George Zoritch
George Zoritch world famous dancer and teacher, born 1917 in Moscow, Russia, died on November 1, 2009 after a fall in his home at the age of 92. A principal dancer with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and many Hollywood films, he settled in Tucson to teach dance at the University of Arizona from 1973 to 1987. There will be a Memorial gathering held in the studio where he taught for 14 years at the University of Arizona, located in the Ina Gittings building on campus, on Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Published by Arizona Daily Star on Nov. 22, 2009.
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While Mr. Zoritch was teaching in Los Angeles in the 1960s, I was a ballet student (in my teens) in San Bernardino, CA at a studio on E Street (next door to the orginal Mc Donalds). Our teacher, Vianna Wagner, arranged for Mr. Zoritch to come and give master classes to us all, probably over a weekend. I remember a stern task master, but felt so privileged to have his knowledge and technique imparted to we young students.
Diane Simons
November 27, 2009
My dear George (Yuri): It was such an honor to be your colleague at the UA and your friend for over thirty years. During our last time together - to celebrate your birthday - you said that you were ready for release from "this mortal coil," and were entirely content that your life had been filled with beauty, laughter, good food, and wonderful friends. Thank you for sharing that life with us, with the world. Rest well, dear friend! We love you.
John Wilson
November 23, 2009
Very dear George---colleague, mentor, friend. He was such a gifted, generous member of our faculty during those initial years of the UA dance program, and he remained an honest source of advice and helpful counsel as well as a loyal, loving friend to me and my family. We also remember him as a superb cook and witty, gracious host at countless parties! As my daughter suggested, his fall at home was, perhaps, just a fall into heaven.
Sandra Noll Hammond (Santa Rosa, CA).
November 22, 2009
I was one of the fortunate ones to have seen Mr. Zoritch dance in 1959, then to have had him as a teacher in 1978 for a couple of years. We remained friends and because of him, I attended the BR Reunion in 2000. We see the end of an era with his death. My last visit with him a year ago December 24th was something special, and I am forever grateful I was able to know such an amazing and gracious man.
Debra Zeller
November 22, 2009
Dear George, Your life was such an adventure and I am so glad we were able to travel a part of it together when we were both teaching at the U of A. I'll never forget your being my partner in a classical duet (I even wore a short black tutu) at a faculty concert. I'm sure the experience for you was unique and for me, a highlight for memories. I think of you often and will miss your dedication, charm, uniqueness and love. Bon Voyage old friend.
Frances Cohen
November 22, 2009
I remember first seeing George Zoritch 35 years ago exercising one morning at the barre at Stephanie Stigers's studio on Grant Road. A friend had told me, "You have to see him!"

He was already somewhat arthritic and movement was painful... at least I considered things that way until I realized that the slowness of his movement was because he was concentrating on movement and nothing else. He was the toughest person I had ever seen.

It was George Zoritch who taught me by example that we can truly physically live outside our bodies' limits. I still remember that day and its impact on the rest of my life and I am thankful.
David Cowell
November 22, 2009
While I did not know your family, I researched Mr. Zoritch...what an amazing man, and life! While he is not here, in the flesh, his knowledge, sharing and love will continue on, in many hearts.
Paula Z
November 22, 2009
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