On this day: American Ballet Theatre

time-kirk Time Magazine Gelsey Kirkland American Ballet Theatre 1sy May 1978

Gelsey Kirkland, star of American Ballet Theatre, is seen here as Kitri in Don Quixote on the cover of TIME Magazine on the 1st of May, 1978. Kirkland, whose professional career began with New York City Ballet at only fifteen, moved to ABT in 1974, where she found fame dancing with Soviet ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov.

On this day: A new generation of ballet stars

Photograph caption dated March 2, 1986 reads, The new generation of ABT dancers (from left) Gil Boggs, Amanda McKerrow, John Turjoman and Bonnie Moore. American Ballet Theatre

This photograph, dated the 2nd of March, 1986, was released to the media to introduce “the new generation of American Ballet Theatre stars”.

Pictured are Gil Boggs, Amanda McKerrow, John Turjoman and Bonnie Moore.

A 1985 interview with Turjoman and Moore, where they discuss interpreting Romeo and Juliet as very young dancers, can be read HERE.

McKerrow went on to be known as one of the greatest ballerinas in the history of ABT.

On this day: the defection of Alexander Godunov

Alexander Borisovich Godunov (Nov 28, 1949-May 18, 1995), Ballet Dancer .

On the 21st of August, 1979 Soviet ballet dancer Alexander Godunov defected to the United States. His defection took place during a Bolshoi Ballet tour to New York City.

Alexander Godunov

A childhood classmate of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Godunov was one of the Bolshoi’s star dancers, and the gold medal winner at the 1973 Moscow International Ballet Competition.

He was also a known actor in the USSR.

Alexander Godunov People 21st April 1985 Cover

Godunov was married to a company soloist at the time of his defection, though his wife did not defect with him.

THE MONEY PIT Tom Hanks, Alexander Godunov, 1986.

He went on to become a principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre until he had a falling out with Baryshnikov, after which he toured internationally and became a known actor in Hollywood.

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Godunov was found dead in his home in May, 1995.