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miliosr

Lawrence Rhodes

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Posted (edited)

Lawrence Rhodes has died at the age of 79:

https://www.pointemagazine.com/lawrence-rhodes-obituary-2633162941.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1

It's almost impossible to summarize his career as a dancer, company director and teacher but Pointe does an admirable job of it.

Michael Avedon has posted this much reproduced photo of Rhodes from the 60s:

Jesse Obremski of the Limon company has posted this tribute:

 

Edited by miliosr

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Posted (edited)

My favorite photo of the original Harkness Ballet -- taken at the last performance in 1970:

Lawrence Rhodes (who was then principal dancer and co-director with Ben Harkarvy in 1969-70) is at center right. (Future New York City Ballet principal and San Francisco Ballet artistic director Helgi Tomasson is at center left.)

Edited by miliosr

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These are lovely tributes....may he rest in peace.

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2 hours ago, miliosr said:

I wasn't aware of the connection Rhodes had to Kevin McKenzie.

I wasn't either. Nor, did I know that he regularly taught ABT company class.

He was a legend, though.

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I consulted the miliosr library regarding the demise of the Harkness Ballet's first iteration in 1970. From the February 1975 issue of Dance Magazine, here is Lawrence Rhodes' take on it:

Two events triggered the demise of the company. First, Mrs. Harkness began to have mixed feelings about Rhodes' choice of repertoire. Second, Mrs. Harkness had become involved with a smaller company which she had formed in New York, called The Harkness Youth Dancers. It would become the nucleus for a brand-new company.

"Mrs. Harkness became disenchanted with us," Rhodes recalled. "We were in Monaco, when a telegram arrived, saying that Mrs. Harkness would fold the company in two months. That, by May, 1970, it would be all over. She then sent another telegram which included the names of sixteen dancers. There were offered contracts to enter her new company. I was not among them, nor was Lone Isaksen [miliosr note: Rhodes' future wife]. She wanted Helgi Tomasson, Dennis Wayne, Bonnie Mathis, among others. None of them accepted. They decided they'd rather do anything than stay with her. One corps girl in our company went with the new Harkness Ballet - and that was all! And so, the company folded, and to this day, I have neither seen nor spoken to Mrs. Harkness."

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I am sorry to hear this news! I took some classes in NYC from Larry Rhodes back in the 1980s. I enjoyed them very much--he was enthusiastic, the classes very danceable indeed, and he gave attention and kind words to everyone. May he rest in peace.

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