Scene at the School of American Ballet, New York, 1936.
Maria Tallchief dies at age 88
Maria Tallchief, a dancer of electrifying passion and technical ability who forged a pathbreaking career that took her from an Oklahoma Indian reservation to world acclaim and who was a crucial artistic inspiration for choreographer George Balanchine, her first husband, died April 11 at a hospital in Chicago. She was 88.
Olga Moiseyeva as Odette
Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn at the rehearsal
Gelsey Kirkland in 1978
Ballet / Catherine Verneuil, 1963, by ROBERT DOISNEAU http://weheartit.com/entry/56745285/via/paola0824
Irina Kolpakova in ‘Giselle’
Gennady Selyutsky as Hilarion
Janet Collins, one of the few classically trained Black dancers of her generation. In 1932, at age 15, she auditioned with success for the prestigious Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, but because she was required to paint her face and skin white in order to be able to perform, she chose not join the company. In 1951, Janet Collins became the first African American to be hired full-time by the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York.
After groping with buttons, belt, and zipper, Misha appeared for a brief moment to be a statue himself, a pedestal of rumpled clothes at his feet. He seemed embarrased, like a bashful god. I shared his discomfort and dimmed the lights to conceal my own naked form. Our embrace did nothing to relieve the pressure. This would be our first performance. We were both suffering from stage fright.
I retreated back into the refuge of fantasy, allowing my imagination to guide me through the seduction. We were two statues that had somehow come to life only to dance this intimate pas de deux. The choreography called for us to topple in slow motion onto the mattress. After sliding gracefully beneath the sheets and into each other, the next moment found us hopelessly entangled, like something out of one of those abstract ballets.
There was an awkward frenzy of limbs, a struggle for balance and possesion. I felt that I had to surrender at this point to his need for control, to his fantasy. My purpose in life came into focus as his fingers ran up and down the lashing curve of my spine: to please him, to give him pleasure. Sensing what was expected of me, I waited for him to be done. I felt no need to fake what had not taken place, what could not have taken place in the time that elapsed. After he came to rest in my arms, we both turned back into stone. It was over.
Gelsey Kirkland recalls sleeping with Mikhail Baryshnikov for the first time in Dancing on my Grave
Natalia Makarova in ‘The Humpbacked Horse’
Tatiana Terekhova in ‘Paquita’
photo by Nina Alovert
Galina Ulanova as Odette
Galina Ulanova as Odette