Melissa Hayden demonstrating a ports de bras during rehearsal, with David Richardson watching. American Ballet Theatre, 890 Broadway, NYC, 2001
Melissa is 76 years old and Rosalie photographed her rehearsing Marcelo Gomes and Ashley Tuttle in Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. David Richardson, an ABT ballet master is present. The photograph is part of a series that Rosalie shared with David as a memory book, replete with, occasionally, shocking and, always, delicious Millie quotes and stories. The dozens of shots capture Millie’s intense concentration and exude a sense of her being completely present, as if to say: “honey, you want me in this room and you’re going to get your monies worth.” Here, Rosalie has caught Millie showing Ashley the secrets of the line she should present: shoulders, head, eyes, arm and hand. Together, the photos reveal to me powerfully aspects of Millie’s personality and a range of active emotions. Frequently, when I miss my mother especially, I revisit them.