CriticalDance Forum

Natalya Dudinskaya
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Author:  coda [ Sat Feb 01, 2003 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Natalya Dudinskaya

I dare to correct a few inaccuracies, which I noticed in the article in "The Guardian".
Dudinskaya did NOT "withdraw from the leading roles in 1952." She was forty at that time and full of vigour. She was dancing "Laurencia" with Nureyev in 1959.
She did NOT "hand over the direction of Vaganova School to Altynai Asylmuratova". Altynai became the Artistic Director of the Vaganova School about two years ago but before her this post was occupied by Igor Belsky for quite a long time.
It is a pity that the name of this famous school is misspelt in The Guardian twice: "Baganova" instead of "Vaganova".

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Feb 03, 2003 5:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Natalya Dudinskaya

The Daily Telegraph piece below means that all the major London papers have published an obituary now.

Natalia Dudinskaya
Obituary ffom The Daily Telegraph

Natalia Dudinskaya, who has died aged 90, was the femme formidable of Russian ballet; as prima ballerina and later teacher with the Kirov Ballet of Leningrad (now St Petersburg) she dominated Soviet ballet for more than half a century.

A favourite pupil of Agrippina Vaganova, the Tsarist-era ballerina who trained generations of Russian dancers, Natalia Dudinskaya made her name in the 1930s in the roles of Odette-Odile in Swan Lake and Masha in Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, and was known as one of the best of all interpreters of Giselle.

Her exuberance and technical mastery combined the discipline of the Russian classical tradition with the fluid grace of French and Italian ballet. Later as artistic director of the Kirov and then of the Vaganova Academy, she inspired new generations of dancers with her ruthless commitment and technical virtuosity.

click for more

<small>[ 03 February 2003, 07:01 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Feb 03, 2003 7:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Natalya Dudinskaya

I've just got round to checking DavidH's link on page 1 of this topic and the tribute, written before her death, is certainly worth reading:

Natalia Mikhailovna Dudinskaya
prima ballerina of Kirov-ballet (Mariinski ballet), teacher. By Svetlana Slivinskaya, originally published in Magasin Ballet Art Nr.:1.

She always responds to all that is of high-quality and value, and she always gives everyone kind and wise advice. She has many awards and titles. Recently she received a "Triumph" prize and was given the title of countess. But above all, she rises to the name of "Honorable Citizen of St. Petersburg." She truly is a complement to this great city.

There was one incredible duet with Natalia Mikhailovna Dudinskaya and Konstantin Mikhailovich Sergeyev. It was a duet not only on the stage, but also in life. On St. Valentine's Day, a day of celebration for all who are in love, at the International Art Festival she was presented an honorable diploma for her outstanding portrayals of being in love on the ballet stage.

Natalia Mikhailovna Dudinskaya is love, beauty, kindness and perfection. They are her.

click for more

On this website dedicated to the dancer, there is also an extensive picture gallery.

<small>[ 03 February 2003, 08:08 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  librarian [ Mon Feb 03, 2003 7:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Natalya Dudinskaya

Very nice, Stuart. Thanks. The last obituary contains an error in that Dudinskaya and Sergeyev did not have children, the son mentioned is Sergeyev's son by a first marriage, who died tragically in a motor vehicle accident at a young age. She was an amazing and wonderful woman indeed.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Feb 06, 2003 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Natalya Dudinskaya

Here is an e-mail I sent to The Independent three days ago. To date I have not received a reply, but I will post one if it comes:


To the Obituaries Editor

I am one of the Directors of and I am writing to let you
know the anger that the above obituary has caused around the world.

As part of our usual procedures, We posted a link to the piece and I give
below the link to the post where this is given. If you read subsequent
posts you will see that our readers, who include a number of ex-professionals
were shocked and surprised at a number of the comments from John Gregory.;f=4;t=001628#000019

In particular, this obituary appears to be based on much second-hand rumour.
The Russian ballet scene is notoriously competitive and anyone as successful
as Dudinskaya will be the subject of jealousy. Thus great care is required
in differentiating between well founded comments and malicious gossip.
There is no indication that Gregory has tried to do this.

Gregory's obituary of Richard Buckle published a couple of years ago is
even more vitriolic. Given that John Gregory was a relatively minor figure
on the UK ballet scene, who suffered the trauma of his small company Harlequin
being forced to close, it does seem at least possible that he was jealous
of those who achieved greater recognition in the world of ballet.

As at least one of our readers comments, an obituary like this does little
for the reputation of The Independent in the dance world. May I suggest
that you discuss any remaining obits from Gregory with your dance correspondents
to see if they represent a fair summation of the lives and careers of the
individuals concerned.

Best regards

Stuart Sweeney

UK Director,

<small>[ 06 February 2003, 03:27 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  Cassandra [ Fri Feb 07, 2003 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Natalya Dudinskaya

The Independent has that most fair minded of dance critics, John Percival, writing for them. I am interested to know why, as the most obvious choice, he was not asked to write Dudinskaya's obituary.

Author:  coda [ Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Natalya Dudinskaya

From the Mariinsky website I learnt that tomorrow, on the 26th of March 2004, at noon, a memorial plaque will be unveiled on the house in St.Petersburg where Natalya Dudunskaya lived in 1944-2003.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Natalya Dudinskaya

Thanks for the good news Coda.

For the record, I never did get a reply from the Independent regarding their disgraceful obit from John Gregory. If you haven't seen it don't be tempted - it's best left unread.

Author:  coda [ Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Natalya Dudinskaya

Dear Stuart, first of all, thank you for helping me with 'fishing out' this topic.
And thank you for giving a link to the photo gallery. It was a little bit slow but, luckily, compensated by the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy theme played throughout the viewing.

<small>[ 26 March 2004, 01:29 PM: Message edited by: coda ]</small>

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