Posted by: trailerpilot | 08:25::2009

Larry Long, 1936-2009.


CHICAGO – 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 auto-
mobile 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 used to tell me that he taught who was in
the room that day. He looked at each dancer and got a sense of what they need-
ed 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 October 30, 1936 in Des Moines, Iowa, but spent his form-
ative 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 profes-
sional dancers.

Mr. Long began his training with Alexandra Baldina, an illustrious Leningrad
ballerina. His first professional performance was with Alicia Alonso in a pro-
duction of Coppélia. He came to Chicago in 1958 beginning his long associa-
tion 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
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 con-
tributions 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, who for 47 years was always beside him in 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, Dani Maxon and Julian Jasiniski.



  1. Linda DiBona and I extend our sincere condolences to Dolores, who we had little time with during our work with Larry in Ballet International (London1976-77) but whom we liked very much.
    For us Larry was the very enthusiam behind the daily efforts to put a new company on the map. As dancers, we will remember mostly his wonderful, unfailing rhythm with which he not only taught class but carried to and from. He loved dancers and was a very enouraging director, always. May he rest in peace.

  2. I am beyond devastated at the loss. I grew up with Larry in Los Angeles. We danced together when he was just 19 and I was 13, with Paul Petroff and Nana Gollner. Flash ahead a few years, he stopped by to see me when he was in NY, and I was working at Radio City Music Hall, in the Ballet. I believe he was with dolores, and may have just gotten married. He laughed at me because I was expecting my 1st child, and was beginning to show, in a very sexy Grecian costume. This was in 1962. Flash forward to the late 1980’s when a production of Nutcracker was shown on PBS. I wrote him a letter telling him how good he looked, and teasingly asked if he could still do an entrechat six. I also told him that I had my own School in NY, and was very busy teaching. He wrote back that he, indeed, could still do lots of things, including a six. We caught up a bit with the letters, and I was so happy to hear from him. As we all know, how quickly time passes, before you can turn around, 20 years goes by, and you haven’t done what you wanted to. In July, of 2009, just before Larry’s accident, my husband passed away from lung cancer, after a year long battle. Several months later, I was being nostalgic about my life, and thought of Larry. We seemed to touch base every 20 years, or so. I sent an email to the school, and got a note back from someone telling me Larry was gone. I am still in shock, and so very sad. Please let Dolores read this note, if possible, and let her know that I send my warmest regards, and my heartfelt sympathy. I do know how she feels. I am also so angry that I didn’t get to make time in my life, to stay in touch. We all need to keep our loved ones and friends closer than we do. Finding out this horrible news has made me so, so upset. Even though we don’t see certain people for years and years, they remain close to our heart, and in our thoughts. I have a couple of pictures of Larry and myself, in costume, when we did Midsummer Night’s Dream, for Paul Petroff…..taken in my backyard. We were so young!! And somewhere a very bad 8mm film of us doing a ballet in Defleidermouse, at the Burbank Starlight Bowl. I will cherish them, and think of Larry. By the way, one of the pictures has us in the famous, no hands fish dive, that Paul Petroff invented, and taught us, circa 1953 ish. At this time, I am still dancing and teaching, and will think of Larry, as I do so. Love to Dolores.
    Sincerely, Sharon Wendrow

  3. […] favorite Chicago choreographer, school or dance company and why: Ruth Page Foundation; Larry Long is the most incredible ballet teacher in the […]

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