Patricia McBride, Kennedy Center honoree, is no tragic ballerina

CHARLOTTE — “Ballerina” is hardly the profession that comes to mind when one thinks of work-life balance or “having it all.” The women in the spotlight conjure images of beauty, but also sacrifice, single-minded devotion and lofty standards, impossible to reach. It’s a story line abetted and reinforced by films from “The Red Shoes” – with its angst-ridden conflicts between love and art – to the dark mother-daughter histrionics of “Black Swan.”

But then there’s Patricia McBride, the New York City Ballet icon who has been awarded a Kennedy Center Honor. (The 2014 honorees also include Al Green, Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin and Sting.) In a three-decade long dancing career, McBride brought to life the works of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (both already honored by the Kennedy Center) with a list of partners that included Edward Villella, Arthur Mitchell, Jacques d’Amboise and Mikhail Baryshnikov (all with Kennedy Center awards, as well).