Lubov Tchernicheva


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(b St Petersburg, 17 Sept. 1890; d Richmond, Surrey, 1 Mar. 1976)

Russian-British dancer, teacher and ballet mistress. She studied at the Imperial Theatre School in St Petersburg with Fokine; later with Cecchetti. Upon graduation in 1908, she joined the Mariinsky Theatre where she married the ballet regisseur Grigoriev in 1909. Together they went to the Diaghilev company in 1911. She became a principal dancer with Diaghilev and stayed with the company until it folded in 1929, one of its finest character dancers. She created roles in many ballets, among them Massine's The Good-Humoured Ladies (1917), La Boutique fantasque (1919), Pulcinella (1920), Zéphire et Flore (1925), and Le Pas d'acier (1927), Nijinska's Les Noces (1923) and Les Fâcheux (1924), and Balanchine's Jack-in-the-Box (1926), The Triumph of Neptune (1926), Apollon musagète (Calliope, 1928), and The Gods Go a-Begging (1928). She also danced the Fokine repertory including the roles of Zobeide, Thamar, and Cleopatra. In 1926 she was appointed ballet mistress to the Diaghilev company. In 1932 she and her husband joined de Basil's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, where she worked as ballet mistress, remaining with the company (later the Original Ballet Russe) until de Basil's enterprise finally folded in 1952. She came out of retirement to create the title role in Lichine's Francesca da Rimini (1937). In 1952 she settled in England. Thereafter she and her husband staged productions of the Diaghilev repertoire, including Firebird for Sadler's Wells Ballet in 1954 and Petrushka for the Royal Ballet in 1957. She worked as a teacher for both Sadler's Wells Ballet and London Festival Ballet. She made her last stage appearance in 1957 as Juliet's mother in Cranko's Romeo and Juliet.

Subjects: Dance.

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