JamesPDX Posted March 23, 2012 Share Posted March 23, 2012 I was shocked upon reading an article from the New York Times while researching an unrelated technical topic for my business. The headline read “Premier Dancer in Ballet Russe Companies, Dies at age 92” (Ballets Russes). After reading the name several times in disbelief, I was deeply saddened with tears running down my cheeks and short fast breaths while everything seemed to fall inward. The passing of a most dear friend for nearly 30 years was realized at that moment. As reality sank in, I saw the day “Sunday”, and wanted to know what time, and then which Sunday? I frantically read every word for more detail, but found nothing. I began searching the Internet until, to my horror, that I was 2 ½ years late in finding out. At that moment, I decided that it was time for me to become active again in the community of Dance in order to hear of anything related to my former friends and fine arts classmates, and maybe make contact as I might. I signed up for an account on 'Ballet Alert'. George "Yuri" Zoritch was my teacher of Ballet while attending the University of Arizona from 1976 to 1981. Although I was not a true dancer, I participated in several senior and faculty project presentations at the dance studio (Room 128, I think it was: after all these years). My favorite dance was a senior dance major’s project concert, of which I was under Sr. Janlin Mallas, with whom I shared many thoughts and private moments. A video was made of that performance, but I never saw the results. There were other relationships as well in that mix of beautiful bodies and movements through ballet taught by Yuri. It was a personal family of dancers, and I suppose that this could summarize much of the feelings shared by most all dancers as they one day in their future, come to understand this. Yuri was one of the most charismatic gentleman’s gentleman that I have ever had the eminence pleasure of knowing as a teacher, and a friend. As a teacher or person, I have never known him to ever be unkind, cruel, or disrespectful of anyone. He would often gesture with phrases in a wonderful comical way, to those who understood his character, early training, cultural background, teaching abilities, and vast professional experiences (dance classes, rehearsals, stage, film), his point of view about students coming to class late, not performing to their given abilities, chewing gum like cows chewing stomach cud, wearing their long hair and down over their short necks, having ornate jewelry hanging from their bodies, walking like cows with protruding derrières, heavy flapping feet like circus entertainers, etc.. We learned a lot from him. He was my teacher and a personal friend. Richard Holden "Richka" described very elegantly on November 2, 2009 at 07:04, about memories that I have of being with Yuri in his home in Tucson, thank you Richard. I often slept in the guest room and we had shared many meals together in the kitchen and the patio. When you are ready to review his videos? Please allow me to participate. Maybe you could keep an eye open for the senior dance recital. Richard, have you or anyone heard from and anything about Leila (I do not recall the spelling) from her studio in Texas? She was his favorite girlfriends and came to visit with him periodically. They were always discussing differences of opinion. She was a very lovely person. Thank you Richard, I read much of what you wrote herein and did in his honor. I believe that Yuri introduced us in the summer of 2000. I’ll add more at a later time, but now, I need to get some rest. Quote Link to comment
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