#TBT: Marcia Haydée and Richard Cragun in "Romeo and Juliet" (1973)

Marcia Haydée and Richard Cragun, one of ballet's storied partnerships, danced together from the mid-1960s through the early'90s as leading dancers of Stuttgart Ballet. Their repertory included dozens of ballets, most famously John Cranko's The Taming of the Shrew, Onegin, and, of course, Romeo and Juliet. In this 1973 clip of that ballet's Act III bedroom pas de deux, the characters are torn between love and fear, and Haydée and Cragun portray the star-crossed couple with striking humanity and emotion.

A master of pas de deux choreography, Cranko has the dancers use their whole bodies while partnering. Haydée clings to Cragun's neck and drapes herself over his shoulders, their physical reliance foreshadowing their shared fate. At 3:45, Cragun catches Haydée as she dives into a near split, and at 4:35 Cragun holds Haydée in his arms as she blossoms from a tight crouch into a soaring arabesque. With intuitive connectedness and complete trust in one another, they rise to the physical and emotional demands of this infamous scene.

Beyond their decades of dancing together, the pair continued to have an important impact on the ballet world. Haydée led Stuttgart Ballet as artistic director until 1995 and today directs Chile's Ballet de Santiago, while Cragun taught and staged ballets in Brazil until his passing in 2012. The two also remained lifelong friends. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

Latest Posts

Courtesy ABC

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alicia Mae Holloway Talks About Her Time on ABC's “The Bachelor”

Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Carla Fracci and Stephen Jefferies in "La Esmeralda" (1987)

Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Stephen Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Make the Most of Performance Opportunities in a Pandemic?

My school is connected to a professional company that operates on a show-to-show basis. Students can audition for company performances when they're 15. My 15th birthday is in February, and I think that our directors are choosing people to participate in virtual performances based off of whether they have performed with the company before. This was supposed to be my big first year with the company, but COVID-19 has changed that. How do I make it known that I want to participate? Do you think I should wait until things are more normal? —Lila
Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks