Thanks, Catherine, for this touching review. I’ll try to read it again more carefully and maybe get into some of the videos. From my viewing of a Don Quixote segment, she was extremely vibrant and her moves was wonderfully clear and articulate. Here are a few quotes about her.
“Her [Evgenia Obraztsova] coach during her first season there was Ninel Kurgapkina, one of the Kirov’s most spirited ballerinas of the 1950s and ’60s. She had partnered both Nureyev and Baryshnikov before their defections, and had helped Nureyev to stage La Bayadère in Paris just before he died. She took the young Genia, as she is called, under her experienced wing and started preparing her for future roles—Shyrin (The Legend of Love), Aurora, the Sylph, Giselle, Kitri. That same year, Obraztsova made her debut in Romeo and Juliet….”http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/Feb ... lowing-Gem
“Ninel Alexandrovna Kurgapkina (Russian: Нинель Александровна Кургапкина; 13 February 1929, Leningrad – 8 May 2009, near St. Petersburg) was a Russian dance teacher and former prima ballerina for the Kirov Ballet with over 50 years stage experience. She was named a People's Artist of the USSR in 1974.
Ninel Kurgapkina was one of the last pupils of Agrippina Vaganova. She graduated her ballet school and joined the Kirov Ballet in 1947, where she danced such roles as Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty), Myrtha (Giselle), Odette-Odile (Swan Lake), Kitri (Don Quixote) and Parasha (The Bronze Horseman). She was appointed a director of the Vaganova Academy in 1972.
Despite their age difference, Ninel Kurgapkina was the first female ballet partner to Rudolf Nureyev, and later Mikhail Baryshnikov, both of whom were trained at the Kirov.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninel_Kurgapkina