The front page of the NY Times Dance section was dotted with the news of four internationally acclaimed ballerinas retiring, all at once. The sheer number of farewell articles sent me into a mild panic. Kyra Nichols and Alessandra Ferri’s farewell articles are touching, and a moving tribute to their final performances. Their artistry will definitely be missed.
Another of my favorite ballerinas retired as well: Muriel Maffre gave her final performance on the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House stage this season. One of the most unique dancers I’ve ever seen (standing tall at 5′ 10″), and one of my favorites – she completely stole the show as Diana in Mark Morris’ Sylvia last year even though her part was about one minute long. A reviewer said it well, when reviewing her final performance as the Dying Swan, “the taut silence in the house…spoke volumes about how much this particular Swan means to San Francisco, and how unprepared we are to say goodbye.”
All my favorite ballerinas are slowly retiring at the SF Ballet! First with Joanna Berman (I know that was a long time ago, but I’m still missing her), and now Muriel Maffre. Yuan Yuan Tan better not be next…
“[A ballerina] is an exalted being, and yet we respond to her as if we are her.”