2 3 Throwback Thursday and Violette Verdy | Ballet Webb

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Throwback Thursday and Violette Verdy

Throwback Thursday and Violette Verdy

Born Nelly Armande Guillerm on December 1, 1933, Violette Verdy joined NYC Ballet when she was 25 years old. She had already achieved acclaim dancing for Roland Petit’s company in France, as well as a season with American Ballet Theatre. According to Roland Petit, Balanchine was attracted to Violette Verdy’s dancing because she had something his company didn’t have: a dramatic flair that was in contrast to the pure-movement style that was Balanchine’s signature.

When Balanchine invited her to join his company, she was surprised – she felt that she wouldn’t fit it. She said she feared “his dancers were Borzois and she was a French poodle”. But she went on to create some of the most memorable roles in the repertoire of NYC Ballet: “Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux”; “Emeralds”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and “Dances at a Gathering”.

In 1977, she retired from performing with NYC Ballet and became the director of the Paris Opera Ballet. Three years later, she became co-artistic director of the Boston Ballet, where she remained until 1984. At Indiana University she was named a distinguished professor, and she was a beloved teacher and mentor to many dancers.

Violette Verdy died this past Monday, February 8, 2016, after suffering a stroke. She was 82.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #103:  
Violette Verdy created many memorable roles in the New York City Ballet.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“It should be like stirring mayonnaise.”
-Violette Verdy (coaching a dancer on how to perform a circular movement)

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