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Yvonne Mounsey
Birth: 1919
Pretoria
Gauteng, South Africa
Death: Sep. 29, 2012
California, USA

Ballet dancer, choreographer. Best know as Westside School of Ballet director and Prima Ballerina of the New York City Ballet. Originally from South Africa, born Yvonne Leibbrandt, she began dance lessons at the age 7 with a former member of the company of Anna Pavlova. In 1935, at the age 16 she moved to England where studied in London with the Russian emigre, Igor Schwezoff, and was spotted there by Leonide Massine, choreographer and director of the celebrated "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo". Between 1939 and 1947, under the name of Irina Zarova, Yvonne has performed in several countries, including Italy, France, Russia where she met the famous George Balanchine. After several years of economic difficulty in Cuba working in Night Clubs, in 1948 she moved to New York City where Balanchine had invited her to join his newly created New York City Ballet. Quickly become Prima Ballerina, during her career, considered brilliant by critics, she has played important roles, including the Queen in "The Cage", the Harp in "Fanfare", "Lilac Garden" in "The Woman From His Past" and the bewitching Siren in " Prodigal Son". In 1958, after her retirement, she maintained her close connections with New York City Ballet, helping to open doors for her students, and at prestigious companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet. After a brief return to South Africa, in 1966 Yvonne Mounsey moved with her family to Los Angeles where assumed the role of Artistic Director of the Westside School of Ballet. Among her prestigious awards, the Jerome Robbins Award and a Lester Horton Dance Award for lifetime achievement. She died because of cancer. (bio by: Lucy Caldarelli) 
 
Burial:
Unknown
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Lucy Caldarelli
Record added: Oct 03, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 98201308
Yvonne Mounsey
Added by: Lucy Caldarelli
 
Yvonne Mounsey
Added by: Lucy Caldarelli
 
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Blessed Be
- cemstar
 Added: Nov. 6, 2012

- toni braun
 Added: Oct. 20, 2012

- Ricky Hempel
 Added: Oct. 8, 2012
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