Maria Dare Dance History Collection
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George Zoritch

(1917-2009) age 92
Zoritch  was born 1917 in Moscow, as Yuri Zoritch, during the Russian Revolution.  His family moved to Lithuania where he began is ballet training.  His family then moved to Paris where he continued his studies.  He made his debut with Ida Rubinstein's company in 1933, at age 16.  He danced with several ballet companies,  He joined de Basil's Ballets Russes in 1936, where Leonide Massine created dance roles for him, including Jardin Public and Symphonie Fantastique.  He then joined Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo which relocated to USA at the beginning of WWII, and Zoritch relocated with them.  He remained a strong force in Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo until it dissolved in 1962.  In 1964, Xoritch opened a ballet school in West Hollywood California.  From that point on, he dedicated himself to dance students, teaching at his own school, and at Master Classes throughout the USA.  He taught at the University of Arizona from 1973 - 1987.  Afterward he continued to teach Master Classes and shared ballet history on film.  He died 2009, in Tucson Arizona.  In 1994 George Zoritch was among the 1st American dancers, choreographers and writers honored by being awarded the Vaslav Nijinsky Medall, sponsored by the Polish Artists Agency in Warsaw.
Memories from The Ballet House 1960s
His Master Class ebbed & flowed, from slow to quick, gentle to powerful, and back again.  His energy filled the studio.  His music lifted the spirit.  For years, he sold his class music on records; I believe the pianist was his brother.
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Revised:  April 2022
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