Kaye, Nora

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KAYE, NORA (1920–1987), U.S. dramatic ballerina. She began her ballet training when she was eight, and at 15 joined the corps of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. When Ballet Theater was founded in 1939, she entered the corps de ballet and quickly rose to prima ballerina status. She starred in classical repertory and in many contemporary ballets, but she was primarily identified with the English choreographer, Antony Tudor. Her characterization of Hagar in Pillar of Fire (1942) was regarded as a great example of tragic acting. Others of Tudor's works in which she appeared were Lilac Garden, Dark Elegies, and Dim Lustre. In 1951 Nora Kaye left Ballet Theater for the New York City Ballet, where she created the role of the novice in Jerome Robbins' The Cage. Returning to Ballet Theater in 1954, she danced in the works of Herbert Ross, whom she married in 1959. After a brief tour with a company organized by herself and Ross, Ballets of Two Worlds, she retired from dancing in 1960.

[Marcia B. Siegel]