2 3 Throwback Thursday and Olga Preobrazhenska | Ballet Webb

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday and Olga Preobrazhenska

 Throwback Thursday and Olga Preobrazhenska

Born Olga Preobrazhenskaya in January 1971, Olga was an unlikely candidate for a life in professional ballet. She was born with a crooked spine, and despite repeated attempts to be selected for ballet training, she was always rejected. But in 1879, after three years of trying, her persistence paid off and she was finally accepted into the Imperial School. She was eight years old.

She studied with such masters as Lev Ivanov and Marius Petitpa and although her spine was always a problem, she developed into an accomplished dancer. She shortened her name by one syllable, and made her debut in 1892 in Kalkabrino by Petipa. She went on to dance many other Petipa ballets. By 1895 she began to travel, making appearances in Paris, London and the United States. In 1900, she achieved the title of prima ballerina.

In 1914 she turned her attention to teaching. She began in Saint Petersburg where one of her students was Alexandra Danilova. After the Russian Revolution she moved between Milan, London and Buenos Aires before settling down in Paris.

In Paris she became an established teacher with pupils such as Tamara Toumanova and Igor Youskevitch. She continued to teach until her retirement in 1960. She died two years later, at age 91.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #165:
Olga Preobrazhenska was a Russian ballerina born with a crooked spine.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down. All that matters is you get up one more time than you were knocked down.”
― Roy T. Bennett

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