Nathalie Gleboff, Former SAB Director, Dies at 88

Classic Arts News   Nathalie Gleboff, Former SAB Director, Dies at 88
Nathalie Gleboff, former executive director of the School of American Ballet, died from pneumonia on September 30. She was 88.

Gleboff was born to Romanian parents in Russia and later graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris. She joined the school in 1959 to help run the pilot program of the Ford Foundation national scholarships, and was named associate director in 1970 and executive director in 1985.

Transcending her administrative role, Gleboff came to be known as a spokesman with parents and students, a mentor to staff and a perceptive planner, especially in the school's move to its current home on West 65th Street in New York, reads a statement on the school's website.

She was the last of the women of Russian background hired by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein to run the school or its various activities since its founding in 1934, reports The New York Times.

"[She brought] a perfect blend of dynastic order and New World energy to carry out the basic principles set by Balanchine decades ago," Kirstein once said. "The school, like the company, was always run like a benevolent dictatorship, a practical philosophy that maintained necessary discipline while allowing sufficient flexibility for work to proceed in orderly progression. Mme. Gleboff, by turns quartermaster, first lieutenant, and supreme commander, quietly oversees this operation with imperturbable logic and great good grace."