Civic Ballet

Anatole Chujoy

Published for Central Service for Regional Ballets by Dance news, Inc / ASIN: B0007DUH12 (1958)

This little 30-page book (a pamphlet, really) is now truly an antique.

Anatole Chujoy (b/Riga, 1894, d/NYC, 1969) was one of the great wave of Russian expatriates who
emigrated to the US in the early 1920s and became a US citizen in 1931. Since his early days he
had been a passionate devotee of ballerina Tamara Karsavina, and ballet in general. In 1936 he
co-founded the Dance Magazine and was editor it until 1941 when he left to found Dance News.
He continued working there until his death and it was Dance News that published this booklet.

The first "real" civic ballet was the Atlanta Civic Ballet, formed in 1929 by Dorothy Alexander.
When the first American Regional Ballet Festival was held in Atlanta, GA in 1956, the idea had
taken root and there were many companies -- most of them formed in the previous two years.

Unfortunately, the very popularity of the civic ballet programs led to their eventual downfalls.
The very notion of beginning to train a young dancer intensively and giving them chances to
perform led more professional companies to begin their own "junior" companies. The best dancers
of a civic group would immediately be offered a scholarship and opportunities to perform in a
major city, which few aspiring performers could afford to turn down.

Needless to say much of the information in this book is out-dated, but the basic structure of
setting up such a local group remains the same and there are many cities that still participate.


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