A memorial service for William Marrié, who died on Saturday, November 16 from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident the night before, will be held on Friday, November 22 at 11am at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Marrié played the lead male role of Eddie, a Vietnam War veteran, at matinée performances of the Billy Joel-Twyla Tharp dance show Movin' Out.
As one might expect from any show created by director-choreographer Tharp, Movin' Out requires exceptionally strong dancing from its cast members. Marrié had displayed such ability internationally as a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, and Boston Ballet, even though he didn't study dance until he was 19. Critics lauded him for his ability to act through dance. In a review of his performance in ABT's The Taming of the Shrew, Anna Kisselgoff of the The New York Times wrote: "Mr. Marrié turned a cardboard role into a major one; his Petruchio was complex, with stretched-out phrases of movement that suddenly changed direction or tempo, the equivalent of asides to the audience."
The circumstances behind that particular performance made the glowing notice even more extraordinary: Marrié had never danced with ABT before and only stepped into the role when the dancer who usually played the role injured himself. According to Kisselgoff, although it was the first time Marrié had ever danced with his partner, Irina Dvorovenko, he displayed "an intense, mutual rapport with his ballerina...great dance acting that had a rarely seen maturity...[and] technique [that], if initially soft, exploded into speed and bravura by the end."
Marrié was born in Montreal, studied at the L'École Superieur de Danse du Québec and the Banff School of Performing Arts, and danced with the National Ballet of Canada. He rose from the corps to second soloist in five years, to first soloist two years later, and to principal dancer four years after that. The cast of Movin' Out dedicated the Saturday matinée performance to Marrié's memory and the National Ballet of Canada dedicated its performance of The Firebird to him that evening. Sunday would have been his 34th birthday.