American Masters: Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

American Masters: Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

Friday, June 20 at 10:00 p.m.

Discover the haunting story of the ballerina stricken with polio at age 27, who was muse to George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and who influenced dance forever.

Of all the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq (1929–2000), known as “Tanny,” was surely among the most transcendent. With a body unlike any before hers, she mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike as principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, and became a muse to both her husband George Balanchine and friend Jerome Robbins.

Then, at age 27 and the height of her fame, Le Clercq was stricken with polio and paralyzed; she never danced again. Emmy- and Peabody-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski (The Loving Story) brings Tanny’s poignant story to the screen for the first time.

Photo: Dancer Edward Bigalow assists Tanaquil Le Clercq with her costume.