George Balachine
The seven-acre parcel of land at 10 Ridge Road was the summer home of choreographer, George Balanchine (1904 - 1983) and his fourth wife, the legendary ballerina Tanaquil LeClercq (1929 - 2000). George Balanchine was the co-founder of the New York City Ballet and remained its director until his death in 1983. He is widely acknowledged to have been the greatest choreographer of the Twentieth Century. His groundbreaking works are still performed regularly by the New York City Ballet, and by ballet companies around the world.
Balanchine discovered the French born Tanaquil LeClercq as a gifted young student at his School of American Ballet. She went on to become a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and one of the greatest dancers of her generation. LeClercq performed in the premiers of more than twenty Balanchine ballets, including "The Four Temperaments," "Orpheus," "Symphony in C," to name only a few. Balanchine created many of these masterpieces especially to showcase her talents.

Tanaquil LeClercq at City Center in 1952

Balanchine (left) and LeClercq (center)
entertaining Friends in Weston circa 1960

Balanchine and LeClercq married on New Years Eve, 1952. Not long afterwards, they built a home on the property Balanchine had bought on Ridge Road. They spent most of their summers there for the next sixteen years. Balanchine enjoyed building things with his own hands and made a number of the improvements on the property himself.

The New York Times columnist, Anthony Lewis put Balanchine and LeClercq in historical perspective in a July, 2000 Op-ed piece entitled Homage to George Balanchine. In it, Lewis asserts that George Balanchine was "The Mozart of 20th-century choreography." Recalling a lifetime of attending ballet performances, Lewis continued, "The figures who linger in my memory include Maria Tallchief and Tanaquil LeClercq in the early years of the New York City Ballet, and Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov."

Tragically, during the New York Citys Ballet's European tour in 1956, and at the height of her fame, Tanaqil LeClercq was stricken with polio, cutting short her brilliant career. The disease left her paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of her life.

The couple divorced in 1969. Afterwards, LeClercq continued to spend her summers in Weston, where she enjoyed watching the abundant wildlife outside her window, entertaining friends, and writing. She published two books and created crossword puzzles that were published in the New York Times. She died in New York City on New Years Eve, 2000.

Tanaquil LeClercq photographed in 1947 by Irving Penn