2 3 Throwback Thursday and Tamara Geva | Ballet Webb

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday and Tamara Geva

Throwback Thursday and Tamara Geva

Tamara Geva was born in St. Petersburg, Russian on March 17, 1907. Her parents were not officially married until she was six, because her father’s (Levko Gevergeyev) parents disapproved of his choice for a wife (she was Muslim). Her father was wealthy, so Tamara lived in a huge home that included a theater and museum. She began ballet lessons with a private instructor, but after the Russian revolution allowed children of non-Christian backgrounds to enroll, she began studying at the famous Maryinsky. Here she met George Balanchine who was teaching ballroom dance. They married in 1923.

In 1924 they left the Soviet Union and came to New York. Soon, they separated. One source (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tamara-Geva) states that in 1927 she introduced New York to Balanchine’s choreography.

In 1936 she and Ray Bolger appeared in “On Your Toes”, partially choreographed by Balanchine. Reviewer Brooks Atkinson wrote in The New York Times that Miss Geva ''is so magnificent as the mistress of the dance that she can burlesque it with the authority of an artist on a holiday.''

After 1935 (when she appeared with America Ballet Theatre), she devoted her life to theater and movies, appearing in such movies as: “Their Big Moment'' (1934), ''Manhattan Merry-Go-Round'' (1937) and ''Orchestra Wives'' (1942). Plus, she choreographed the dances in ''Specter of the Rose'' (1946), a movie about a ballerina who falls in love with an insane dancer.

She published her autobiography “Split Second” in 1972.

She died in 1997 at age 91.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #149:
“Tamara Geva introduced Balanchine’s choreography to New York.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

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