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NYCB Vol. 10 No. 22 - Ballo Della Regina

Updated: Apr 4

"When Balanchine choreographed, he did all the partnering himself. He had always taken great pride in the fact that he never asked his dancers to do any partnering that he himself was incapable of doing. Although his knees and back often troubled him, he didn't hesitate to lift and support his ballerinas.

"The pas de deux itself began with Ricky's reentering and joing me on the stage. Balanchine often started by takin gRicky's part and simply telling me what I should do. Then, if he felt I had missed something, he would take my part and let Ricky partner him. At one point while Balanchine was partnering me, he asked which leg I would prefer to life in à la seconde. I told him my right leg. If he had asked which leg I wanted to life to the front or back, I would have answered my left leg. This kind of consideration, rare among choreographers, was something all his dancers especially appreciated.

--"Dancing for Balanchine" by Merrill Ashley

Balanchine, Merrill Ashley, and Robert (Ricky) Weiss. Photos by Martha Swope, 1978. NYPL.


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