Ballerinas Dance Into History

Nichols, Ferri star in weekend farewells
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2007 3:16 PM CDT
In this image made available by Rosalie O'Connor, Alessandra Ferri acknowledges the audience during her farewell performance in New York on Saturday, June 23, 2007. Ferri and Kyra Nichols, beloved ballerinas...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Two of the dance world's biggest names took their leave this weekend as Alessandra Ferri and Kyra Nichols sashayed into retirement in touchingly similar fashion—onstage with their young children in a hail of cheers and flowers. Nichols, 48, bowed out after 33 years with New York City Ballet; Ferri, 44, had been with American Ballet Theatre since 1985.

Ferri, a tiny spitfire who trained at La Scala in her native Milan before making her name with London's Royal Ballet, danced her signature role, Juliet, last night at the Metropolitan Opera House. Nichols, one of the last of the Balanchine ballerinas, chose works by the legendary choreographer for her finale Friday at the New York State Theater.