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Ballerinas You've Never Seen

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Reading Ballet Alert, we get to learn about lots of dancers we'd never heard of before. Of all the 20th century ballerinas you've heard about but never seen, which do you regret not having seen the most?

The poll structure limits me to six choices, but if there's another ballerina (of the 20th century) whom you wish you'd been able to see, please name her. And even if you vote for someone on the list, the real fun of these polls is sharing our thoughts, so please tell the rest of us why you voted as you did.

My own choice is someone who's not on the list: Tanaquil Le Clerq. I've always been fascinated by the photographs I've seen of her—she looks so elegant and witty. The descriptions of her dancing are tantalizing. While she only danced professionally for about a decade, she seems to have influenced Balanchine's style a great deal, and the impact she made on him can apparently be seen in the way NYCB women dance today. And then, the romantic appeal of her tragic story is irresistible. I'd love to be able to remember how she danced and speculate how she might have matured, had not fate stepped in.

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