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Nancy King Zeckendorf performing a high kick, mountain landscape behind, small town Big Dreams, in dark font above.

Small Town Big Dreams

The Life of Nancy Zeckendorf

By (author) Nancy Zeckndorf
By (author) Jane Scovell


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  • For dancers, performers, and opera lovers young and old
  • A testimony to the discipline and rigors of a professional career in dance
  • An insider’s view and personal stories of the lives of renowned figures in world-class ballet and opera companies
  • An insider’s view and personal stories of notable leaders in architecture and the fine arts
  • A historical (and personal) perspective of architecture in New York and Santa Fe
Full Description

This is a story of a young girl from a small town with a big dream that took her to Juilliard, Broadway, summer stock, the stage of the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera, and introduced her to her husband William Zeckendorf Jr. Her memoir overflows with the glamour of a life lived among the famous figures of mid-century New York society and the grit necessary to succeed in the professional world of dance.

Fascinated by art and architecture, the vivacious ballerina Nancy Zeckendorf became a formidable development partner with her husband and a philanthropic leader in the performing arts – her fundraising ability is an art form unto itself.

“I love hardware stores and tools,” she said of her common-sense approach to construction projects. Indeed, Nancy was a guiding force in the expansion of the Santa Fe Opera, the Lensic Performing Arts Center, and the premier community of Los Miradores where she lives now in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

About the Author

Nancy King Zeckendorf, formerly a principal dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet and Santa Fe Opera, is a founding director and chair of the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe. After her years as a dancer, she began a new career creating special events and fundraising for the arts. A design partner on projects in Santa Fe and New York with her late husband and New York real estate developer William Zeckendorf Jr., she is as comfortable with an architect’s blueprints as with a choreographer’s direction.

Jane Scovell has written books with Elizabeth Taylor, Ginger Rogers, Tim Conway, Marilyn Horne, and a biography of Oona Chaplin. She is currently writing with director Brian Large.

ORO Editions
27th Oct 2022
World excluding USA, Canada, Australasia & Asia (except Japan; China non-exclusive)
228 mm x 177 mm
340 Pages
120 color
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