(née Violetta Prokhorova; b Moscow, 3 Nov. 1925)
Soviet-British dancer. She studied at Bolshoi Ballet School with Gerdt, Kozhukova, and others and in 1942 graduated into the Bolshoi Ballet as a soloist. In 1943 she danced as ballerina with State Theatre Tashkent and in 1944 re-joined the Bolshoi at its wartime location in Kuibyshev. After returning to Moscow with the company (1945–6) she left for London with her English husband and joined Sadler's Wells Ballet where she remained as principal dancer until 1956. A dancer with an exotic glamour and attack rare in the UK, she also represented Britain's first close acquaintance with the Soviet style. She danced most of the ballerina roles as well as creating roles in Ashton's Cinderella (Summer Fairy, 1948), Daphnis and Chloe (Lykanion, 1951), Homage to the Queen (1953), and Birthday Offering (1956), and Petit's Ballabile (1950). She also guested with various companies including La Scala, Milan, and retired from the stage in 1956. Between 1985 and 1986 she was ballet director at Teatro San Carlo, Naples.