Yvonne E. Patterson, dancer and teacher
Yvonne Elizabeth Patterson, 100, a ballerina who danced with George Balanchine’s original company and many other world-renowned dance groups, died Nov. 4 at her home in Flourtown.
Ms. Patterson and her late husband, William Dollar, a leading dancer and choreographer, appeared together in Balancine’s debut presentation of “Serenade” in 1934. In her later years, she became a teacher at the Rock School of Ballet.
She also was known locally as a mentor and fitness guru for those who swam beside her every morning at the Springfield High School pool, where she had been swimming laps for 40 years.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, she was the daughter of Ambrose Patterson, a celebrated painter who exhibited alongside Matisse in the 1905 First Salon d’Automne and was the first modernist to journey to the Pacific Northwest, establishing the department of art history and design at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Her family moved to Honolulu when she was a young woman, and it was there that she learned to swim on the beach of Waikiki and also began to study ballet. In 1918, she traveled alone by ship to California, and then by transcontinental train to Flourtown where her aunt Kate Tucker lived. After attending the Carson School for Orphan Girls and the George School, she went to New York in her late teens and joined the Radio City Ballet.
Although working for most of her career – which spanned seven decades – with Balanchine, Ms. Patterson also performed with the Ballet Russe and Le Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas. She performed in sets created by Picasso, Cocteau, Braque, and Dali, wore costumes designed by Chanel and Matisse, and performed in works conducted by Stravinsky.
After she quit performing in the 1950s, she and her husband taught dance all over the world, working with dance companies in Brazil, Japan and Monte Carlo, and founded a national ballet company in Iran before eventually moving to Philadelphia.
Until her 95th year she was a master dance instructor with the Pennsylvania Rock School of Ballet (now the Rock School for Dance Education), sharpening the skills of some of the leading performers at the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Memorial donations in her name may be sent to the Pennsylvania Ballet, Development Dept., 1819 JFK Boulevard, Suite 210, Philadelphia PA 19103. – WF
Jane M. Hughes, school volunteer
Jane Murphy Hughes, 86, of Plymouth Meeting, a school volunteer, died Nov. 5 at Chestnut Hill Hospital.
A longtime resident of Chestnut Hill, Mrs. Hughes was a past president of the LaSalle High School Mothers Club and was a founding member of Our Mother of Consolation Parents Association.
She was a graduate of St. Mary’s Academy and Pierce Business School.
She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Dr. Eugene P. Hughes; sons Edward, Eugene Jr., Robert, Timothy, Thomas, Christopher, Brian and Donald; 17 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
A sister, Mary Dougherty, and brothers Joseph J. Sr., Edward, Frank and Robert Murphy preceded her in death.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, at Our Mother of Consolation Church, 9 E. Chestnut Hill Ave. Relatives and friends may call at the church at 9 a.m. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Hughes Family Grant Fund at LaSalle College High School, 8605 Cheltenham Ave., Wyndmoor, PA 19038, or to St. Joseph’s Villa, 110 West Wissahickon Ave., Flourtown, PA 19031. – WF
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