Lucia Chase, the financial benefactor and dancer of American Ballet Theater and subject of book BRAVURA!
So many holiday parties seem to be casting my head into a peppermint swirl! I’ve just picked up my copy of Bravura!, a biography about Lucia Chase, a rich society widow responsible for financing and bringing the greatest of ballet talent– Rudolph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the nymph-like Gelsey Kirkland– to American Ballet Theatre decades ago. Her book party last week at uptown jeweler, VBH, also brought out the social register in full force, and style writers like Vanity Fair’s Amy Fine Collins and Vogue resident dandy Hamish Bowles, despite the fact that Anna Wintour’s own holiday party at her home on Sullivan Street had started in full force. One noticeable absence, designer Zac Posen — whose name graced the invitation as host– had abandoned the ballet cause entirely for Anna’s homestead.
Still it was worth the trip for boundless champagne and to feel the costumes Lucia wore in the ballets, on display in the VBH lower level. Something about them, all velvet and jeweled, side by side with her Valentino social dresses and surrounded by cases of diamond and gem drop earrings felt like a fairy tale. And Chase’s life was much the same. In her forth decade, she snuck to ballet class at ABT and never told anyone she her age, with a son attending Yale. Now to think that same son — Alex Ewing — wrote this book. A great dedication to a lady with a mystery and passion! Beautiful art. Old world style. Punk rock attitude. CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO OF NUREYEV — A CHASE DISCOVERY AND LATER, STUDIO 54 REGULAR– in LE CORSAIRE: NUREYEV
From Lucia Chase’s personal photos, dancers at ABT