Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Paul Anthony Samuelson (1915– ) Biography to Bessie Smith (1895–1937) Biography » Lupe Serrano: 1930—: Ballerina Biography - Born With Desire To Dance, Leapt From Mexico To New York, Danced With Nureyev, Turned Talent Toward Teaching

Lupe Serrano: 1930—: Ballerina - Danced With Nureyev

ballet performance american theatre

Serrano went on to perform with the American Ballet Theatre for almost two decades, eventually rising to the top position of prima ballerina. She danced more than 50 different roles including ballet classics such as Swan Lake, Giselle, La Fille Mal Gardée, and Aurora's Wedding. She also performed contemporary ballets by famed choreographers such as George Balanchine, William Dollar, Antony Tudor, and Jerome Robbins. With the company she embarked on several worldwide tours, dazzling audiences from the Soviet Union to Greece, England to Venezuela. At one memorable performance in Leningrad, the audience was so moved by her solo performance that they insisted she repeat it when she returned to the stage for the customary bow. In 1962 Serrano's experience dancing for television was called upon when she was asked to perform a duet from Le Corsaire with Rudolf Nureyev. The performance was telecast as part of the Bell Telephone Hour, a television program that brought the classical arts to the public. At the time Nureyev was already a legend in the dance world and had become the first true ballet superstar. To dance with him in such a high-profile performance was a great achievement for Serrano. A few years later Serrano gave another high-profile performance for President Lyndon Johnson at the White House. She also continued performing with the American Ballet Theatre, both in the United States and abroad and becoming, according to the Rocky Mountain News, "one of its main attractions."

In 1957 Serrano married Kenneth Schermerhorn, then conductor for the American Ballet Theatre. When Schermerhorn took a position with the New Jersey Symphony, Serrano began a busy schedule of commuting to New York for rehearsals and classes. In 1963 they had their first daughter, Erica and in 1967, their second, Veronica. Under her mother's tutelage, Veronica would go on to become a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre as well. Soon after the birth of her second child, Serrano took a year-long sabbatical from dance. When she returned to the American Ballet Theatre it was as a permanent guest artist, meaning she would have the freedom to choose her own performances and could devote more time to her family. Eventually Serrano moved to Wisconsin where Schermerhorn had been hired as a conductor with the Milwaukee Orchestra. There she began to teach dance at the Conservatory of Milwaukee and the University of Milwaukee. She proved a natural at teaching and enjoyed sharing her love of ballet with young dancers.

Lupe Serrano: 1930—: Ballerina - Turned Talent Toward Teaching [next] [back] Lupe Serrano: 1930—: Ballerina - Leapt From Mexico To New York

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