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Gala Salutes Marina Eglevsky

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Gala Salutes Marina Eglevsky

The Eglevsky Ballet, founded in Massapequa in 1957 by the late, great New York City Ballet star, André Eglevsky, hosts a Gala event on Sunday, December 20 at 4:30. The elegant cocktail party, held at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in conjunction with the company’s four performances of the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker, salutes Eglevsky’s daughter, Marina, who has carried her father’s work forward throughout her long career in dance. Her brothers, André Eglevsky, Jr. and Paul Eglevsky, will also be special guests at the December 20 Gala.

Marina Eglevsky also will teach a Master Class on Monday, December 14 at 10:30 am at the Herricks Community Center in New Hyde Park. The fee is $20 per person.

Born into a family steeped in the classical ballet tradition, Marina Eglevsky grew up backstage at the New York City Ballet, taking classes from her earliest years with the legendary George Balanchine. Later study was at the school founded by her parents, as well as the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theater School. She appeared in Balanchine’s Nutcracker and in the Eglevsky Ballet’s Nutcracker, collaboration between Balanchine and André Eglevsky.

She joined the company of the New York City Ballet at the age of 14 and became a soloist with the Rebecca Harkness Ballet the next year. She later was a principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Hamburg Ballet, becoming particularly associated with the roles of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Marie in Nutcracker. Other lead roles for Marina Eglevsky were in Coppelia, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Rodeo and Giselle. She partnered such famed dance stars as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Fernando Bujones, Robert Weiss and Lawrence Rhodes. Additional career highlights for Eglevsky include an appearance with Rudolph Nureyev at a Lincoln Center dance festival, dancing the role of Maggie in the Broadway production of Brigadoon under the direction of Agnes DeMille and staging Balanchine works for the American Ballet Theater, NYC Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and Kennedy Center Honors.

Eglevsky’s work in staging Balanchine ballets throughout the world has been recognized with the prestigious Issie Award. Teaching posts have been with the North Carolina School of Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. She is a staff member of the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley, CA.

Tickets for the Eglevsky Ballet’s Gala on Sunday, December 20 are $60 and $15 for children 12 and under. For information or to purchase tickets, please call (516) 746-1115 or write to info@eglevskyballet.com.

Tickets for The Eglevsky Ballet’s 2009 production of The Nutcracker, Saturday, December 19 through Monday, December 21 at Tilles Center, are $60, $50 and $35 (seniors: $57, $47, $32). Group discounts are available; call (516) 299-3100 or log onto tillescenter.org.

Long Island University’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts is located on the C.W. Post Campus, Route 25A in Brookville.

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How wonderful! I remember Marina's development from a slightly chubby teenage dancer performing lead roles in her father's company (The Eglevsky Ballet) to the sleek, sculpted professional she quickly became. She was featured on the cover of Dance magazine as a child, then again years later in 1969 with her ballerina body in a beautiful pose. Dressed only in a leotard, the monochromatic cover pic shows her in an arabesque (or is it attitude - I should remember this, I've stared at that cover so many times!) perched on her leg toward us, slightly thrust forward, as if we were sitting right in front of her in the studio and she was leaning toward us. Her beautiful slender arm is straight ahead in counterbalance (palm a little up I believe) in almost a Balanchine gesture.

Her line is gorgeous! Her expression the serious look of a focussed dancer, she is the epitome of perfect Russian style - nothing ostentatious, just technical and artistic perfection.

She was married to dancer/choreographer Salvatore Aiello until his death, and they both spent years in Winnipeg performing. I so wish I could watch her teach. Although the studios at Herricks are not very big, I hope she gets a large class of dancers who will appreciate the privilege they have being taught a class by her.

Marina Eglevsky joined NYCB at 14. She inherited several Balanchine ballets after her father's death and asked permission to stage others, which she does around the world, including at POB and the Bolshoi. Her work is very respected in ballet circles. She is a gifted teacher and coach.

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It's marvelous to know that the Eglevsky school and company continue. Long may they flourish. Congratulations to Marina Eglevsky.

When I think of little Massapequa back in the 50s and the 60s -- an hour by train from Penn Station -- I'm always how many serious and successful performing artists (and future artists) lived and even worked there. Every time I see the name "Eglevsky" I stop a while to think what my life might have been like if, at 10 or so, if I had gone along with the suggestion that I take ballet classes at Mr. Eglevsky's new, little school. Was I possibly the only boy available? I DID have long and strong legs, and some natural turnout, but not much else.

Instead of welcoming this opportunity, I fled as if from an dangerous social disease. Talk about a road not taken. I might have been posting right now on Ballet Talk 4 Dancers! :wacko: :blush:

Mr. Eglevsky wasn't actually at the studio at the time of my humiliation, thank goodness. It may have been Mrs. Eglevsky, I can't recall. But I got to meet him a little later: a most impressive man with a fascinating accent ... and very, very nice.

Once he formed his company, I recall some early performances in one of our High School auditoriums, especially one based on Russian fairy tales. A decade or so later on, a lot of New Yorkers of my generation made got on the Long Island Railroad and journeyed to Hempstead during the days when they performed at, I believe, Hofstra College.

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