Vyroubova, Nina (1921—)

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Vyroubova, Nina (1921—)

Russian-born French ballerina . Born in 1921 in Gourzouv, USSR; educated at the Lycée Jules Perry, Paris; studied ballet with Vera Trefilova, Olga Preobrazhenska, Victor Gsovsky, Boris Kniaseff, Lubov Egorova, Serge Lifar, Nicholas Zverev, and Yves Brieux.

Appeared in Irene Lidova's Soirées de la Danse (1944); had first major success in La Sylphide, Les Ballets des Champs Élysées (1946); was première danseuse étoile of Paris Opéra (1949–56); ballerina with Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas (1957–61); won Prix Pavlova of the Institut Chorégraphique de Paris (1957); was guest ballerina with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (1961–62), and ballet of the Colón Theater, Buenos Aires (1964).

Nina Vyroubova was born in 1921 in Gourzouv in the Crimea and began studying dance as a child with her mother, a ballet teacher. She continued her education at the Lycée Jules Perry in Paris, and her teachers included Vera Trefilova, Olga Preobrazhenska , Victor Gsovsky, Boris Kniaseff, Lyubov Egorova , Serge Lifar, Nicholas Zverev, and Yves Brieux. Vyroubova first began attracting attention in the mid-1940s, appearing in Soirées de la Danse, organized by Irene Lidova , in 1944 (dancing with Roland Petit in Giselle and Nightingale and the Rose) and creating the principal role in Petit's Les Forains in 1945.

Her first major success came in 1946, when she danced the title role of La Sylphide, recreated by Victor Gsovsky from Filippo Taglioni's original ballet of 1832 for Les Ballets des Champs Élysées. In 1949, Vyroubova became the première danseuse étoile of the Paris Opéra, one of the few dancers trained outside the company to attain such a position.

She continued at the Paris Opéra until 1956, her repertoire including the classic ballets as well as Blanche Neige, Firebird (the Lifar version), and Les Noces Fantastiques. From 1957 to 1961, Vyroubova was ballerina with the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas, dancing Giselle, Swan Lake, and L'Amour et son Destin, among others. In 1957, her performance in Giselle won the Prix Pavlova of the Institut Chorégraphique de Paris.

She was one of the Auroras in the Marquis de Cuevas' final production, The Sleeping Beauty. After his death, she appeared as guest ballerina with a number of companies, including the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (for their United States tour of 1961–62) and the ballet of the Colón Theater in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1964). She then returned to France to continue dancing and teaching.

Paula Morris , D.Phil., Brooklyn, New York