Only -- Alicia Alonso. Seeing her...
...dancing her way out of her cottage in Giselle in 1991 for the first-(if not the last)-time, with a whole city roaring at her feet was a surreal experience. She was 71 at the time. :bow::bow::bow:

Edited to add: BTW, I've been checking this thread very often, as there's one poster for which I'm DYING to see the response. My curiosity is based in the IMMENSE ballet knowledge/experience this poster has. :bow:

C'mon, pop out!! :D

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Margot Fonteyn, a love everlasting.



Fonteyn, me too. I know this is a first love question, but I am a successive lover - after Fonteyn, Farrell most recently Cojocaru (who I've never seen live). Having potential new loves is one of the things that keeps a person going the ballet!!

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For me, it is Alexandra Danilova--so much so, because to this day I am still enchanted by Mariinsky ballerinas (most of the time---there are always exceptions). How I loved watching her! A close second is my favorite American ballerina Alicia Alonso (to me she will always be American because she made her mark on the ballet world in the U.S. and became a Prima Ballerina in an American company--my apologies to Cuba, but we saw her first). When I first saw them, one was at the end of her career and the other at the beginning.

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