A Determined Grace

Photography Christina Lessa

Stylist Ashley Pruitt

Author Phil Chan

George Balanchine dismissed some audience complaints about the pas de deux from his 1957 ballet “Agon,” a plotless dance for two, set to the music of Igor Stravinsky performed by Diana Adam and Arthur Mitchell. Mitchell was being tested in his first year as a Principal Dancer, having become the first African American dancer with Balanchine’s New York City Ballet just two years earlier. Moira Shearer, red-headed star of the iconic film “The Red Shoes” and one of the Royal Ballet’s reigning ballerinas of the era wrote on her visit to New York, “The stage picture formed by those two dancers – he in white shirt and black tights, Diana Adams with white skin and black hair also in black […]

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