More Reminiscences About E. Virginia Williams; She Sacrificed to Build A World Class Boston Ballet

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Twirling Snowflake A New Polaroid Photo of Boston Ballet's Nutcracker 1969 or 1970 Twirling Snowflake
"Waltz Of The Snowflakes," A Performance of The Boston Ballet Company's Nutcracker in 1969 or 1970
Second Row, L. to R.: 1. Debby Bryan; 2. Nina Bator; 3. Stephanie Moy; 4. Reva Wildorf 5. Stephanie Marini
Front Row, Left to Right: 1. Edra Toth standing; 2. Cecily Travsky; 3. Ellen O'Reilly; 4. Kathy Murphy 5. Bonnie Wycoff; 6. Veronica Fell

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Does anyone know of any older color photos of BB performances?
Or of any other company for that matter?
There must be some. This cannot be the first. Or is it?

Single Snowflake Dancing "What Will We Do Today?" "We'll Reminisce About Our Boston Ballet" (;-)


I wanted to continue a bit about E. Virginia Williams, of Blessed Memory, my primary dance ballet teacher from age eleven to 19 AND the Founder of The Boston Ballet. Before that I danced with the also great, Harriet James in Salem, Massachusetts. That is another story for another time...

Did you know that Miss Williams had a Studio on the first floor of her home in Malden, Massachusetts? Actually, there were two Studios. One was the size of a postage stamp, the other even smaller. We danced almost exclusively in the larger of the two. Miss Williams taught my ballet class there on Monday afternoons; Margie Duff, who ran a whole program in the Malden Studio for Virginia often subbed for her, too. Miss Williams actually lived upstairs, where I ventured only once, years later. There, she showed me a tutu that she had designed for me and, onto which, she was hand sewing the beaded embellishments. She was sewing it herself. Amazing, I realize now. At the time it seemed pretty normal in a ballet sort of way.

I have actually heard rumors that Miss Williams mortgaged her Malden house, which I believe was her only house - more than once - to come up with the money she needed to subsidize her beloved, newly formed and growing, professional company, The Boston Ballet. If course, as a young girl, I had no clue what a mortgage was nor any understanding whatsoever of the financing needed to produce a professional level ballet evening for Boston's building Ballet audience. Nor did I understand anything at all about fundraising. While the Boston Symphony orchestra was long established and well supported by the Boston Brahmins (and others), the ballet was new in town. Miss Williams not only had to create the Company, she had to create an audience for it - to educate the public about ballet, which she obviously did successfully.

She was tireless. She was very steady. And, she was great at team building. These things I realize now. At the time, Miss Williams simply was... Like a force of nature. Believe me, she had a whole lot of personal power. Everyone was on her/his best behavior when she was in the room.

I wonder how many current Ballet Company Directors would mortgage their houses to keep their Companies alive? I certainly am not hoping that any one would even have to consider that option; I am not wishing it on anyone. However, many Arts Organizations have gone under in this recession. The world is a different place, financially speaking, now; "mortgaging" anything has recently gotten a very bad rap indeed. I am just posing the question, rhetorically, for the pleasure of any interested reader.

I am also pointing out a "Sacrifice for ART" someone in my life made that benefited me. Thanks Miss Williams for a great gift. Thank you for a job well done, long ago and not forgotten.

Thanks,
Cecily