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Swanson -- Ruth Pryor Swanson, 94, passed away Thursday, May 31, 2001 in Albuquerque. She is survived by her daughter, Janis and husband, Kent Buckingham; granddaughter, Kenia Metzner and husband, Peter, great-grandchildren, Kellie Metzner, Scott Metzner, Jennifer Buckingham, Brooke Haack and husband, Scott, and great-great granddaughter, Peyton Haack. She was preceded in death by her husband, William Swanson and grandson, Kent Buckingham, Jr., and wife, Susan. Ruth was a renowned Chicago ballerina, having been premiere danseuse of the Chicago Civic Opera Company in the 1930's when Chicago was the ballet center for the United States. After her retirement, dance critic Ann Barzel wrote of her:"She was a golden-haired wisp of a ballet girl when she first stopped the show many years ago, and that show was Grand Opera. That was Ruth Pryor, and her performance in"Dance of the Hors" in the opera"La Giocanda" so enchanted the opera goers that they set up a great clamor for her to take bow after bow after bow, while the prima donna and tenor waited." Later, Ballet Master Laurent Novikoff, one-time partner of Anna Pavlova, staged the ballet"Swan Lake" with Ruth being the first American ballerina to dance as the Swan Queen. This was the initial production of the Tschaikovsky ballet some years before the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo made Swan Lake synonymous with ballet, world-wide. The Newberry Library in Chicago requested and received Ruth's scrapbook and mementos of her life as a ballerina to incorporate in their history of the Chicago Civic Opera Ballet Company. Ruth later moved to Cleveland, OH where she owned and directed the Ballet Theater Dance School for 25 years, during which time she assisted in forming the Cleveland and Akron, Ohio Ballet Companies. She retired from her 50-year dance career and with her husband moved to Albuquerque in 1977 to be near her daughter. Ruth was an honorary Life Member of the Chicago Dancemasters Association and leaves a wonderful legacy of dance history. Her family and friends will miss their"Mama Ruth", and thank the Lord for the many years they had with her. She was a joy. Rosary will be recited Monday, June 4, 2001, 7:00 p.m., at French Mortuary, Lomas Blvd. Chapel, 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE, with Sophie Gurule reciting. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated Tuesday, June 5, 2001, 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Lomas at Tennessee, with Father Michael Cimino, Celebrant. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul NE. Friends may visit French Mortuary, 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE, Monday, June 4, 2001, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
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