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Panov Despairing, Reportedly Contemplates Suicide

Anxiety was expressed in artistic circles here today over the condition of Valery Panov, the Russian-Jewish dancer who was fired from Leningrad’s Kirov Ballet Co. when he applied for a visa to emigrate to Israel. Panov, who spoke by telephone to a friend with the Bat Sheva Bat Dor Dance Group of Israel, said he has been denied a visa and “the only thing for me to do is to commit suicide.”

Panov’s friend, Joseph Fraenkel, said the dancer told him he could not leave Russia and could not live there. He said at that point the phone call was disconnected. The Bat Sheva Bat Dor dancers gave a special performance on behalf of Panov Saturday. Absorption Minister Natan Peled who attended, said the struggle for Panov’s freedom must continue until he and his friends are permitted to come to Israel.