CriticalDance Forum

Passing of Natalia Bessmertnova
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Author:  @urelie [ Tue Feb 19, 2008 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  Passing of Natalia Bessmertnova

The russian Ballerina died at the age 66, after a long disease: ... _uHcQEW0lw

Author:  ericajones80 [ Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:03 pm ]
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RIP :(

Author:  Francis Timlin [ Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:20 pm ]
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Here is a notice from the Associated Press wire:

Associated Press

Author:  LMCtech [ Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:24 pm ]
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Wow, I thought she was older than that. A great loss to the ballet community.

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:52 pm ]
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This is a great loss to the international ballet community, made doubly so by her relatively young age.

I last saw her walking into the antechamber of the Director's Box at the Mariinsky Theatre, about 3 years ago. I was interviewing Grigorovich at the time, and she entered, this minute, tiny thing, her hair still down to her waist and a beautiful deep brown. Her husband was speaking to me at that moment, she saw us talking and she left the room to wait for him. I was stunned; I had never seen her in person, was trying to finish the interview on a tight time schedule, but remember being overtaken by her presence... the presence of this great ballerina who in real life was very, very small! She emanated grace, no question about it. I send my deep condolences to her friends and family. Mr. Grigorovich must be beside himself. I imagine the Bolshoi will be packed for her service.

Author:  Cygne [ Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:00 pm ]
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She was a great Giselle as well as an outstanding Juliet! This is a
great loss - to her beloved husband Grigorovich and to the Bolshoi.
May she rest in peace.

Author:  @urelie [ Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:34 pm ]
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Cassandra wrote:
I have to confess to shedding a tear at the news of the death of Natalia Bessmertnova, one of the true stars of the ballet firmament and a dancer of very special gifts. Although most famous for her roles in Giselle and Swan Lake, she was also the inspiration for the female leads in most of her husband Yuri Grigorovich’s ballets. In a way she became a little type cast as her soulful face was perfect for tragic ballets but I still remember her as one of the best Kitris I ever saw; with her soaring jump and dark, almost Spanish looks she was perfect for the role.

Bessmertnova forged a wonderful partnership with her contemporary, Mikhail Lavrovsky, a very forceful dancer with a powerful technique. They formed a contrast rather like Fonteyn and Nureyev but still complemented one another perfectly, her later partner, Mukhamedov, lacked Lavrovsky’s innate elegance, but was considered at the time the most suitable male dancer for Grigorovich’s male roles.

Quite a number of recordings of Bessmertnova’s performances exist, the bulk of them were made in the late 1980’s when her technique was slipping a little, however there are at least two earlier recordings of Giselle and Romeo & Juliet (both with Mikhail Lavrovsky) that show her at her very best.

Natalia Bessmertnova was a descendent of Russia’s national poet, Alexander Pushkin and clearly inherited her ancestor’s gift of poetry as few dancers were capably of such poetic and at times almost unearthly dancing as Bessmertova, whether as Juliet, Giselle or Phrygia she elevated all the characters she portrayed to a higher plane.

In English Bessmertnova’s name means literally: ‘without death’, in other words her surname means immortal. For me, no name was ever as apt.

Author:  @urelie [ Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:36 pm ]
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I invite you to read this 1964 article from ... id=googlep

Author:  ksneds [ Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:48 am ]
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As Bessmertnova was associated with the Bolshoi (not the Kirov), and we have an existing topic in a more appropriate forum ( Ballet in Europe), I am going to close this topic and provide a link from there to the posts here.


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