2 3 Throwback Thursday and Genia Melikova | Ballet Webb

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday and Genia Melikova

Throwback Thursday and Genia Melikova

Born as Eugenie Melnichendo in France, Genia emigrated with her Russian parents to the United States, where they became citizens. 

Her training included studying with Julia Sedova in Nice, and with Anatole Vilzak and Igor Schwezoff in New York. She performed at Radio Cit Music Hall and in various other venues in NYC. She then briefly became a soloist with Ballet Theatre from 1949-1950.

She left for Europe and joined the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas, and in 1954 was promoted to ballerina. Here she became the first Western ballerina to perform with Rudolf Nureyev after his defection in 1961. She stayed with this company until it dissolved in 1962, after which she moved to England and joined the London Festival Ballet, where she performed until she was invited to join the Grand Ballet Classique de France in 1964. In 1965 she toured the US with this company.

Always regarded as a gifted teacher, she taught for 26 years at the Dance Division of the Juilliard School. She was hired based on the recommendation of Antony Tudor, with whom she had worked in Europe.

During the mid-1970's Ms. Melikova directed the Bridgeport Ballet Company in Connecticut and also the Bernhard Ballet.

Genia Melikova died in New York in 2004. She was 74 years old.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #188:
“Genia Melikova she was the first Western ballerina to perform with Rudolf Nureyev after his defection in 1961.”

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“The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.”
Norman Rockwell

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