Irina Baronova

(b. 1919)

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(b Petrograd, 28 Feb. 1919)

Russian-born dancer, one of the three ‘baby ballerinas’. Although she was born in Russia her entire career was in the West. She studied with Preobrajenska as a child in Paris, where her parents settled after emigrating from Russia. In 1932, at the age of 13, she was hired by Balanchine as one of three baby ballerinas for the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, the other two being Toumanova and Riabouchinska. She created roles in Massine's Les Présages, Jeux d'enfants, Beau Danube (1933), and Nijinska's Les Cent Baisers (1935). In 1939 she went to the US, appearing in the Hollywood film Florian (1939). When her husband (German Sevastianov) became managing director of (American) Ballet Theatre, she joined the company as prima ballerina (1941–42). She performed with various companies in the US throughout the 1940s, guesting with Denham's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and de Basil's Original Ballet Russe in New York and Cuba. She made a second film, Yolanda (Mexico, 1942), and appeared with Massine in the musical A Bullet in the Ballet. She retired from the ballet stage in 1946 and lived in England for many years. In 1986 she staged Fokine's Les Sylphides for Australian Ballet.

Subjects: Dance.

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