from the editor THE CHANGINGOF THEGUARD
a halt in themiddle of the street. Natasha’s studio was gone.
A Linda James
All that was left was rich, black soil. As I gasped at the sight of the empty lot,memories fromthe past came flooding in. On this land
once stood a cherished, ramshackle building that housed Nathalie Krassovska’s School. The building had sat vacant for six and a half years; but it certainly doesn’t seemlike it has been that long since Natasha’s passing.
Madam’s studio was not only a place of study for aspiring bal- let dancers, it was her home. And for all of us who ever studied there, it was our home too. Natasha opened her door, batted her large blue eyes, and invited us in.
Ever time you went to the studio, it seemed as if a newpromis- ing, young ballerina was living there. In 1982, Natasha was once again in the news for providing refuge for Romanian defector Vasile Petrutiu. And then therewas the time she had a crew of Russian stage hands staying with her.
No one who has seen Ballets Russes, a 2005 feature documentary about the dancers of the Ballet Russe deMonte Carlo directed by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller, will ever forget the clip of
s I turned off of lower Greenville onto Richmond Avenue, just past the oldWhole Foods location, I nearly brought the car to
Natasha sweeping the door of her home open to lead us inside her studio—the place where art and life were one.
I can’t think about Natasha without thinking about Natalie Skelton—another grand dame of dance in Dallas. And when I think of Natalie, I remember Denise Brown.
If you were fortunate enough to know these women and lament their demise, no doubt you sharedmy sorrow when you learned of the death of Nancy Schaffenburg-Cross. Nancy’s weekdaymorning ballet classes were filled with studio owners who took time fromtheir busy schedules to study with amas- ter.
An era is passing. But I take heart in knowing that the shoes of these dance icons are being filled bymarvelous performers, teachers and choreographers who are imparting their wisdom and love of dance to a new generation of artists.
This season as you gaze at the ephemeral beauty of dance, lis- ten carefully and you will hear the voices of those who opened their doors so that you could feel with your heart.
a publication of the dance council of north texas vol. 14 •
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