2 3 Throwback Thursday and Hilda Butsova | Ballet Webb

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Throwback Thursday and Hilda Butsova

Throwback Thursday and Hilda Butsova

Another dancer who changed her name to a Russian-sounding one was Hilda Boot who became Hilda Butsova. She was born on July 11, 1896 in Nottingham England.

Age the tender age of 13 she was already performing with Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes in London. She then joined Anna Pavlova’s company, often serving as Pavlova’s understudy. It was at Pavlova’s suggestion that she changed her name. With this company she danced principal roles from 1911 to 1929.

In 1925 she married Harry Mills, the manager of the Pavlova company. They had a son, Alan R. Mills.In 1930 they relocated to the United States, and she toured with Mikhail Mordkin’s company and appeared at the Capitol Theater in New York City.

By the mid-1930s she retired to teach and soon became known as a great teacher of Russian classical ballet.

She died on March 21, 1976 of a heart attack while staying with relatives in Scarsdale, NY.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #180:
“Hilda Butsova often served as Pavlova’s understudy.

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Romain Rolland

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