George Zoritch: a dancer to remember.Current News of the Zoritch estate
Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:22 AM
Thanks, Richka. I would enjoy your memories of Mr. Zoritch's later years.....As a young girl, I saw him dance many times with Ballet Russe....one of the most memorable was in "Gaite Parisienne". Even so young, I knew I was in presence of a great artist as well as dancer. Over the years, I studied with him whenever BR was in our area..... and every summer in whatever city he held sessions & performances. I was fortunate enough to see one of his last performances of "Giselle" w/N. Krassovska . Although, in his fifties, his technique and artistry would rival that of any of the dancers of today. I had the privilege of being one of the few permitted to attend the rehearsals. He was always very kind to me, took me under his wing, and provided a young dancer with many wonderful experiences and exposure to the great artists of that day (including attending Bolshoi classes with him). He was so much a part of my growing up years as a dancer. I appreciate your taking the time to let us be a part of the sunset years of this great artist.
Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:32 AM
You were indeed fortunate to see him dance with the Ballets Russes. I never saw him on the stage; only in three Hollywood films but feel AS IF I did as he told me so much about those times. When you studied with him was it at his school in West Hollywood? I would appreciate any further comments that you might care to share. Richka
Posted 11 May 2011 - 02:57 PM
Three Days in Las Vegas
George Zoritch was a home person. When he retired after 18 years of teaching at the University Of Arizona, he so much enjoyed his house; a villa style in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains overlooking the city of Tucson.
Once I suggested we take a trip to Las Vegas. I frequently went to Vegas alone, not to gamble but to see the shows; an 8 hour drive; if speeding. I always stayed at the LUXOR since its opening day in 1993. Built as a pyramid with slanted elevators to the rooms, everything was in the Egyptian style of decor (It has since changed). Originally it had a spectacular show beneath the pyramid that I saw many times. The magnificent Court of the Pharoah, even the river Nile, with chariot races, a parade of camels and elephants and over 200 dancers; all in spectacular ancient Egyptian costumes. Sadly, after two years it was all discarded; probably because the management felt it was not really of interest to the usual type of Vegas visitors. They replaced it with a night club and rock bands.
We stayed at the Hilton. I liked to visit other hotels on the strip but George wanted to stay in his room. He would have been in his 80s then.
I had tickets for the Debbie Reynolds Theater; part of her own hotel that she sadly lost soon after. We had a table directly in front of the stage. George was delighted with the show, especially when the star chatted with me as part of the show. After the show he even stood in line for an autograph from the star.
Then there was the Nevada Dance Theater, run by George's friend of long ago, Vassili Sulich. Vassili started his ballet company as an artistic outlet for the classically trained dancers on the Vegas strip. After the performance we were invited to a dinner at the Tropicana where Vassili had once been a headliner. It was in a special dining room, hosted by the Tropicana management. George, always the reconteur, made himself the main attraction with his vast stock of stories. I was quiet and waiting; as is usual at events such as this. Vegetarians are habitually forced to wait patiently until everyone else has finished; then, invariably, a plate of three steamed vegetables arrives! Chefs usually have no imagination when it comes to vegetarians!
George was obviously glad to get back home to Tucson.
Next: Visitors from Russia.
Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:53 PM
I can just imagine it - Mr Zoritch telling stories at dinner, while you had to wait.
(by the way, as for being a vegetarian at such dinners - so true! As I eat vegan, I usually just bring my own food. ;) )
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