Chita Rivera Essay

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Chita Rivera Early Life and Family Chita Rivera was born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero, on January 23, 1933, in Washington, D.C. Her parents were from Puerto Rico. Her father, Pedro Julio Figueroa, played clarinet and saxophone for the Navy Band; after his death when Chita was 7, her mother, Katherine Anderson del Rivero, went to work at the Pentagon. In 1983 her mother died. She was very much a tomboy in her younger years. To tone down her liveliness, when she was 11, her mother enrolled her in the Jones-Hayward School of Ballet. When Conchita was 15, a teacher from George Balanchine's School of American Ballet visited their studio and she was picked along with two other students to audition in New York. Education Chita got into the school, but shortly after began her career in Broadway for the audition for the national tour of Call Me Madam. She was only supposed to be supporting her friend but gained the role instead. She quickly got other roles including Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven, and Mr. Wonderful with Sammy Davis Jr. Career & Accomplishments In 1957, Chita made Broadway history when she performed as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story. This very role was what brought her stardom. Chita's talent enabled genius, Jerome Robbins, to realize his groundbreaking choreographic vision for the production. She married Tony Mordente, a dancer from the West Side Story cast, on December 1 of that year but they later divorced in 1966. Chita's performance as Anita was so vital to the success of West Side Story that the London production was postponed until after she had given birth to her daughter, Lisa Mordente. The starring role in Bye Bye Birdie followed West Side Story, and Chita returned to the West End in 1960 to reprise her performance in that role as well. Around the nation or on tour, Chita then starred in Born

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