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Thread: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine

  1. #1
    eltamina
    Guest

    Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    and Suzzane F

    I know a lady from work who was in Mc Bride's class, and she couldn't tell me much about this very interesting relationship. She did not think it was sexual at all.

    I watched SF's tv special a few years ago, and she seemed to be so hurt by this relationship.

    I read violinist Nathan Milstein's autobio, and as a friend of Ballanchine, he was very sympathetic towards Ballanchine.

    What was the story?

  2. #2
    dlksk8fan
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    Balanchine was obsessed with Suzanne Farrell. In 1969 Balanchine after 16 yrs of marriage to Tanauil Le Clercq got a quick divorce. For several years before his divorce he was preoccupied with the "young" ballerina Suzanne Farrell which was more of a obsession. Despite the forty years difference he had hoped to marry her. But she married a young man in the company named Paul Mejia at about the same time that Balanchine was getting a divorce. After her marriage she and her husband left the New York City Ballet because, so she said, Balanchine would not give her husband the roles he deserved.

  3. #3
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    Eltamina - There is so much to say about Mr. B. (actually called that affectionately). He started out as a music studient in Georgia. (That's Russia not Atlanta) As with music students of the time they had classes in everything (similarly the way Julliard is run). He had ballet classes, and performed as a child in Nutcracker. When the revolution happened he was with the Ballet Russe in Europe and never returned to Russia. He was given privilege to choreograph in Ballet Russe.

    Eventually he was approached by an American philantropist and lover of ballet to start an American company in New York.

    Eltamina - Best you go to surf the web. I have never done this for Mr. B but I am sure the responses will be plentiful.

    There is an interesting article by Suzanne Farrell in one of the January issues of the New Yorker. You can pick up a copy at your library.

    He was A-sexual. Absolutely no hot romances with anyone. But some excellent genius for choreography.

    Joe

  4. #4
    dlksk8fan
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    eltamina- There is a good book titled "Balanchine" by Bernard Taper.

    Joe-are you sure about the "no hot romances"? It seems he was married a few times and liked them young!

  5. #5
    eltamina
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    Thanks dlksk8fan, and Joe. My friend called Mr. B asexual too.



  6. #6
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    Dlk - Generally speaking the marriages were not consumated so go the rumours. Asexual is generally accepted because he was also very close to some of the young men in the company but again nothing about sex.

    Eltamina - I was also in Patrica McBride's class at the American School along with Edward Vilella. You can guess my age now.

    Joe

  7. #7
    dlksk8fan
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    Joe- very interesting.

  8. #8
    Ptichka
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    In a recent New Yorker (may be a month or so ago) there was an absolutely fascinating article by Joan Accocella about Suzanne Farrell. As to the sexuatlity of her relationship with Balanchine, it says Balanchine was happy enough to have a platonic relationship with Farrell, but went ballistic when she hooked up with someone else. The general impression I got was that for him dancing with her, creating dances for her, and teaching dance to her was satisfying enough, but that he would not let her have such a special connection with someone else.


  9. #9
    eltamina
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    Thanks Pitchka, do you remember which issue of the New Yorker?

  10. #10
    rgirl181
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    Try the Google search "George Balanchine marriages"
    www.google.com/search?hl=...gle+Search
    for Net info on Mr. B and his sexuality. I don't know much about Balanchine behind the scenes. He was such an object of reverence and was not a man of open, excessive appetites (like, for example, Leonard Bernstein). His ex-wives always remained friends with him, some continued dancing with him, so people just weren't into dishing about him. I didn't see the New Yorker article, but it sounds great.
    Rgirl

  11. #11
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    The New Yorker article appears in the January 6,2003 issue. It reads quite well. It does not answer my question of what happens to dancers when they go into the real world. Suzanne was lucky to find help from the kindness of a stranger to get back on her toes and indeed create a company.

    Joe

  12. #12
    eltamina
    Guest

    Joe and rgirl thanks


    I will look up the articles.

  13. #13
    rgirl181
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    Joe,
    There are "Dancer Transition Centres" in Toronto, NYC, and I think Switzerland. They try to help dancers "cross over" into the real world. Since a lot of them leave dance with injuries, they are often attracted to careers in health care, especially physical therapy. PT is popular because it's only two years to get a licensed degree and the money is good. Unfortunately, many find out that doing rehab does nothing to fulfill their creative needs. Another common career choice is arts management, but it's a risky one. The problem, especially with elite ballet dancers, is that they often started apprentincing with companies at 16 or 17, so even their high school educations are not good. Stars tend to have patrons that give them plumb jobs, but the corps dancers and lesser known soloists have a tougher time. Of course, there is always teaching. Many go for university positions, but those are tough because most of the people teaching university dance are there forever--hey, it's a great gig. If you do a Google search under "Dancer Transition Centre" it will give you info on the Toronto center.
    Rgirl

  14. #14
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Joesitz & rgirl181, tell me about Ballanchine


    Thanks rGirl for the informatiion on how dancers can be assisted when their careers are over. I vaguely remember seeing something like that on TV. It's a great idea once the dancer realizes there is a life after the curtain comes down.

    Check out the NewYorker article. There is a certain amount of pathos in the story about Suzanne. Of course, she would never seek that kind of help you mentioned, so she was lucky but still the period before all that must have been without joy.

    One moves on. I hope the former figure skaters move on well.

    Joe

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