Show Business: Ballet from the Ashes

It was 5 a.m. when the phone rang in the Cannes hotel room of Jean Cerrone, company manager of Manhattan's touring American Ballet Theatre. The news: a twelve-ton truck carrying most of the company's gear had gone up in flames. Cerrone mumbled "Merci," went back to sleep, 15 minutes later woke up again in a horrified double take. By the time he got to the scene of the fire, all the company's wardrobe trunks had been destroyed, along with scenery and props for twelve ballets, plus orchestra scores for four. Total damage, mostly coveted by insurance: about $400,000. That was two...

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