#tbt: Tanny Le Clercq, and Balanchine's Musings on Mortality

October 4, 2017

In the October 1957 issue of Dance Magazine, we received the latest updates on New York City Ballet dancer Tanaquil Le Clercq’s health nearly a year after her polio diagnosis. Le Clercq, who at the time was George Balanchine’s wife and muse, had become immobile from the waist down and was taken to a rehabilitation center in Warm Springs, Georgia. Balanchine told us that “Tanny” was keeping her humor and grace through her suffering, adding, “People too often think only of the future, always making plans for what they’d like to do someday. How do they know what’s going to be tomorrow? Why not think of the present?” Although Le Clercq never danced again, she didn’t let polio shatter her passion for dance. She spent the rest of her life teaching at Dance Theatre of Harlem with the same loving light that she was adored for onstage.