Afternoon of a Faun

courtesy of

courtesy of

A new documentary film by Nancy Buirski Afternoon of a Faun:  Tanaquil Le Clercq recently had a week long run in San Francisco and tells the story of a brilliant American ballerina whose performing career was tragically ended after contracting polio. A principal dancer and muse for George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet, I think this review by Stephen Holden from the New York Times describes best Tanaquil’s all too short dancing life:

“As you watch grainy kinescope footage of dancers in a mirrored studio executing a pas de deux in the documentary biography “Afternoon of a Faun:  Tanaquil Le Clercq”,  it is almost as though you are beholding mythological deities who have alighted briefly on the earth. Here today, gone tomorrow, they are like rare birds, seldom glimpsed, who remind us of the evanescence of all things, most of all physical beauty and the casual grace of youth. Therein lies a primal attraction of ballet: its evocation of the ecstatic moment is as fleeting as it is haunting.”

Trailer for Afternoon of a Faun:  Tanaquil Le Clercq

Tanaquil Le Clercq and Diana Adams dancing in Concerto Barocco for NYCB

One thought on “Afternoon of a Faun

  1. Allan Altman says:

    Hi, I’ve just discovered your blog. I think your readers may be interested in knowing that the complete Le Clercq performance of Concerto Barocco is now available commercially from our company, Video Artists International. Here is a link to the product page:
    We will also soon be announcing the release of the third volume of our series “New York City Ballet in Montreal,” which will include a very rare Le Clercq segment that we believe has not been seen since its initial airing 60 years ago.
    Best regards,
    Allan Altman
    [email protected]

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