Nadia Nerina

Nadia Nerina, photographed with Ted Shawn by John Lindquist at the time of her only Pillow appearance in 1967, died in October 2008 at the age of 80.  Born in South Africa in 1927, she joined the Royal Ballet as a soloist in 1947, and soon became a favorite of choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton.  She was often partnered by Rudolf Nureyev after his defection to the West in 1961.  Shawn had met Nerina during a visit to London in 1962, when they both attended a luncheon at the home of Dame Alicia Markova, who co-directed the Pillow for one season twenty years earlier.  In spite of Nerina's stature, the two classical pas de deux she presented at the Pillow with Thor Sutowski received some blistering reviews from the major critics.  In The New York Times, Don McDonagh said that Nerina and Sutowski "meandered through strikingly uninvolved performances", while Walter Terry wrote, "The two appeared in an appalling hash of scrap from Act II of Giselle that was as indigestible as anything I have ever met with."  Proving once again that differing opinions abound, The Berkshire Eagle praised Nerina's "brilliant sequences that took the audience's breath" and the Albany Times-Union referred to this as "one of the best programs of the season."
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