Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux (published 1982)

Dublin Core


Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux (published 1982)


Soft-spoken Bonnefoux talks about dancing The Four Temperaments, his first introduction to George Balanchine, and working in the Paris Opera.

Biographical note:

Born in France in 1943, Bonnefoux studied at the Paris Opera Ballet School. In 1959, he joined the company and was made an ├ętoile in 1965 at age twenty-one. Under the direction of George Balanchine, Bonnefoux became a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. In 1980 he retired from performing and began teaching when he joined the faculty of the School of American Ballet. Along with his wife, former New York City Ballet star Patricia McBride, he directed the dance department at Indiana University. In 1996 he was appointed artistic director of the North Carolina Dance Theater, with McBride as associate director, and has choreographed several works for the company, including versions of Cinderella and Carmina Burana. He and his wife also direct the annual Chautauqua Summer Dance programme.


Pratt SILS LIS-665, Barbara Newman

Date Created

June 5, 1979, December 18, 1979



Access Rights

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Is Part Of

Newman, B. (1982). Striking a balance: Dancers talk about dancing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Newman, B. (1992). Striking a balance: Dancers talk about dancing. New York: Limelight Editions




Interviews recorded on cassette by Barbara Newman

Rights Holder

Barbara Newman, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Audio Cassette Tape

Digital Format


Digital Master




Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbps/44.1 kHz


Barbara Newman


Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, 1943-


New York, NY

Additional content

"Somewhere behind the facade of Jean-Pierre Bonnefous' face and body lay a series of intricate, interlocking processes, like the works of a Swiss watch, which produced his dancing. You could say the same of every dancer, but most of them show you only the dancing, the end deliberately divorced from its means. Bonnefous offered you both what he could do and a tantalizing sense of the intelligence powering the body that was doing it. He was simultaneously physical and metaphysical. As a result, he brought a mysterious dimension to The Four Temperaments - and to every ballet I ever saw him dance - that caputured the eye, the mind, and the imagination," Barbara Newman (1992).




“Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux (published 1982),” Dance Dialogues: Interviews by Barbara Newman, 1979-Present, accessed September 28, 2021,

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