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President Enjoys Performance by Bolshoi Ballet

Nov. 13, 1962 - President Kennedy led a wildly cheering audience that greeted a performance of the Bolshoi Ballet tonight in Washington. It was his first social outing since the start of the Cuban crisis. Just three weeks ago, the President grimly informed the nation that the Soviet Union had set up missile sites in Cuba. Tonight, at the Capitol Theater, he went backstage to praise the Russian dancers. He was introduced to the troupe by Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin. After being introduced, Mr. Kennedy said: “You captivated my wife and daughter this afternoon and all of us this evening.” He was referring to a preview attended by Mrs. Kennedy and 4-year-old Caroline in the afternoon. They spent an hour and a half watching rehearsals at the Washington School of Ballet. Caroline attends a pre-ballet class there. Sitting on her mother’s lap, Caroline had watched the Bolshoi’s prima ballerina, Maya Plisetskaya, do warm-up exercises at the school. Later, the ballerina gave Caroline a film of the highlights of her career. Mrs. Kennedy confessed she had studied ballet as a child but had had to give it up because she had no talent. Mr. Kennedy left the theater tonight after meeting the dancers. The White House had said earlier he probably would stay for only half the performance because of a scheduled morning meeting with Chancellor Adenauer of West Germany. The President apparently enjoyed the first two acts of “Swan Lake.” He applauded longer and louder than anyone in his section.


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