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Ross Stretton

Guest Bryan Lawrence

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Thank you for the information, however I remind you to please keep the updates on a professional level so as to not encourage perhaps any inquiries of a personal nature. Thank you for your understanding.


I hope Mr. Stretton is feeling better soon.

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I did not know Ross Stretton as a performing colleague, as he came after my time at Joffrey (1974-76), but I did meet him after performances later on, both there and when he was at ABT. I had heard vague rumblings about his being unwell lately, but nothing I could pin down with any degree of certainty. If it is so, I do wish most fervently for him to be healed.

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I remember reading on another ballet board (ballet.co.uk) that there was an article in the Sydney Herald that he had cancer


Ross Stretton (Australian Ballet, Royal Ballet)

Ballet director has cancer


By Sharon Verghis

"Rumours that the director was seriously ill have circulated in dance circles for some time and yesterday the Australian Ballet unofficially confirmed this through a spokeswoman who said the company had sent flowers to him at hospital after hearing that he had cancer."



I thought that I would pass the word

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OK, that's bad news, but at the same time, well-reported. At least a published source is given, with a byline. This way it can be checked, and it fits our "no-rumour" policy!

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I used to see him all the time when he dances with ABT- I'm sorry he is not well.

Mel- did you happen to know one of my teachers, Diane ( Orio) Gerberg , when you were at the Joffrey? She is an incredible teacher.

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Of course, Diane was Ballet Mistress for Twyla Tharp's works, among other things, and her husband Alan was Assistant Stage Manager.

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Cool!!! I have to tell her you are one of the people in charge of this board. Last week i gave her an old program from the Joffrey Nijinsky Festival that I got on ebay- I was disappointed she was not listed in it, but her husband was!!

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Mmmm - the Nureyev/Nijinsky program was awhile back - I think she may have been out having the first baby. By all means, express my best wishes to them. :blushing:

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I'm not sure when she had the baby, but she was there during the Nureyev festival- she had some neat stories about how she had Nureyev in class and didn't know how to treat him because he had a reputation as being difficult so she said she just decided to treat him like everyone else. AT one point he was having some difficulty with one of her combinations and when she started to walk over to corrct him, the whole class gave a collective intake of breath because they were afraid of what was going to happen( you have to know Diane!). ANyway, she said he appreciated the corrections and all he ever wanted was to be treated like everyine else and she thinks his bad rep. came from the way people in other companies treated him. Anyway, she said she did set Petrouchka and was ballet mistress then.( She is listed in the credits for it on the video tape).

I'll give her your message!

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Joffrey was a funny place. It seemed to bring out the best in people who had a reputation for cantankerousness. Jerry Robbins was always cheerful with us, and Antony Tudor couldn't have been politer. Anna Markard, who is Kurt Jooss' daughter, and a real stickler for his style, was all smiles and helpfulness - I understand that with other companies, she could be a real bear!


(Edited to add: Now that I think more upon it, I remember that Diane was pregnant during the time Nureyev was doing his Don Q with the Boston Ballet. That was later than his appearances with Joffrey, so I've misremembered.)

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