Death of a dancer: Elyse Borne


Elyse Borne, after a long battle with cancer, passed away December 16, 2019. After her career as a soloist with New York City Ballet, Ms. Borne further distinguished herself as one of the world’s foremost George Balanchine repetiteurs, and over a period of 20 years from 1996-2016 she staged, with permission of the George Balanchine Trust, such ballets as Who Cares?, Emeralds, Rubies, Apollo, Tarantella, La Source, The Four Temperaments, and Stars and Stripes.

As part of the holiday season (and this would surely please her) a reprint of a Jack Anderson review in the New York Times dated December 12, 1978. Her name decks the story’s tippy-top! It is a gentle but loving review… and a charming misspell of Misha’s name in the hedder!

Accolades from around the country where Ms. Borne staged works are pouring in, from Miami to San Diego City Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, New Orleans Ballet Theater, Pennsylvania Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, as well as overseas from New Zealand and beyond.

In a statement, Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer of San Francisco Ballet, Helgi Tomasson, wrote. “Elyse and I met dancing for New York City Ballet in the 1970s and 80s. We were both aware of how fortunate we were to be a part that last generation of dancers in City Ballet when George Balanchine was creating new works. Elyse went on to share her first-hand knowledge of Balanchine works by staging them for SF Ballet and around the world. In 1997, she became a ballet master for this company and, over the following six years, she expertly guided and supported the dancers here.”

Elyse Borne at City Ballet of San Diego. Photo credit: Gary St. Martin

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