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Very sad (and shocked) to read this news. I have vivid memories of seeing Renvall dance for the first time (without having any idea who he was) when he was brand new to ABT; he just soared across the stage in the Russian Dance of Baryshnikov's Nutcracker and we all felt a kind of thrill. And, of course, Renvall had a rare, shining beauty. Later when he took the role of Nutcracker Prince just watching him remove the Nutcracker mask and emerge in all his princely radiance was magical...

Among the handfull of other times I saw him dance--including wonderful performances as the Bronze Idol already mentioned--I especially treasure a performance of Gurn in which his buoyant, easy, and just plain beautiful Act I varation stole the show, for a moment at least, from Baryshnikov's James.

Also want to mention the warm way he smiled at Kirkland when partnering her in Great Galloping Gottschalk. Fluff made completely and utterly charming when these two danced it.

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ABT has commented:

ABT mourns the passing of former Principal Dancer Johan Renvall, who joined the Company in 1978. His 18-year career with ABT was highlighted by such roles as the Bronze Idol in "La Bayadère," Franz in "Coppélia," the Peruvian in "Gaîté Parisienne," the Nutcracker-Prince in "The Nutcracker" and James in "La Sylphide." Following his performing career, Johan passed on his knowledge as a member of ABT's Summer Intensive faculty.

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So sorry to read this. Does anyone know how he died?

I remember some ballet he did, tour second, and decended into grapnde plié with two more in the middle and returned to straight stsnding leg to finish with two more. Someone mentioned that he had been an ice skater when he was young, that explained it. I always wondered what had happened to him after he retired.


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I remember him in 'Murder,' a hilarious David Gordon ballet for Baryshnikov at ABT, with Edward Gorey scenery and costumes. His starring role had multiple personalities, including one in drag. Superb in every way.

I envy you having seen this.

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