2 3 Throwback Thursday and Anastasia Abramova | Ballet Webb

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Throwback Thursday and Anastasia Abramova

Throwback Thursday and Anastasia Abramova

Born in Russia in 1902, Anastasia Abramova entered the Bolshoi School in 1910 when she was about eight years old.  She received her early dance training with Yekaterina Vasem and Yekaterina Geltzer. She graduated in 1917, and went on to join the Bolshoi Theatre. Here she trained with Valentina Kudriavtseva, Liubov Bank, and Nina Podgoretskay, all under the director of Alexander Gorsky and Vassily Tikhomirov.

Although she danced many principal roles, Abramova is probably best known for her partnership with the famous Asaf Messerer, and she is seen with him in the above photo from the ballet La Fille Mal Gardee.

As it often does, politics played a role in the life of Abramova. There were, and are, two major dance companies in Russia: one in Leningrad and one in Moscow (Bolshoi). Under the orders of Stalin in the 1930s, a group of Leningrad dancers arrived in Moscow with the purpose of replacing the Bolshoi dancers. Many dancers of the Bolshoi tried to leave, but were unable to find jobs. Thus, for years they were listed as dancers with the Bolshoi, but were not given any roles to dance. Such was the case for Anatasia Abramova, along with several other company principals.

More than a decade later, in 1947, the ousted dancers received compensation for their failed careers by being awarded the the title of: Honored Artist of the RSFSR. Following this, they were all promptly fired.

Abramova retired in 1948, and died on June 26, 1985.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Dance History Factoid #115:  
Anastasia Abramova was a famous ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre.

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“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
Maya Angelou

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