versatile entertainer and performer, the universally acclaimed
Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as best leading actress
in a musical and was the first Hispanic American to receive
the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.
mother focused my energy on ballet when I was very young. From
then on, I became interested in working very hard to be as
good as I could possibly be.
Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero, Rivera was raised by
parents who emphasized cultural enrichment. At 16, Rivera auditioned
for legendary choreographer George Balanchine who recognized
her talent and gave her a scholarship to the American School
of Ballet. A year later, the aspiring ballerina was cast as
a principal dancer in the Broadway musical Call Me Madam,
and her extraordinary career began.
see myself as a global person with the distinct advantage
of being Latina. We add all the colors of our culture to this
quilt that is the world.
Rivera, actress, dancer, singer. Photograph
by Celia Alvarez Muñoz, taken at a restaurant, New
York, New York
1957, Rivera's electric performance as Anita in the Broadway
premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom.
Despite acting credits that include Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, The
Rink, and, most recently, Nine, with Antonio
Banderas, Rivera always maintains that her daughter, Lisa,
is her most treasured production.
love what I do, the people that I meet. I've been very, very
fortunate. It's all in the giving, not in the taking. And
in the giving you receive.