HECTOR ZARASPE

Hector Zaraspe was born in Tucuman, Argentina. After 11 years dancing and teaching in Spain, Zaraspe emigrated to the United States in 1964, where he became a soloist, ballet teacher, and assistant director of the Spanish ballet company Antonio Ballet de Madrid. In 1965, he met Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn and quickly became their private teacher. As ballet master, he oversaw the choreography on the film I Am A Dancer with Nureyev, Fonteyn, and Carla Facci. He choreographed pieces for Captain John Paul Jones (starring Bette Davis), Spartacus (with Kirk Douglas, Peter Ustinov, Laurence Olivier, and Tony Curtis), and 55 Days at Peking (starring Charlton Heston and Ava Gardner). Invited to choreograph for such companies as Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, the National Ballet of Holland, and the New York Metropolitan Opera, Zaraspe has also taught at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and Geneva’s Grand Ballet. He presides over numerous dance competitions, notably in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and the United States, as well danza-nino’, which raises money for Unicef. Zaraspe served as a faculty member of the Juilliard school for 37 years, where the Zaraspe Prize has been awarded every year, since 1998, to the school’s best choreographer. He established the Fundación Zaraspe in 1993, which aims to ‘teach children, help young people, and protect the elderly through education, culture, and art’. In 2004, he was named cultural Ambassador for the city of Buenos Aires. Zaraspe has received numerous international honours.