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Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq (2013)

2:22 | Trailer
Of all the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq may have been the most transcendent. With a body unlike any before hers, she mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike - her elongated, ... See full summary »


Nancy Buirski


Nancy Buirski
3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tanaquil Le Clerq Tanaquil Le Clerq ... Self (archive footage)
Jacques d'Amboise Jacques d'Amboise ... Self
Barbara Horgan Barbara Horgan ... Self - George Balanchine's assistant
Randall Bourscheidt Randall Bourscheidt ... Self - Tanaquil Le Clercq's friend (as Randy Bourscheidt)
Patricia McBride Patricia McBride ... Self (as Pat McBride Lousada)
George Balanchine ... Self (archive footage)
Larry Mackenzie Larry Mackenzie ... Self (archive footage)
Joya Moore Joya Moore ... Self (archive footage)
Jerome Robbins ... Self
Arthur Mitchell ... Self
Allegra Kent Allegra Kent ... Self (archive footage)
Suzanne Farrell Suzanne Farrell ... Self (archive footage)
Virginia Johnson Virginia Johnson ... Self (archive footage)
Martha Swope Martha Swope ... Self - photographer (archive footage)
Marianne Bower Marianne Bower ... Tanaquil Le Clercq (voice)


Of all the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq may have been the most transcendent. With a body unlike any before hers, she mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike - her elongated, race-horse physique became the new prototype for the great George Balanchine. Her unique style, humor and authenticity redefined ballet for all dancers who followed. Amazingly, she was the muse to not one great artist but two; both George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins loved her as a dancer and a woman. Balanchine married her and Robbins created his famous version of Afternoon of a Faun for Tanny. Tanaquil Le Clercq was the foremost dancer of her day until it suddenly all stopped. On a tour of Europe, she was struck down by polio and paralyzed. She never danced again. Written by Director, Nancy Buirski

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Did You Know?


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The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
composed by Claude Debussy
performed by François-Joöl Thiollier
courtesy of Naxos
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User Reviews

Moving and informative
21 February 2014 | by Jimdandy160See all my reviews

While part of me might have wanted more gossipy details at certain points in the film, overall this is a worthy tribute. Ms. Le Clerc was already in a wheelchair when I started going to the NYC Ballet, so I never got to see her dance. The archival videos of "Tanny" in this documentary are revelatory. And there are wonderful contributions from Jacques d'Amboise and Patricia McBride as talking heads. The film reinforces what I have felt for the past 40 years: that being alive during George Balanchine's (and Jerome Robbins's and Lincoln Kirstein's) life was akin to having Mozart across town. I had SEVEN subscriptions to NYCB in the 70's and 80's, and its repertoire and dancers have made my aesthetic what it is today.

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Release Date:

30 September 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,292, 9 February 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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