THOMAS--Richard, known affectionately as Dick, master ballet teacher, mentor, willful iconoclast, sublimely human and adored by umpteen generations of dancers, is said to have died on Saturday morning July 27. For those of us who knew him, who were privileged to brush against his vital and provocative nature, he lives on! The ripples from his kindness, wisdom, sensibility and wit endure. So too, his divine lickety-split petit allegros, even his excesses, which were excessive, his passion for dancing and dancers, and his knowledge of ballet technique combined with his intellect and his gift for cajolery to impart the lesson to we who were eager, so eager. He lives forever within us. He has become a part of who we are. Indelible. It seems only appropriate that Dick should have the last word, as was his wont and dessert deserved. Accordingly: in ballet class, half a century plus ago, though it seems like yesterday, at the conclusion of the Grand Allegro, he opined to the class and to the Gods if they would only listen and learn "the cow jumped over the moon but he was still a cow". Eliot Feld, Christine Sarry, Daniel Levans, we three his students, and all at Ballet Tech, past, present and future. With love.
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Published in The New York Times on July 30, 2013