2 3 Throwback Thursday and Sonia Arova | Ballet Webb

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday and Sonia Arova

Throwback Thursday and Sonia Arova

Sonia Arova’s talent became apparent early in her life. At age eight, she was selected to study dance in Paris with the famous ballerina of the Maryinsky, Olga Preobrajenska. She also studied with Serge Lifar. At age twelve, she won first place in international competition.

During the German invasion of France, she escaped to England disguised as a boy. In 1946 she joined Ballet Rambert, performing principal roles in ballets such as Les Sylphide and Swan Lake. She came to America in 1947 and danced with the new Metropolitan Ballet.

As a dancer she was known for her technical strength and bravura attack. She was also know for her artistry and ability to perform dramatic roles. She often worked as a freelance dancer, and toured throughout America and Europe. She was the first ballerina from the west to perform in Japan since Anna Pavlova.

She danced with the Ballet de Champs Elysées, London Festival Ballet and the Chicago Opera Ballet. In the 1960s she performed with Rudolf Nureyev, Erik Bruhn and Rosella Hightower in a touring concert group under Anton Dolin.

As a teacher and director, she worked with the Norwegian National Ballet and the San Diego Ballet. In 1976 she and husband Thor Sutowski moved to Birmingham, Alabama to develop the dance program at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. They went on to direct the State of Alabama Ballet/Ballet South from 1981 until 1996.

Dame Sonia Arova died in California on February 4, 2001.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #15p:  
Ballerina Sonia Arova won first place in international competition when she was twelve years old.”

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Quote of the Day:
“The greatest thing about dreams is they don’t expire. They can lay dormant for years and when you pull them out and dust them off, they shine like new.”
Casi McLean

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