During the 70s and early 80s I was living in NYC on 83rd Street between West End and Riverside Aves. During that time, The New York School of Ballet was truly my ‘home away from home'. Reading these moving tributes has brought back many memories from my years of study with Richard and Barbara. “Second position!” ringing out from Richard as he bounded down the stairs to begin another inspired, challenging class…attempts at those maddening petit allegros brought forth “THAT looked like a Horn & Hardart vegetable platter swimming all over the plate!” (except for Bronwyn's!...which were always perfectly executed and a joy to watch)…the thrill of being invited into 12:00 class, learning not only from Richard, but from watching dancers like Bronwyn, Daniel Levans, Sean Lavery, Christine Sarry and so many others…I remember catching my breath when stars like Royes Fernandez and Natalia Makarova entered that beautiful, old studio (and you don't see floors like that anymore!)…then there was the day I nailed four, perfectly centered pirouettes en pointe without falling off and heard Richard exclaim, “atta girl, Nancy!” (it never happened again in his class and I was so happy he saw it!)
Richard and Barbara were immensely gifted teachers and extraordinary individuals who had a lasting impact on my life as a dancer and as a person. I have thought of them both so often over the years. They each gave so much of themselves to us—not only their gifts of technique and vast knowledge of ballet's history, but their personal wisdom as well on how to navigate one's life in the topsy-turvy worlds of ballet and theater. I always wished I had seen them perform on the stage. I will be forever grateful to my teachers in NJ, Eddie Verso and Janet Mitchell, who brought me in to NYC and enrolled me in that magical, never-to-be-forgotten place where I learned and experienced so much.
Bronwyn and Richard, my deepest sympathies to you and your families for your loss.
Peaceful rest, Mr. T…and thank you…your passion pour la danse lives on in all of us!