Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero, 23 January 1933, Washington, DC, USA. A vivacious singer, dancer, and actress - an exciting and explosive performer - Rivera was born to Puerto Rican parents and grew up in the Bronx. She started dancing when she was seven, and from the age of 11, trained for a career in classical ballet. After studying at the New York City Ballet via a scholarship from choreographer George Balanchine, in 1952 she turned from classical dance and joined the chorus of Call Me Madam on Broadway. Further chorus work in Guys And Dolls and Can-Can was followed by appearances in Shoestring Revue, Seventh Heaven, and Mr. Wonderful (1956). She rocketed to stardom in 1957 as Anita in West Side Story, and stopped the show nightly by singing and dancing herself into a frenzy to the whooping rhythms of America. She caused even more of a sensation when West Side Story opened in London on 12 December 1958; it is still regarded by many as the most...
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