Jews Seek Meeting with Bolshoi Ballet Company

Sidney Sexner, Chicago attorney, and president of the Community Council of Jewish Organizations, has asked impresario Harry Zelzer to arrange a meeting between local Jews and representatives of the Bolshoi Ballet Company, scheduled to appear here Aug. 6-11. In a letter to Zelzer, Sexner said, “on behalf of the Jewish community, we request through your good offices, a face-to-face meeting with representatives…of the Bolshoi Company. This meeting can be at any time or place at your convenience except for the Jewish Sabbath.”

Sexner’s group hopes to call attention to the plight of Valeri Panov, former star of Leningrad’s Kirov Ballet. Panov, whose request to leave the Soviet Union for Israel has been denied is now forbidden to dance or practice his art. He has been Jailed, harassed and threatened.

“Panov’s situation typifies the plight of many Jewish artists in the Soviet Union today.” Sexner said. “We are optimistic that Mr. Zelzer, who is bringing the famed Bolshol Company to Chicago, will take this opportunity to help the cause of human rights. We hope, too, that members of the Bolshol Company will be responsive to the cries of their fellow artists.”

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