2 3 Throwback Thursday and Elena Andreianova | Ballet Webb

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Throwback Thursday and Elena Andreianova

Throwback Thursday and Elena Andreianova

Born on July 13, 1819 in St. Petersburg, Elena Andreianova is considered to be one of the outstanding  Russian ballerinas of the Romantic era.

Little is known about her early life but she began studying at the St. Petersburg Drama School when she was ten years old. Her teachers included Philippe Taglioni and his daughter Marie. She joined the Maryinsky company in 1837 where she became the first Russian dancer to perform leading roles in Giselle and Paquita.

Her life was plagued with problems and rivalries. While dancing at the Imperial Theater, Taglioni and Elssler were given some of her roles and she left to star at the Bolshoi. But fans at the Bolshoi didn’t take kindly to Andreianova getting parts normally danced by the their favorite dancers (particularly Catherine Sankovski) and Andreianova was booed.

In 1846 she toured Europe with a group from the Bolshoi and this time audiences loved her fiery grace. And although a dispute arose with the Paris Opera (who refused to pay her), she managed to convince their leading male dancer Marius Petipa to leave Paris and join them. Choreographer Jules Perrot created two roles for her: the Black Fairy in Adana (1850), and the Countess Bertha in Wayward Wife (1851).

An attempt to create her own company ended due to the Crimean War and by this time the rigors of her life began to take their toll on Andreianova. She moved back to St. Petersburg but returned to Paris for medical treatment. She never recovered.

She died on October 28, 1857 in France. She was 38 years old. She is buried there beneath a gravestone she chose herself that depicts Giselle leaning against a cross.

The Vensian crater Andreianova is named in her honor.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Secret #231:
Elena Andreianova was a Russian ballerina who had a crater on Venus named in her honor.

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Quote of the Day:
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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