Avdotia Istomina


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(b St Petersburg, 17 Jan. 1799; d St Petersburg, 8 Jul. 1848)

Russian dancer. She studied with Didelot at the Imperial Theatre School, St Petersburg and made her debut as Galatée (a role she created) in his Acis and Galatea (1816). A dancer with an outstanding technique for her time, famed for her speed, elevation, and pirouettes, she was also a fine actress and created leading roles in several of Didelot's ballets, including Cora and Alonso (1820), Alcestis (1821), and The Prisoner of the Caucasus (1823). She was also renowned for her performances in Zéphire et Flore. Pushkin described her glowingly in the opening chapter of Eugene Onegin and also wrote the ballet libretto Les Deux Danseuses with her in mind. She also frequently appeared in vaudeville and drama, retiring from the stage in 1836. She died of cholera.

Subjects: Dance.

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