Bravura!: Lucia Chase and the American Ballet Theatre

Overview

 

Long-awaited biography of the "Queen Mother" of American Ballet

"A book that should be read by historians, ballet artists, ballet lovers, and book lovers in general. It is a fascinating story not only about the growth of ballet in America but also of the courage and persistence of a Great Lady."--Irina Baronova

 

"It's high time the magnetically American story of Lucia Chase and Ballet Theatre was told. Like the history-making and aptly named company she kept, Lucia was colorful, daring, and almost ...

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Overview

 

Long-awaited biography of the "Queen Mother" of American Ballet

"A book that should be read by historians, ballet artists, ballet lovers, and book lovers in general. It is a fascinating story not only about the growth of ballet in America but also of the courage and persistence of a Great Lady."--Irina Baronova

 

"It's high time the magnetically American story of Lucia Chase and Ballet Theatre was told. Like the history-making and aptly named company she kept, Lucia was colorful, daring, and almost self-destructively determined--an original always in passionate pursuit of the original."--Arthur Laurents

 

"Lucia Chase, an American original, is made vivid on these pages. For over forty years much of ballet in the U.S. rode her coattails, or vice versa--you decide."--Eliot Feld

 

To many people, Lucia Chase (1897-1986) was the American Ballet Theatre, and her reign as the queen of American ballet lasted for more than four decades.

It was Chase who brought Nureyev, Bujones, Kirkland, and eventually Baryshnikov to ABT. Under her leadership, the company worked with such legends as Agnes de Mille, Anthony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, and Twyla Tharp. Her drive, ambition, tenacity, and money kept the doors open even during the lean years.

A dancer when the company made its debut in 1940, she was artistic director for an unprecedented thirty-five years, from 1945 to 1980. Over the course of her career, she received numerous honors and awards, including the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Combining unique personal insights as Chase's son along with experience garnered from his own professional dance and administrative career, Alex Ewing offers the definitive story of one of the true pioneers in the world of American ballet.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813033761
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 9/27/2009
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex C. Ewing is chancellor emeritus of the North Carolina School of the Arts and former general director of the Joffrey Ballet.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Part 1

Prologue 1

1 Early Life 5

2 The Mordkin Ballet 25

3 Richard Pleasant 47

Part 2

4 Debut of Ballet Theatre 65

5 Life at Home 72

6 Pillar of Fire 84

7 Touring in Wartime 98

8 Jerome Robbins and Fancy Free 109

9 Convent Garden 124

10 Ballet Theatre Closes Down 141

Part 3

11 Troubles with the IRS 155

12 Revolution in Argentina 169

13 Adverse U.S. Tax Court Verdict 176

14 Alex Ewing at Ballet Theatre 182

15 Disastrous Cannes Fire 192

16 A Second Tragedy 204

Part 4

17 Les Noces 211

18 A Full-Length Swan Lake 218

19 Attempted Coup d'Etat 230

20 Balanchine and the New York City Ballet 238

21 Lucia Chase as Artistic Director 250

22 Sherwin Goldman 259

23 Troubles between Sherwin and Lucia 266

24 Makarova and Baryshnikov 276

25 Twyla Tharp's Push Comes to Shove 290

26 Baryshnikov Replaces Lucia 298

27 Last Years 311

28 Memorial Service 321

Index 325

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