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NYCB Vol. 10 No. 17 - The Four Temperaments

Tanny on The Four Temperaments: “I was very young to be in the original cast of Four Ts; I was right out of the School. […] I would’ve been 16 or 17.”

“He had professional people for all the Temperaments and Themes, except for me. It wasn’t that I was so good; it just came at a time when there was nobody else. Call it good timing. If you needed a body, I was the only one. The corps in Four Ts, like the girls that come in and kick, we’re just tall girls from the school filling in but otherwise […] they were all professionals, and they were called Ballet Society.


“They couldn’t have been nicer to me, telling me how to make up and how to put the toe shoe ribbons in and things like that. Everybody was very sweet. But you know that part where I am in the middle and the other four women are in a square around me? One of the women, who should remain nameless, who was the lead, didn’t turn up for a rehearsal. I heard through the grapevine that she had objected; she didn’t want to dance with a student in the middle, or she wanted to be there. And then, the very next rehearsal, she turned up and everything was fine. George had obviously talked to her. It was the first time, and the only time I ever had trouble with anything like that, but you’ve got to learn sometime how people are disagreeable or envious.


"He [Balanchine] said somewhere that he doesn't know how he does his ballets. It must be a gift. [...] But he didn't say, nobody said to me, when we were doing Four Ts, 'This is Choleric.' They called me 'LeCholeric,' and said, "Ha ha. Isn't that funny?' He said, 'Oh, look at that. Your name's LeClercq and you're being Choleric. LeCholeric.; That's all. That was it."


—Tanaquil LeClercq in “Striking a Balance: Dancers Talk About Dancing” by Barbara Newman (affiliate link)


Photos of Tanaquil LeClercq in The Four Temperaments

Photos by Fred Fehl, 1950. Harry Ransom Center.

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