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My suffering was all the keener because the winter before, when he was courting a young and pretty Grand Duchess, I had asked him to bring this idyll to an end in order to cut short the gossip, which I found particularly unpleasant, provoked by rumours of their eventual marriage. His attitude, however, was moving and gave me a little reassurance.

Serge knew for certain that he was not the father of the child, but he loved me and had become so attached to me that he forgave me everything. Whatever happened, he told me, he would stand by me as a faithful friend, feeling that I needed his devotion and protection. This conversation relieved me, but I still suffered over what had happened. Vova grew up being spoiled by his parents and never had an independent life. Kschessinskaya also had a large collection of valuable jewels, some of which were gifts from members of the Imperial Family and she would wear these jewels in many of her roles, even sewing some of them into her costumes.

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One such piece from this collection was a valuable diamond choker, which she wore in such roles as Princess Aspicia and Flora as seen in the photos above. Andrei called Vladimirov to a duel and shot him in the nose; Vladimirov survived and his affair with Kschessinskaya ended. Kschessinskaya could be kind and charming to some, for example, she was very kind to Tamara Karsavina and Vaslav Nijinsky.

However, she also had a proud and spiteful side to her nature that made her unpopular among others. To some, especially her rivals, she was utterly ruthless and was notorious for countless shenanigans that she committed to boast her position within the Imperial Theatre and to get her way. She formed a number of one-sided rivalries with certain ballerinas, including Pierina Legnani, Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Vera Trefilova. These rivalries eventually led to Legnani and Trefilova resigning from the Imperial Ballet. However, this is clearly an attempt from her to rewrite history since other sources dispute these claims.

According to Bronislava Nijinska, it was common knowledge in the Imperial Theatres that Kschessinskaya was very jealous of Preobrazhenskaya and her starring roles. In his memoirs, Col. We were on excellent terms and Anna often came to my house. She had been noticed and praised by public and critics ever since graduating from the Ballet School in For my part, who saw in her the beginnings of great talent, I predicted for her a brilliant future. But Petipa at first refused to give her this ballet, which he had created for me, and I had to insist for a long time before he would give in.

She also worked on the ballet with E. Sokolova, who had danced it long before me.

Mathilde Kschessinska

When interviewed by a journalist after the performance, Pavlova only mentioned E. Sokolova, and forgot me completely. I was greatly hurt by this injustice from Pavlova, especially as I had helped her, from her first steps on the stage, by all means in my power. These things, however, sometimes happen, and despite a few shocks of this nature, my relations with dancers remained on the whole excellent — Dancing in Petersburg: The Memoirs of Mathilde Kschessinska p. However, as backed up by other sources, including several Pavlova biographies, these claims are false. He also did not refuse to cast her as Nikiya and did not need to be persuaded by Kschessinskaya, or anyone else for that matter, to give her the role.

The person who did not want Pavlova to dance Nikiya was Kschessinskaya. Pavlova was, in fact, coached by Petipa for the role of Nikiya and was also rehearsed by Eugenia Sokolova.

Chapter Analysis of Imperial Dancer

The only time he mentions her in his memoirs is when he explains that he refused to let her wear her own jewels in any of his ballets. The Street Dancer is an acrobat. Do you know any tricks?


Can you do the splits and whirl around on one leg while holding the other foot stiffly, high in the air? In short, Petipa seems to have deliberately presented the one of his ballerinas he thoroughly despised as the bad pearl of the ballet. However, Kschessinskaya was never completely satisfied with her repertoire, as she wished to create more new leading roles and variations than the number she did create.

Forgotten - Dangerous Women Project

Many of the new leading roles and variations in the Imperial Ballet repertoire, however, were created by the likes of Legnani and Preobrazhenskaya. Kschessinskaya had to settle for what she was given, though she would later use her connections to the Imperial Court to usurp the custom roles and variations of other ballerinas, especially those of Legnani. Kschessinskaya made her first appearance in the west in February when she was invited to dance at the Casino Theatre in Monte Carlo by Raoul Guinsberg.

Matilda F. Kshesinskaya is not only a synonym of Russian ballet at the turn of the 20th century, but also was a significant personality in the life of high society and culture of St. Petersburg in the last decades of the Russian Empire. Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student. Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. We will occasionally send you account related emails. Want us to write one just for you? Reasons to Embrace Sheer Curtains Essay.

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