Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Richard Thomas, 88 [UPDATE]

Richard Thomas (1925-2013)
Photo courtesy of the family of Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas, prominent ballet teacher, passed away July 27 in Kentucky.   Born December 3, 1925, Thomas was a dancer with New York City Ballet and owned the New York School of Ballet, where he and his late wife Barbara Fallis trained many prominent dancers.
Three of his former students, Eliot Feld, Christine Sarry, and Daniel Levans, placed the following obituary in The New York Times:
Richard Thomas, 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 this 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."
The New York Times obituary by Jennifer Dunning, August 3: click here

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