NORTHPORT – Jeanne-Marie Robinson, co-founder of the Robinson Ballet company of Bangor, passed away Jan. 19, 2010. Born in Neuchatel, Switzerland, she started her dance studies in Lausanne with Alice Vronska, formerly of the St. Petersburg Ballet Company, Marie Rambert in London and Nora Kiss in Paris. Dancing professionally under her maiden name of Jeanne-Marie Aubert, she was a soloist with the Ballet de Nice in France for two years. When she came to America, she performed and was partnered by the world famous dancer, Igor Youskevitch, in his New York company, Ballet Romantique. While teaching at Cambridge School of Ballet, she performed as guest artist with the Boston Ballet. For Columbia Artists, she starred in three U.S. tours of “Four Go Dancing.” Finally, she and her husband, Ralph, finished their professional dancing careers as principal dancers with the Lyon Opera Ballet in France. They retired to Bangor, where she danced and choreographed for the Maine State Ballet and taught for Thomas School of Dance. For seven years she also taught and choreographed for the University of Maine Dance Department in Orono. Her community efforts included choreography for musical comedies, such as “Annie” and “Our Town.” After retiring from the dance world, Jeanne-Marie turned to quilting, being named Quilter of the Year in 2003 by the Maine Quilters Association. She is survived by her husband, Ralph Robinson of Northport; and their daughter, Maya Robinson of Woodside, N.Y. The family tradition of dance is still strong. Her nephew, Keith Robinson and his wife, Maureen Lynch Robinson, are presently co-directors of Robinson Ballet. Their son, Ian Robinson, has recently completed world tours with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen. He is presently dancing in Tel Aviv, Israel. In lieu of flowers or gifts, any tax-deductible donations in Jeanne-Marie’s name to Robinson Ballet, P.O. Box 1885, Bangor, ME 04402-1885, would be greatly appreciated.
Posted Jan. 22, 2010, at 8 p.m.