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Sean Lavery RIP

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Just a short note to salute a very fine dancer and a superb partner.


I didn't know him personally, so can only talk about him as a performer. During the late seventies and throughout the eighties Lavery was almost an ever present in NYCB performances. Both Balanchine and Robbins liked him a lot - he was tall and of medium build -  tall enough to partner comfortably all of the women in City Ballet whilst possessing a good enough technique to cope with whatever Balanchine and Robbins could throw at him. He partnered Farrell, McBride, Ashley, von Aroldingen et al and his rep was enormous. I don't really have any awareness of seeing him away from City Ballet and he didn't really perform in Britain very often so he may be one of those dancers who are not really appreciated in this country- from unfamiliarity rather than for any other reason. For about ten years, though, he probably appeared in more featured roles in more performances than anyone in the company,  and by featured roles, I really mean leading roles. After a very short time in the lower ranks of the company he dealt almost exclusively in leads.  He danced in almost all of the Balanchine rep and a considerable percentage of the Robbins rep. Then  after about ten years he stopped; his name remained on the company list but he was never on stage. It  was only gradually that it became clear that he had a serious illness which led to the end of his stage career at about the age of 30. There are a number of recordings of him in Balanchine some available on You Tube which are well worth seeking out for those who want to see an excellent representation of the Balanchine male style.

Edited by Douglas Allen
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