Queen Latifah swapped hip-hop for high culture on Wednesday (08May13) when she was the guest of honour at the New York City Ballet's spring gala. The rapper/actress made a special appearance on stage at the show, which marked the 25th anniversary of the ballet company's American Music Festival, which runs annually throughout May (13).
Latifah showed off her vocal talents by tackling George Gershwin's classic The Man I Love while NYC Ballet's principal dancers Sterling Hyltin and Amar Ramasar performed a routine from Who Cares?, a ballet created by the company's co-founder George Balanchine.
American ballet legend Maria Tallchief has died at the age of 88. The dancer, who grew up on an Oklahoma Indian reservation, passed away on Thursday (11Apr13) in Chicago, Illinois.
Tallchief, whose sister Marjorie was also a ballet star, trained in Los Angeles and performed with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the New York City Ballet, which her choreographer husband George Balanchine co-founded in 1948.
She earned international acclaim in the title role in Stravinsky’s Firebird and also starred in many other Balanchine ballets, including Orpheus and The Nutcracker.
Tallchief was honoured with a Kennedy Center Honor from U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1996.
Prokovsky passed away on Saturday (15Aug09) near Beausoleil, the village in the south of France where he lived.
The cause of death was cancer, according to his agent Mark Kappel.
Prokovsky was a former principal dancer for esteemed companies including the London Festival Ballet, the Grand Ballet of the Marquis de Cuevas and the New York City Ballet - where he created roles in dance pioneer George Balanchine’s Pas de Deux and Divertissement and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet.
In 1962 he formed the New London Ballet with ex-wife Galina Samsova, which toured through Europe, Asia, South America and parts of the United States before it disbanded in 1977.
He served as ballet director of Italy's Rome Opera House in 1977 and 1978, and then pursued a career as a freelance choreographer, staging shows for ballet companies around the world.
Prokovsky is survived by his wife, Elvire, and a son, Alexandre.