Vera Nemchinova


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(b Moscow, 26 Aug. 1899; d New York, 22 Jul. 1984)

Russian dancer and teacher. She studied privately with Lydia Nelidova in Moscow from 1911 and with Elizabeth Anderson from 1914. Later she studied with both Nikolai Legat and Enrico Cecchetti. In 1915 she was recruited to join the corps de ballet of Diaghilev's company, and remained with the Ballets Russes until 1926. In 1921 she was named principal dancer and in her final years with Diaghilev she was his leading ballerina. She created roles in Massine's Boutique fantasque (1919), Pulcinella (1920), and Les Matelots (1925), and in Nijinska's Les Biches (1924), a memorable role as the girl in blue. Her career after leaving Diaghilev was peripatetic. She danced with the Cochran Revue in London, with the Mordkin Ballet on its US tour, with the Lithuanian State Opera Ballet at Kaunas (1931–5), and with Blum's Ballets de Monte Carlo (from 1936), where she created a leading role in Fokine's 1936 L'épreuve d'amour. She also danced with the Markova-Dolin Ballet, with de Basil's Original Ballet Russe and, after moving to New York in 1941, with Ballet Theatre. She was founder, with Anton Dolin, of the Nemchinova-Dolin Ballet in 1927, and created leading roles in Dolin's The Nightingale and the Rose and Rhapsody in Blue. She was also founder and ballerina of Ballets Russes de Vera Nemchinova (1928–30), for which Balanchine created Aubade (1930) with Nemchinova in the role of Diana. She toured S. America and guested in Latvia. For almost 40 years she taught in New York at her own studio.

Subjects: Dance.

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