Posted 13 November 2009 - 08:44 PM
Last evening (November 12) I held a meeting at my home for some of his former students and some from our Tucson dance community, to plan a memorial for George Zoritch. The when, where and how. We decided on December 6th and it will be held in the studio here at the University where he taught for 14 years. This memorial gathering will start at 2 PM. ALL are invited.
Posted 15 November 2009 - 08:37 PM
The studio is part of the Dance Department in the Ina Gittings building on campus. People from the Tucson dance community and those flying in from all parts. ALL are invited!
Posted 16 November 2009 - 12:23 AM
Posted 16 November 2009 - 07:24 AM
Posted 17 November 2009 - 04:53 PM
You are most welcome. It is my priviledge to honor his memory. He lived a very long and interesting life.
You were indeed fortunate, even as a child, to have seen him on the stage and the memory lasts. It was very likely Nina Novak that he danced with but he danced with so many ballerinas. He so often told me about Tamara Toumanova who he idolized. He was so broken hearted when she passed away.
I never saw him on the stage in my youth, of even the Ballet Russe itself. I only saw him dance in films. The ballet scene in "Escape Me Never" was the first, where he danced with Mlada Mladova. He gave me the costume design from Warner Bros for the costume he wore in "Night And Day" starring Gary Grant, Alexis Smith. I also have a photo of him talking with Errol Flynn. These and a collage of photos by another friend will be on display at the memorial celebration. He was always telling me and showing me how the arms of the "Spectre de la Rose" should be danced as he didn't like any of the recent interpretations. The Spectre music will be playing as well as L'apres midi d'un Faune, another of his favorite roles.
Posted 17 November 2009 - 05:31 PM
Posted 17 November 2009 - 11:56 PM
Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:36 AM
Thank you for posting this Christian. You are right, "It is quite lovely..." I was also struck by the warmth of his smile and the light in his eyes.
Posted 18 November 2009 - 10:55 AM
Posted 18 November 2009 - 06:33 PM
Posted 27 November 2009 - 12:36 AM
Around that same time, I came across an old article describing Mr. Zoritch as "the Most Beautiful Man in the World." I couldn't resist making a copy of the article and sneaking it onto his desk with a cupcake.
He had a wonderful way with a phrase, and a great sense of humor. At the memorial service there will no doubt be many great stories.
Posted 27 November 2009 - 03:51 AM
Posted 28 November 2009 - 11:00 PM
The Tucson paper obit, which seems to have a new link, has a charming picture of him in stylized cowboy outfit: http://www.legacy.co...p;pid=136270410. The comments are beautiful, with remarks from important figures in the development of Arizona dance education, including Frances Cohen, Sandra Noll Hammond, and John Wilson. I believe Ms. Cohen began the University of Arizona dance department, and Mr. Wilson furthered developed it, bringing particular recognition to the modern program. Sandra Noll Hammond was a long-time ballet faculty member and author.
As noted earlier on the board, Mr. Zoritch died after a fall. Ms. Hammond quotes her daughter as suggesting that it was perhaps "a fall into heaven."
Posted 08 December 2009 - 06:52 AM
The memorial I arranged happened last Sunday. Sadly, the video only produced a blank tape and nobody took pictures. I wrote a report and so here I am glad to copy what I had written. People came from near and far.
December 6th 2009. The memorial celebration for George Zoritch was held in the studio where he taught for 14 years at the University of Arizona, a little over a month after his death on November 1st.
Close to 75 people arrived as The Prelude to “Afternoon of a Faun” was playing.
Among the speakers were Richard Holden (organizer of the event), Phil Sharper (master of ceremonies) Rochelle Zide and Howard Sayette (former dancers with Ballets Russes) ), Douglas Turnbaugh (a producer of the documentary film, Les Ballets Russes) and Norman Walker (a modern choreographer).
Tributes and Messages of condolence from Frederic Franklin, Mlada Mladova, Nina Novak, Yuri Grigorovitch, Vladimir Vasiliev, Michael Lavrovsky, Andrei Konkin, Valery Kosarukov, Taina Elg and others were read.
Beside the speaker’s table was a beautiful bouquet of roses, reminiscent of Zoritch’s signature dance, “Le Spectre de la Rose”.
Interspersed among the memories were DVDs projected on a giant screen. First was a ballet from the film “Escape Me Never” with Zoritch and Mlada Mladova. Zoritch was then 29. Richard Holden pointed out that this was the first glimpse of a male ballet dancer that he saw as a youngster of 14 and which inspired him to become a dancer himself.
An endearing scene from the film “Ballets Russes” of Zoritch and Natalia Krasovska, both then in their 80s, recalling a pas de deux from “Giselle”.
There was a slide show done on Zoritch’s 90th birthday celebration presented by Kasem Sedigh and a
delightful film of a massive tribute to Zoritch by the University Dance Dept in 2007.
The closing music was appropriately, ‘Le Spectre de la Rose”.
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