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Mme. Hermine

Joan Benesh

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Joan Benesh was not only my teacher of notation at the London Institute of Choreology but a dear friend as well. After my graduation from the Institute, as the first American, she visited me several times in NYC and later at my home in Tucson, Arizona where I was able to show her around Southwest USA. We kept in touch through the years. I felt so honored to be invited to escort Joan to her Benefit performance of the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, London. It was through her and her husband Rudolph who invented the system of notation that is now used by dance companies all over the world and that opened many doors for me as a dancer, choreologist and a choreographer. I am eternally grateful to them and to the remarkable system of notation they invented. I know Joan ... how strongly you believed in the hereafter. Rest in peace. Richard.

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Thanks from me, too, Richard, for your story.

She sounds like a remarkable woman.

-d-

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Earlier in June this year I was more than pleased to attend an event at Ivy House home of the London Jewish Cultural Centre where a most interesting recreation of a solo from Kenneth MacMillan's ballet "Le Baiser de la Fee" was revived using the original Benesh notation with the wonderful Donald McCleary, the originator of the original "Boy" coaching a young very talented young Royal Ballet School dancer James Hay recreating the solo that we had earlier seen in a film of the original production.

See:

http://jelterps.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sir-kenneth-macmillan-source-wikipedia.html

Personally I was less happy with the recreation of the original.

See

http://www.kennethmacmillan.com/ballets/all-works/1977-1992/le-baiser-de-la-fee.html

PS. I did not see the opening night of the production in 1960 but in 1961 I saw Svetlana Beriosova as The Fairy( and fell in love with her performances) and Donald MacLeary as the Young Boy.

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Happy for the link to the video clip -- I don't know as much of MacM's work as I do Ashton's...

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