#Throwback Thursday – Ballerina memories…

We have a very cool #ThrowbackThursday to share with you today…

In anticipation of our 50th Anniversary this weekend, we received a lovely collection of photos from a former member of George Balanchine’s Ballet of Los Angeles, taken in between rehearsals of Swan Lake at The Music Center in March 1965 – Just after our Pavilion opened!

Here’s a few of the snapshots sent to us by dancer Diana Soltesz (formally Diana Reese) that show her and fellow dancer Margaret Lauermann on our Grand Staircase, Diana getting ready in our dressing rooms, and a full company picture with George Balanchine and Maria Tallchief!

Throwback Thursday - The Ballet of Los Angeles
Additionally, here are some snaps of a program from the show, as well as a newspaper clip about the Ballet of Los Angeles featuring a photo of Diana Soltesz getting tips from prima ballerina Maria Tallchief..

Pavilion Magazine Cover

Ballet of Los Angeles 1965 Program

Diana Reese Newspaper Clipping

“I will never forget the excitement of being an ‘insider’ at this grand new establishment, which meant so much to my home city of Los Angeles: The Music Center.”  

Thank you Diana for sending these our way!

Throwback Thursday – Disney Gift

Walt Disney and Lilian Disney

Walt Disney and Lillian Disney – Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

May 14, 1987 – Lillian Disney makes a $50 million gift to build a new concert hall for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Walt Disney Concert Hall becomes the fourth venue of The Music Center, when it opens in 2003…. Thank you Mrs. Disney!

Learn all about the history of The Music Center with our 50th Anniversary Timeline as we gear up to celebrate December 6th and 7th!  Just click the picture in our sidebar to see it!

Throwback Thursday – Swan Lake

Barely a year after the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion opened, The Music Center presented Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn in Raymonda with The Australian Ballet, of which Nureyev was the artistic director. While Nureyev and Fonteyn are sadly long gone (although you can gaze upon a bronze sculpt of Nureyev in our lobby’s reflection pool), tonight The Australian Ballet is back, opening our 2014/2015 season with a new interpretation of the beloved classic.

To celebrate our 50th we anniversary we brought back the legendary company with Graeme Murphy’s Swan Lake set to Tchaikovsky’s score, performed by a live orchestra, and inspired by the life of Diana, the Princess of Wales.

While we are so excited and eager for tonight’s Southern California premiere, we are also feeling a little nostalgic with a look back on this “Throwback Thursday” to the power couple of ballet.

Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev

Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev are seen here with The Australian Ballet in a 1964 production of Swan Lake.

Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev

The two together in 1965.

Throwback Thursday – Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Throwback Thursday The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

For today’s ThrowBack Theatre Thursday we thought we’d share this gem from The Music Center archives.  It’s the inside of  the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with guests with some very fashionable guests, we think you’ll agree.  We just love the 1960’s clothes and hairstyles – So glam!

Happy Thursday!

The Eldorado Party

Dorothy Chandler at The Music Center's Eldorado PartyEldorado from CadillacThe Music Center's Eldorado party dancingJack Benny at The Music Center's Eldorado Party The Music Center's El Dorado Party The Music Center's El Dorado Party Fashion Show

On March 17th, 1955 at the Ambassador Hotel, Dorothy Chandler held a party intended to kick off the fundraising for her vision – A home for the performing arts in Los Angeles that would showcase the best artists and bring world class performances to the community… A place that would eventually become The Music Center.

Thanks to the generous donation of a 1955 champagne-colored Eldorado from Cadillac, which was raffled off at the event, Dorothy Chandler was able to raise  the initial seed money needed  to begin making her dreams into a reality.  And so the party was fondly called The Eldorado Party.

As we kick off the 50th Anniversary of The Music Center this year, we’ve been looking back at that historic party – the gorgeous Cadillac, the fabulous gowns and fashion show, performances from Jack Benny and the generosity of those first supporters.  So we thought we’d share a little slice of it with you.  Happy #ThrowbackThursday!


All Photos by Otto Rothschild, The Music Center Archives