Tanaquil Le Clercq

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

A Star Ballerina in Action (GIFs)

Watch star ballerina “Tanny” (Tanaquil Le Clercq) in action in these five fantastic gifs showing off her technique and flair. All footage is from performances she gave with the New York City Ballet. 1. Spotting turns in George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco. When a dancer rotates her body in a turn, she’ll usually keep her head […]

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

Polio and Famous People Who Survived It

The career of ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq, featured in American Masters — Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun, was cut short by polio, which left some of her limbs permanently paralyzed. The film excerpt above shows archival footage of “iron lungs” that enabled people severely paralyzed by polio to breathe. Le Clercq survived the […]

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

Le Clercq in New York City Ballet Repertoire

American Masters – Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun shows Le Clercq (Tanny) performing with George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet in some of his most memorable ballets, including The Four Temperaments, Symphony in C, La Valse and Western Symphony, and in Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun. We also see Tanny and Jacques […]

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

Director’s Statement by Nancy Buirski

By Nancy Buirski Artistic Inspiration American Masters — Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun illuminates the exceptional qualities of “Tanny” in life and in dance. It portrays her artistic triumph and her personal tragedy. Through her own words and through the people who knew and loved her, our film captures her love of dance, […]

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

Biography and Photos of Tanaquil Le Clercq

Born in Paris, Tanaquil Le Clercq (1929 – 2000) was the daughter of a French intellectual and a society matron from St. Louis, MO. When Tanny was three, they moved to New York where her father Jacques Le Clercq taught romance languages. Tanny began ballet training in New York at age five, studying with Mikhail […]

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

Full Film

Tanaquil Le Clercq (1929–2000) was a star ballerina with the New York City Ballet who greatly influenced choreographers George Balanchine (her husband) and Jerome Robbins (her friend). Filmmaker Nancy Buirski spotlights Le Clercq’s ballet career, influence on dance, and her struggle with polio, which paralyzed her at the height of her fame.