Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, a New York avant-garde dance troupe founded and shepherded by retail heiress Nancy Walton Lurie, announced plans last week to shut down, the New York Observer and The New York Times report. Ms. Lurie, a niece of the late Walmart founder Sam Walton, declined to comment on the decision to close the company, but a source close to the organization attributed the move to financial issues.
Ms. Lurie launched the company in 2003 and the following year spent $11 million on properties in Chelsea to house its performance, rehearsal, and office spaces. Cedar Lake was rare among small dance companies in that it paid full-time salaries to performers, with benefits such as dental coverage. It was also unusual in that it fined dancers for making mistakes onstage, arriving late for classes, and other infractions, drawing ire from company members and union officials.