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Erika Goodman (1945-2004).

Erika Goodman, one of the eminent ballerinas of the Joffrey Ballet during the 1960s and 1970s, died at the age of 59 after falling in her Manhattan apartment in December. She lent her beautifully stretched lines and ardent presence to Arpino ballets like A Light Fantastic, Fanfarita, Solarwind, and The Clowns. She brought elegance to Cello Concerto, poignancy to Kettentanz, and charm to her portrayal of the fickle Ballerina in the Joffrey's revival of Petrouchka. In 1973, Twyla Tharp chose her to be the sole ballerina in white in her breakthrough ballet Deuce Coupe. While throngs of dancers frugged, slid, and slinked to the music of the Beach Boys, Goodman remained serene as she articulated the lexicon of ballet vocabulary in alphabetical order, starting with ailes de pigeon; she was a symbol of the purity of a ballerina's concentration.

Born in Philadelphia, Goodman studied modern dance with Nadia Chilkovsky, but fell in love with ballet while training with Margaret Craske at Jacob's Pillow. At 16, she was awarded a Ford Foundation Scholarship at the School of American Ballet, and three years later entered the New York City Ballet corps. But in 1966 Goodman joined the City Center Joffrey Ballet and found her niche. Francesca Corkle, a former Joffrey ballerina, said, "Ms. Goodman's presence onstage exuded her passionate love for dancing and captivated audiences worldwide."

Goodman became something of an urban legend for her extremes of devotion to the art form. As a teenager, she reportedly was found sleeping in a ballet studio in the morning after practicing all night. She was often spotted at Balducci's with a shopping cart filled solely with lettuce. Anorexia plagued her throughout her career, and in 2000 she appeared in a PBS documentary called Dying to Be Thin. Last fall, she completed her Ph.D. in nutritional science and had hoped to counsel students with dietary issues.
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Title Annotation:DEATHS
Author:Carman, Joseph
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2005
Words:312
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