Jocelyn Vollmar was known as America’s first Snow Queen, having created that role in the San Francisco Ballet’s pioneering 1944 production of The Nutcracker
, the first time this now ubiquitous ballet was presented in the U.S. She was one of the earliest members of the San Francisco Ballet, joining the company at age 17, and also appearing in its landmark production of Swan Lake
, America’s first. George Balanchine invited her to join New York City Ballet in 1948, and after a year there she moved to Ballet Theater. She made her Jacob’s Pillow debut as a substitute for Nora Kaye the following year, appearing on the first week’s program in 1949 as the partner of Igor Youskevitch. She returned that same season with Ballet Theater, performing over a three-week period in Pas de Quatre
, Les Sylphides
, and Princess Aurora
. She later toured with the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas in Europe and with the Australian Ballet. Just after San Francisco Ballet made its East Coast debut at the Pillow in 1956, Vollmar rejoined her hometown company and remained closely connected there for the rest of her life. She died in July 2018 at the age of 92.
Source of Biography
Written by Norton Owen for Jacob's Pillow Remembers.