Beloved Ballerina Violette Verdy Helps Young Dancers Shine

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Here & Now Guest:

  • Violette Verdy, former ballerina at the New York City Ballet

Violette Verdy was one of the ballerinas most cherished by great New York City Ballet choreographer George Balanchine. In her nearly 20-year career at NYCB, she originated roles in many of his great ballets, such as the "Emeralds" section of Jewels.

Today, she is a distinguished professor of ballet at Indiana University in Bloomington. Verdy recently judged Boston's first international ballet competition, where she put to use her sharp eye for talent and her heart for encouraging it.

Speaking to Here & Now's Lynn Menegon, Verdy, who was born in France,  reflected on her days onstage in New York, dancing for the Russian-born Balanchine.  "I didn't think I was a dancer for him," she said, "because I was never a Borzoi [a Russian wolfhound], I was more of a French poodle."

This segment aired on June 27, 2011.


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