Muriel Stuart was born in 1903 in South Norwood, England. In 1913, at the age of 10, she was one of several English girls chosen by Anna Pavlova to study the great dancer's techniques. The following year Stuart studied for a time with Ivan Clustine in Paris. At age 14, while travelling with her mother in Chicago, Stuart joined the Pavlova Company, then touring the United States. During the First World War, the company spent the duration in South America. The war over, tours to London, Paris, America, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, North Africa, Australia, and New Zealand followed.
Between 1916 and 1926, when Stuart left the Pavlova Company, she was a soloist in many of the featured titles, including Autumn Leaves, Coppelia, Chopiniana, Amorilla, and Rhapsodie Hongroise. Her principal partner with the Pavlova Company was Mikhail Nicholoff.
Stuart married Julian Brudetzky, a Russian violinist with the company, who left to become concert master with the San Francisco Symphony. Stuart followed him - to Pavlova's disappointment - and soon opened a dance school in San Francisco and later one in Los Angeles.
In the season of 1928-1929, Stuart danced with the Chicago Civic Opera Ballet. It was her last period of professional dancing. In Chicago, she choreographed two ballets for the opera and taught the Opera Ballet corps. In order to enlarge her knowledge of dance, she studied modern dance techniques with Harold Kreutzburg.
After her marriage with Brudetzky ended, Stuart settled and studied in New York. There she gained additional training from Martha Graham and Agnes de Mille. They were impressed with her knowledge and introduced her to Lincoln Kirstein, director of The School of American Ballet, which was a training studio for the future New York City Ballet. He engaged her for the faculty of the school in 1937, where she remained a teacher for 35 years. It was during this time that she married James Warrick, a playwright and her second husband. They had a son, Peter. This marriage also faultered after several years. By her own admission, she was wed to her career.
In 1952, Muriel Stuart and Lincoln Kirstein published a distinguished text, The Classic Ballet: Basic Technique and Terminology. It had a preface by George Balanchine and drawings by Carlus Dyerand and was published by Alfred Knopf. The San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum has a copy signed by Stuart.
Stuart, A Tribute CD
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