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Larry Long


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pmeja of Ballet Talk has asked that this be posted on Ballet Talk for Dancers




Larry Long, beloved Chicago teacher, passed away last night as a result of injuries sustained some weeks ago in an accident.


There will be a notice coming shortly from the Ruth Page Foundation which will give details of a service and memorial(s) to be held.


Larry is survived by his wife of 47 years, Dolores.

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How terribly sad. I knew he had been injured, but thought he was recovering. He will be missed by many, many people. Eternal peace to you, Mr. Long.

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oh, I am so sorry to hear this!


I enjoyed his classes so very much, and he was - even for that short time - quite influential for me.


I hope his wife is surrounded and comforted by good friends now.



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The Chicago dance community has suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Mr. Long. My heartfelt condolences to his wife, Dolores, and everyone who knew and loved him. He will be greatly missed.


Rest in peace, Mr. Long.

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This is a tremendous loss for the ballet world and for anyone who had the honor of knowing Larry. As a child and teen, Larry was my teacher and mentor, as he was for so many others. I have such fond memories of his classes and of him. He was instrumental in launching the careers of many, as well as my own. In my opinion, Larry is in a very small group of wise and caring dance teacher's whose love for dance brought joy to just about any one who took his classes -- from the most talented of his students to those who just took ballet as a hobby. We will miss you Larry, and your message to always push it a little bit more in dance and in life, will always be with me. I am so very grateful for having known you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your lovely wife, Dolores.

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The Ruth Page Foundation sent the following out in an e-mail today:


August 24, 2009







Larry E. Long (72), Founder and Director of the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance and Co-Artistic Director of the Civic Ballet of Chicago, died Saturday, August 22, 2009 from injuries sustained from an automobile accident on July 15.


Services will be held on Friday, August 28, 2009 at Holy Trinity Church, 1118 North Noble Street, Chicago at 11:30 AM. A Memorial Reception will be held at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 North Dearborn Street, Chicago from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Larry Long Master Teachers Fund, made payable to the Ruth Page Foundation. This Fund will help bring master teachers of the caliber of Mr. Long to the School of Dance to work with its students.


"The dance community and the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance has lost a great teacher," commented Venetia Stifler, Executive and Artistic Director of The Ruth Page Foundation. "Larry would tell me that he taught who was in the room that day. He looked at each dancer and got a sense of what they needed and taught the class to help them gain that which was missing. He also believed in a 'no frills' pure Ballet dance technique that emphasized movement over artifice. His musicality, passion for ballet, focus and masterly technique are just a few of the things that distingished him among his peers."


Mr. Long was born on October 30, 1936 in Des Moines, Iowa, but spent his formative years in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Long was recognized as one of the preeminent ballet teachers in America. Mikhail Baryshnikov in an article in the New York Times, named Mr. Long as one of six ballet teachers in America who have distinguished themselves as the best in developing students into professional dancers.


Mr. Long began his training with Alexandra Baldina, an illustrious Leningrad ballerina. His first professional performance was with Alicia Alonso in a production of Coppelia. He came to Chicago in 1958 beginning his long association with Ruth Page's Chicago Opera Ballet at the Lyric Opera, and later Ms. Page's International Ballet Company. After becoming a principal dancer with Ms. Page's International Ballet Company, he was appointed Ballet Master, a position he later held with the National Ballet of Washington, D.C. and the Harkness Ballet of New York. In 1973, he was co-founder and director with Ruth Page of the Chicago Ballet. Three years later, Mr. Long became Artistic Director of the Ballet International in London. Mr. Long was the long time (1965-1997) director of the Chicago Tribune Charities' production of The Nutcracker ballet which ran in Chicago for 31 years. Mr. Long and his wife, Dolores, co-founded the Civic Ballet of Chicago, the youth training company of the Ruth Page School of Dance, in 1998 in order to continue to develop serious young dancers with advanced training and performance experience as a prelude to a professional career in ballet. In 1989, he received the Ruth Page Award for "lifetime service to the field of dance." In 2006, the city of Chicago honored Larry and Dolores Long with a commendation for their contributions to the Arts in Chicago.


Larry Long will be remembered for his enthusiasm and tremendous energy; a motivational force in the lives of his family friends and dancers everywhere. An important calling for Mr. Long was also his loving devotion to his wife, Dolores, for 47 years, who was always beside him devoting their lives to the dance world. Besides his wife, Mr. Long leaves behind his nieces and nephews: Deborah and John Carroll; Marti-Jean Gross; Tracy Somers and Chris Long; grand nieces and nephews: Cassandra Carroll, Jenny and Jimmy Darukhanovala, Danni Maxson and Julian Jasiniski.

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To all concerned,


I danced with Larry Long for about 10 years from about 1974 to 1984. It wasn't a dance class, it was an experience. He was so animated and musical. He was quite an eccentric character with a cane. Humorous yet deadly serious. Larry brought out the best in people, yet he only was close to a very small group of friends.


I feel I was privileged to have taken his class. He got me back into dance after heart surgery at 22. This was a necessity for my spirit on earth. Without him, this could not have been possible.


Thank you Larry -- Now go rock the heavens!

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Anne G. I'm sorry you had to find us on such a sad occasion, but glad that you found us. I love that these stories about these wonderful teachers will be a part of Ballet Talk history.


You might find some interesting topics over on the Adult Ballet Students Board. We have quite a thriving adult community here!

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