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NYCB Vol. 3 No. 47 - A Midsummer Night's Dream

(10/12) From everything I’ve read over the years, it seems clear that Balanchine never passed up an opportunity to dance. He would often partner the ballerinas he was choreographing on leaving the men to learn the role, partnerless, on the side. But beyond that, Balanchine could still demonstrate every male solo he choreographed into his 60s. I’ve read so many accounts of dancers being brought to tears after observing one of Mr. B’s casual demonstrations of a variation.

One source said they felt that Oberon was Balanchine (the character is vertically challenged, a big insecurity of Mr. B’s) while another source said that Puck was Balanchine (mischievous and seemingly omnipresent). And still another source (and I agree with this one) said that every male role Balanchine ever choreographed was a representation of himself—either as he was, or as he wished he was.

(top left) Balanchine and Suzanne Farrell, 1966.

(top center) Balanchine and Edward Villella, 1966.

(top right) Balanchine and Patricia McBride, 1964.

(bottom left) Balanchine and Edward Villella, 1962.

(bottom center) Balanchine and Suzanne Farrell, 1964.

Photos by Martha Swope

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