Tis the Season/Happy Holidays!!!
i found this photo of me as a little girl, taken back stage at city center after a performance of george ballanchine's "the nutcracker suite." it was the second annual performance of the ballet which is still performed at christmas time every year. i am ever grateful to my mother for having enrolled me in ballanchine's school of american ballet, which gave me the possibility of being in the nutcracker--the experience of being on stage in a magical performance no child would ever forget, either from on or off stage.
after each performance, my mother would take me to the schrafts around the corner from the ballet and i got to choose between a hamburger or an ice cream sundae. i was a disinterested eater in those days and my mother was delighted that i enjoyed these treats with such unaccustomed relish. but the delicious post performance celebration stopped abruptly after my soldier's costume starting getting too tight! ballanchine had one iron-clad rule aside from being able to dance in an acceptable fashion: if you could find a costume that fit, you were in. conversely......
in those days he was married to the beautiful prima ballerina tanaguil le clerk who tragically had just been stricken with polio.
i will always remember living for this brief moment of my young life in the rarified world of ballet.