Gambarelli, Maria (1900–1990)

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Gambarelli, Maria (1900–1990)

Italian-American theatrical ballet dancer. Born 1900 in Spezia, Italy; died Dec 16, 1990, in Huntington, Long Island, NY; sister of actress Eole Galli.

Immigrated to US as a child; began training at school of Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York City at age 7; at 13 and 14, performed as soloist at Metropolitan Opera for 2 years; left Metropolitan to become principal dancer at S.L. "Roxy" Rothafel's Roxy Theater in New York City, dancing solos in all Prologs; appeared with "Roxy" at Capitol Theater and served as ballet mistress for Prologs (c. 1922–24); formed Gamby Girls, her own troupe of precision dancers who performed primarily in Prologs on Paramount-Public circuit (c. 1926–31); appeared in films Hooray for Love (1935), Here's to Romance (1935), and Santa Barbara Fiesta (1936), and also in numerous Italian films; choreographed several concert works and solos, as well as acts for Prologs throughout career. Choreographed works including Snowflakes (1939), Rhapsody in Blue (1939), Meditation from "Thais" (c. 1940), Dance of Valour (1940), The Dying Swan (1940), The Merry Widow (1940) and Figurine (1941).