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Patricia McBride's role[s] in Apollo

Paul Parish

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A friend says she can see her as Polyhymnia -- with the finger across her lips. Well, indeed, duh!!!! so can I! Very easy to picture it. Did she do it?

Was she ever Terpsichore? I can picture that, too -- though not quite so clearly.... but I can CERTAINLY see her doing those pas de chevals on pointe, and hte swivels from 4th to second and back....and hte dives into penchee and he liettle skitters around on the heels, and he pelvic bumps, yes I can see it, and would LOVE to. But did she?

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the MCBRIDE entry in the International Dictionary of Ballet, written by Larry Kaplan, who has followed NYCB for a good time, lists no roles in APOLLO for McBride.

Repertory and Review, however, lists McBride's name among the subsequent casts of Terpsichore for the credits of the '51 revival called APOLLO, LEADER OF THE MUSES. in the same book, McBride's name is not among those noting subsequent casts of Calliope and Polyhymnia, the latter being the role with choreography that includes the gesture of 'silence' by way of a finger to the mouth.

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Here she is rehearsing Apollo with Balanchine:


A New York Times review from 1964 said of her performance of Terpsichore (with Villella as Apollo), "Miss McBride seemed nearest to all to the full realization of their performing potential in this work. Her dancing was poised and lovely and imbued with affecting lyricism."

In another review, from 1962, It is mentioned that she performed in Apollo. Since Allegra Kent was listed first, McBride, then Jillana. I'm guessing Kent was Terpsichore and McBride was Polyhymnia.

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According to Peter Boal, she performed Terpsichore in programs she organized herself (one of those "_____ and Friends" projects) -- he often tells the story of his first performance, which was a last-minute substitution for Helgi Tomasson in one of those shows. Don't know date offhand, and don't have time to look it up right now -- my apologies.

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