Sophie Fedorovitch


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(b Minsk, 15 Dec. 1893; d London, 25 Jan. 1953)

Russian-British stage designer who played a seminal role in the development of British ballet. She studied painting in Moscow and at the St Petersburg Academy but after the Revolution settled in London in 1920. During the next decade she lived in various European cities, exhibiting her paintings but from 1932 worked almost exclusively in stage design. Her first professional commission came from Rambert, to design Ashton's first ballet A Tragedy of Fashion (1926). She and Ashton became close friends and collaborators and she designed many of his works including Le Baiser de la fée (1935), Symphonic Variations (1946), and Valses nobles et sentimentales (1947), the sophisticated economy of her design having an important influence on his choreography. She designed for several other British choreographers including de Valois, Tudor, and Howard as well as for opera and theatre. Between 1951 and 1953 she was a member of the artistic advisory panel of Sadler's Wells Ballet—a role she had unofficially undertaken for many years.

Subjects: Dance.

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