Ballet master Paul Maure, who danced throughout the world with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo during the 1940s, was remembered for his love of the dance, his smile and for being a kind and patient teacher during a celebration of his life on Sunday in Burbank.
A Burbank resident for about 20 years, Maure died on Jan. 19 in a Sierra Madre hospital. He was 86.
He and his wife, the late Andrea Karlsen, were directors of the International Ballet Studio in La Canada Flintridge and started the company Ballet des Arts in 1964.
The service was organized by Natasha Middleton, owner of Media City Dance in Burbank, where Maure had taught classes for the last 10 years.
Middleton touched on the importance of the legacy created by dancers of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, like Maure and her father Andrei Tremaine.
“If we didn’t have the Ballet Russe, we wouldn’t have the wonderful companies we have in the United States today,” she said.
The memorial drew about 100 dancers, students and friends to the recreation hall atop the Gangi building. Media City Dance makes its home on the first floor.
Daughter Gabriella Maure of Burbank, attending with her son Elijah, thanked people for coming and said she has created a Facebook for friends to post stories and photos from her father’s career.
“He loved ballet more than anything in the world, except for his grandson,” she said.
Former Ballet Russe dancers attending the service, in addition to Tremaine, were Patricia Peters-Doyle and Dorothy Matzie Wade.
Tremaine has many memories of Maure on stage and off, especially one time when they took a job planting shrubs to make ends meet. Maure brought an ice chest of beer and it was a very hot day. Tremaine remembers they had only planted six shrubs and the beer was gone, but they still had seven more to plant.
“We shared many wonderful ballets, like ‘Swan Lake,’ but we were also artistic gardeners,” Tremaine quipped.
Helga Monson de Kansky said there was no better partner than Maure. They performed together with the company Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas from 1955 to 1960.
“Not only was he a dear friend and fun to be around, but he was also a lovely person,” she said.
Years later she was asked to perform with Maure in the first act of “Swan Lake.”
“I had three little girls by that time and was barely in shape,” she said. “Paul was my partner. He made anyone look great! If you missed a pirouette, no one would know it. He could get you out of every problem.”
Pianist Michael Roberts played several selections for the service including “I Love Paris in the Springtime” and “Can Can,” and his own composition “Magic Dancer.” Maure over the years had used many of Roberts’ original pieces in his class instruction.