Marian Horosko. Photo: Beverly Glen Studio

Marian Horosko (1925–2017)

Marian Horosko, a ballet dancer and historian who danced with the Metropolitan Ballet and the New York City Ballet, died on September 11, reports Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times. She studied at the School of American Ballet and the Juilliard School. When she was at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, she was a soloist. But at City Ballet she mostly performed character roles. She stopped dancing in the early 1960s and instead wrote for Dance Magazine, where she was the education editor, writing articles on how dancers should take care of themselves and such pieces as “Teachers in the Russian Tradition.”

Horosko consulted on and produced dance programs for radio and television. She was also a film curator for the Lincoln Center Dance Collection. In the 1980s, she created a group called Danse Coalition, which took on the problem of disappearing rehearsal spaces in Manhattan due to exorbitant rents. She was also a cofounder of the Performing Arts Center for Health in New York, a clinic dedicated to the physical and mental well-being of practicing and retired dancers. “We want to be able to help dancers to get help, and get it right away, from doctors who won’t just tell them to ‘stay off their feet,’” she said in an interview with the New York Times in 1982. In 1987, Horosko published The Dancer’s Survival Manual: Everything You Need to Know About Being a Dancer . . . Except How to Dance, inspired by her work with dancers at the clinic. A second edition of the book was put out in 2009 with the new subtitle Everything You Need to Know From the First Class to Career Change.

“Marian Horosko was compellingly sensible and humane in her writing on dance, glamorous yet pragmatic, with an encyclopedic passion for the art,” said Jennifer Dunning, a former dance critic for the New York Times. “To spend even a brief time in her company was to be charmed and fascinated by the way her mind worked and the way, after a ballet debut at twelve, she never stopped exploring dance.”