Natalie Iola Raetz |

Natalie Iola Raetz

Natalie Iola Raetz

Natalie Iola Raetz worked to preserve and restage the ballets designed by her grandmother, Bronislava Nijinska. She passed away peacefully, while holding the hand of her husband, Mark E. Fordham. She was 61. Ms. Raetz, of Conifer, Colorado, passed away at Life Care Center of Evergreen, Colorado on December 23, 2011 after a brief illness.

Believing that her grandmother was one of history’s greatest choreographers, Ms. Raetz promoted revivals of Madame Nijinska’s ballets around the world. The revivals included three of her grandmother’s works: 1923 “Les Noces,” about a Russian peasant wedding and 1924 “Les Biches,” a satire on the French Riviera, and “Bolero”, which premiered along with Ravel’s composition and ballerina Ida Rubenstein in Paris in 1928. Ms. Raetz’s labor of love took her to Moscow, Paris, Munich, Vienna, Rome, Sao Paulo, Boston and New York.

Born in Santa Monica, California, on April 10, 1950, Ms. Raetz was trained by her mother, Irina Nijinska. Ms. Raetz was from a distinguished ballet family, which included her mother, grandmother, her grandfather, Alexander Kotchetovsky, and her great uncle, the legendary dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky.

Ms. Raetz studied fine art at the University of California at Santa Barbara and earned a B.A. degree. She was a talented and accomplished artist.

Ms. Raetz had planned to retire with her husband to their home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. In addition to her husband, Ms. Raetz is survived by her father, Gibbs Raetz, of Pacific Palisades, California, and a brother, George Raetz, of Littleton, Colorado.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2012, at Foothills Funeral Home in Golden, Colorado. Condolences to the family may be left at

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