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Ruth Ann Koesun, Versatile Ballet Theater Dancer, Dies at 89

Her mixture of hidden virtuosity and mushy emotion complemented the facility of John Kriza, her common ballet spouse, as Billy. Both carried out the ballet with the corporate prior to President John F. Kennedy and the primary girl, Jacqueline Kennedy, at the White House on May 22, 1962.

Ruth Ann Koesun was once born on May 15, 1928, in Chicago to Dr. Paul Z. Koesun, a distinguished Chinese doctor in Chicago’s Chinatown, and the previous Mary Mondulick, who was once of Russian descent.

She met Mr. Kriza, a Ballet Theater superstar, whilst finding out at the Chicago ballet faculty directed via Bentley Stone and Walter Camryn and carried out with him in nightclubs and summer time inventory.


Ms. Koesun and Michael Lland in David Lichine’s “Graduation Ball” in 1956.

Maurice Seymour

Ms. Koesun joined the corporate in 1946 whilst it was once showing in London and complicated briefly to predominant dancer. She retired from Ballet Theater in 1969. Her marriage to Eric Braun, a predominant dancer with the troupe, led to divorce after 8 years.

Ms. Koesun, who lived in Chicago, leaves no instant survivors.

Her first years within the corporate had been auspicious. The quilt of the Nov. three, 1947, factor of Life mag consisted of a double portrait of 2 younger Ballet Theater dancers, Ms. Koesun and Melissa Hayden.

Rarely had a amateur won such rave opinions as those who greeted Ms. Koesun in May of that yr for her position in Ballet Theater’s “On Stage!” Michael Kidd, the long run Broadway and Hollywood choreographer, had solid her as an overly younger dancer affected by degree fright at a practice session.

“It was little Ruth Ann Koesun who captured all hearts last night,” the critic John Martin wrote in The New York Times. He praised her “lovely line” and “immeasurable charm.”

Walter Terry, the dance critic for The New York Herald Tribune, wrote later that yr that Ms. Koesun’s growth “has been so rapid” and hailed “her highly individual quality of movement, shy but not weak, delicate but assured.”

“She had a unique style,” Richard Covello, an arts creator in Chicago who adopted Ms. Koesun’s profession carefully, stated in a phone interview, noting her hidden technical strengths. “She was a strong dancer locked in the dainty,” he stated.

In 1951, Mr. Martin wrote of her “exquisite dancing” within the “Bluebird” pas de deux with the French visitor superstar Jean Babilée, including that he puzzled why “a dancer of these potentialities does not always exhibit them.”

Over the years, Ms. Koesun’s different companions integrated Erik Bruhn, and her repertoire integrated Mr. Tudor’s “Dim Lustre,” David Lichine’s “Graduation Ball,” Bronislava Nijinska’s “La Fille Mal Gardée,” Frederick Ashton’s “Les Patineurs” and new works as neatly, amongst them Mr. Babilée’s “Till Eulenspiegel.”

She carried out regularly in Jerome Robbins’s early ballets, together with “Fancy Free” and “Interplay.” Mr. Covello stated that she was once the one dancer to accomplish each and every of the 3 feminine roles in “Fancy Free.” This was once partially due to a fluke.

The ballet ends with 3 sailors chasing a tender girl who seems very in brief onstage after the 2 primary ladies within the ballet have left. In earlier performances, Ms. Koesun had danced each and every of the 2 primary feminine roles. On this instance, she was once within the wings when the 3rd girl was once overdue and didn't seem.

“So,” Mr. Covello stated, “Ruth Ann went back onstage and did the part.”

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