Radio City Music Hall Corps de Ballet

DO40 XMAS Party

The DO40 Salute to the RCMH CORPS DE BALLET was another

Radio City Corps de Ballet - 2008

Radio City Music Hall Corps de Ballet today

Dancers Over 40 ‘s annual Holiday Party expanded this year to include a reunion of the Radio City Music Hall Corps de Ballet, featuring performers from the Hall’s great years, 1932 to 1974. The Corps worked four shows a day, 365 days a year, and from their ranks came Nora Kaye, Patricia Bowman, Melissa Hayden, Helen Tamaris, Dania Krupska – and DO40 member Kelly (Carole) Bishop – her first job in NYC when she arrived in the 60’s. Featured on the panel were Selma Hoffman Rosner (1939 – 1944), Vivian Smith Shiers (1938 – 1942), Paulette Knox Harwood (1945 – 1947), Ann Buchan Chaoui (1954 – 1962) all the way to Rosemary Novellino Mearns (1966 – 1978 – the final show). It was held at the Alvin Ailey Dance Studios on West 55th Street, and a gala evening it was!

The place was packed with over 100 members, supporters and Friends of DO40, including Kelly Bishop. And although Tony Mordente couldn’t make it to the event to moderate, he certainly was spoken of-and-about by MANY of the Corp ladies (including a rollicking opening salvo by Janice Herbert)! He sent a lovely note: “I have nothing but great memories from the ‘Hall.’ I remember Margret Sande, Leon Leonidorf, Russell Market and Miss Sande's assistant, Janet. My first big paying gig, and they were so supportive. I loved being surrounded by so much beauty. I loved that there were so many very good dancers on that stage at one time. The ‘Corp’ made me feel very at ease. They made it fun doing 4 shows a day and 5 during the Easter Show. They made the time pass way to quickly. Please send pictures!“ Well, Tony, here they are!

DO40 Holiday Party Photo

The ladies of the 1950s with their iconic poster from 1954

DO40 Holiday Party Photo

Panel in full swing, with moderator Janice Herbert in the white jacket.

Corps de Ballet organizer and DO40 member Janice Painchaud Herbert (1953 – 1956) has been the ladies’ biggest booster over the last few decades, trying to preserve their heritage – something that DO40 cares very much about. As Janice says “the ballet got the blisters, the Rockettes got the glory!” It’s also about being inclusive to all styles of dance, and DO40 is striving to outreach to all disciplines. Ballet, modern, tap and Broadway are all represented on the DO40 board, and they are continually outreaching to others in the dance community. And, as usual for these DO40 events, the evening was filmed and donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center.


D040 2008 Holiday Photo

The ladies from the ‘60s – including our own Kathryn Hull (1960 – 1962) (right)

And seen in the audience, many balletomanes and DO40 members: Ron Stratton (a MALE member at RCMH at one time!), Marge Beddow, Nicole Barth, Gemze de Lappe, Bic Goss, Norma Doggett-Bezwick, Gene Gavin, Johnny Nola, Evalin Goodman, Carolyn Kalmus up from Florida to visit and partake, DO40 Board Members Richard Korthaze, George Marcy, Karin Baker, Lois Silk, Mary Lou Barber, Lawrence Merritt and Gregg Mayer; also the lovely Louise Quick, that couple about town, Denise Pence Boockvor and her husband Steve, Carol Maxwell-Eiger, Darlene Larsen, Marianne Selbert-Troy, Bill Guskie, Judy Dunford, Ken Urmston, Annette Macdonald (back in the city after the Jack Cole event in October) Susan Sigrist, Virginia Siedel, Jamie Sanchez (original WSS!), and a ton of Friends of Dancers over 40!

Lawrence Merritt and Janice Herbert

That Lawrence Merritt sure
cracks up Janice Herbert!

Leni Anders, John Sefakis and Janice Herbert

Leni Anders, DO40 Pres John Sefakis and Janice

DO40 2008 Holiday Photo

“Watch it with my cake, buster!” DO40 member Marge Beddow seems to be saying
to Lawrence Merritt. In the foreground, Lee Hooper and Jaimie Sanchez.


DO40 2008 Holiday Party

The back of the House: Gemze de Lappe, Nicole Barth, Bill Guske,
Judy Dunford, Rear, Gene Gavin, Annette Macdonald, Carolyn Kalmus,
Lee Hooper, and a Louise Quick behind the raffle desk waaaay in back!


DO40 2008 Holiday Party Photo

The ladies from the 1930s and 1940s, with moderator Janice Herbert (right)

Photo By Jeff Eason, Wilsonmodels, Inc