Dancer and choreographer Zoya Leporska, who founded the Dancers Over 40 troupe, died Dec. 16 at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan following a short illness. She was 78.
Born in Siberia and reared in China, she later immigrated to the United States and received her dance training in Seattle.
Her teachers included George Balanchine, Adolph Bolm and Charles Weidman.
Although she performed with the San Francisco Opera Ballet and the Eugene Loring Players, she was best known as a Broadway dancer and choreographer.
She served as Bob Fosse’s assistant on “The Pajama Game,” “Damn Yankees” and “New Girl in Town,” and was the dance captain for seven Broadway shows.
She worked with Hal Prince, Shirley MacLaine and Gwen Verdon, and also helped set dance sequences for pro-ductions by Frank Corsaro at the New York City Opera.
Leporska’s “Looking for Talent” was performed by Dancers Over 40 at the Dance Theatre Workshop in September.
She is survived by a brother, Wallace.