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IN MEMORY OF

Rosemarie Perdu
February 12, 1907 - July 14, 2009

“And when the earth shall claim your limbs,


then shall you truly dance.”
— Kahlil Gibran
Obituary of Rosemarie “Rose” Perdu

Rosemarie “Rose” Perdu, age 102, died at her home


in Washington, D.C., on July 14, 2009. The cause was
complications due to aging.

Born February 12, 1907, in Austin, Texas, to Jack and Marie


Hudson, she graduated from Universal Ballet Academy in 1925.
She was married five times, most recently in 1998 to Patrick
Coyte.

She lived in many locales, including Paris, while performing as


a principal dancer with various dance companies, eventually
settling in the D.C. area to become artistic director of the
Vaganova Method Academy. In her 40s, she also worked as
a choreographer, frequently dancing the title roles herself —
including the challenging solo of Chantelle in Sunset of the
Bloom. Her frequent encouragement to her students was, “If
these old bones can dance, your young ones surely can.”

Rose last performed Chantelle at the age of 79 when asked to


dance a command performance for Queen Miriam III in 1986.
Mikhail Varishnikov, who attended, called her performance “an
inspiration to every dancer everywhere.” A film of her life and
career as a dancer, Pas de Deux-ieme Age, was produced in
France in 2002, with Varishnikov playing a cameo role.

Rose cofounded the New-Being Foundation, a nonprofit helping


those suffering from eating disorders, and lectured frequently
on topic. She also wrote a book about her own battle with
anorexia, The Slender Deception, published in 1955.

Survivors include former husbands C.T. Molinari, Comte


Thomasequieu Archambeau, and Denis Milland; godchild Marc
Vanislaus; and many close friends.

“She danced like an angel, light as air —


and sometimes like a devil, so full of fire.”
— Mikhail Varishnikov
MEMORIAL SERVICE
July 25, 2009, from 7 to 11 p.m.
Chemla’s Ballroom, 600 Sweetner Avenue, Washington, D.C.

Order of Service

Opening Music
“The Rose,” by Amanda McBroom,
performed by vocalist Josh Sand, Rose’s caregiver

Welcoming Remarks
Offered by Denis Milland, Rose’s former husband

Candle Lighting Ceremony


With remarks by Alvin Horan, Rose’s former dance student

Dance Performance
“God Is in the Roses,” by Rosanne Cash;
dance performed by Marc Vanislaus, Rose’s godchild,
who is currently a principal with the Bleue Ballet in Croatia;
choreography by Rose Perdu

Meditation Time
Led by Cinthia Mavens, Rose’s childhood friend

Recalling Rose: Final Thoughts


Initiated by Stephen Ramone, Rose’s cousin
Others attending are also invited to share brief recollections
about Rose.

Closing Music
“Who Wants to Live Forever,” by Brian May,
performed by Babs Bennett, Rose’s niece

All those attending are invited to the adjoining


ballroom for a continuing celebration of Rose’s life.
Wine and cheese provided; dancing encouraged —
just as she would have liked it.
In Appreciation
Thanks to Rose’s many friends and to the staff and volunteers at
Twilight Hospice, who provided loving final care.

Rose Perdu will be interred at Serenity Hill


2224 Mountainview, Washington, D.C.

Memorial contributions are welcome at


The New-Being Foundation, P.O. Box 2245,
Washington, DC 20222.