2 3 Throwback Thursday and Avdotia Istomina | Ballet Webb

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Throwback Thursday and Avdotia Istomina

Throwback Thursday and Avdotia Istomina

A name that is little known in ballet history is that of Avdotia Istomina. She was the first Russian ballerina of the Romantic Period, and was trained by the famous Charles Didelot. She became his favorite dancer and his muse. He taught her his most progressive techniques, and together they helped reform Russian ballet.

Istomina was born in 1799, and the identities  her parents remains a mystery. She entered the Ballet Academy at age 6, most likely sent there to be cared for, since she was “delivered” to the school by a flutist in the Army. She was probably an orphan.

She became an accomplished, beautiful dancer, and in 1816 was  described  thus:
“She was of medium build, brunette, with beautiful appearance and was very well-shaped. She had black, fiery eyes veiled by long eye-lashes which gave a very special character to her physiognomy. She had great strength in her feet, aplomb on the stage, and together with that, grace, lightness and speed in movements; her pirouettes and her elevation were astounding...”
She was also described as posing on the tip of her toe – this may predate Taglioni who is credited with inventing pointe work.

Istomina stopped dancing in 1836, and worked as an actress. She died of cholera on June 26, 1848 in St. Petersburg. Her tombstone makes no reference to her dance career or significance to ballet history. It reads simply: Avdotya Ilyinchna Ekunina, a retired actress.

    From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Dance History Factoid #110:  
“Avdotia Istomina was the first Russian ballerina of the Romantic Period.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.”
Antonio Porchia

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

No comments:

Post a Comment