R.I.P Janet Panetta (1948-2023)
PARTS and Rosas mourn the passing away of ballet teacher Janet Panetta.
Janet Panetta was involved with PARTS from its very start, in the workshops that preceded the foundation of the school in 1995. She also taught the Rosas dancers many times in those years. She developed a teaching practice that taught ballet to contemporary dancers, not to make them perform ballet repertoire but to make them more aware of the architecture of their bodies and what they can do with it. She worked with many students who discovered ballet only during their audition from the school, but she managed to include them in her teaching as much as those who had been at the barre since they were 4 years old. With her warm and generous persona, articulated by loud roars of laughter, she inspired many generations of dancers in PARTS and in the other places where her career led her over the decades.
The last time she was in PARTS was in Spring 2020, when we had to scramble to get her back on the plane to New York before the covid-lockdowns kicked in. Some time later she became ill and couldn’t return to PARTS, so sadly we could never properly say goodbye, and the current students of Generation XIV are the first generation who never had the chance to meet her in class.
In the next days, we want to collect former students’ and colleagues’ memories of working with Janet, which will be published on the PARTS website and transferred to her family. If you wish to share a memory or a photo, please send it to us.
On Wednesday, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker sent Janet Panetta the following message:
Dearest, most dearest Janet,
From M.L. I heard where and how you are now.
My dearest, my most dearest Janet,
I have been thinking about you, and, as they say in Flemish, from the bottom of my heart, I want to express all my respect and gratitude to you, for being such a source of inspiration and an example for so many generations of artists who passionately love dance, who take dance seriously as a way to celebrate, mourn, and reflect together.
PARTS and Rosas are doing well, but these are such turbulent, confusing times.
I want to close you in my arms and embrace you, my ballerina, dance me to the end of love…
Below you can find memories and tributes to Janet from former PARTS students
Letter to Dance: Janet Panetta
A Deufert & Plischke (Generation 1) project, New York 2018