Gala Tribute to Natalia Dudinskaya
Natalia Mikhailovna Dudinskaya (1912 – 2003)
Prima-balerina of the Kirov Ballet (Mariinsky). Teacher of the Vaganova School (Academy of the Russian Ballet).
April 15,2012. Opera and Ballet Theater of Conservatory.
On April 15th,2012 with the support of the Committee on Culture of Saint-Petersburg and Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation , – XI Dance Open Festival will hold 100th anniversary celebrations dedicated to the outstanding dancer of the 20th century Natalia Dudinskaya
The daughter of a dancer and musician, who ran a ballet studio in Kharkov, where the young Dudinskaya first studied, she entered the Petrograd Ballet School in 1923, and graduated in 1931, having finished her studies with Vaganova.
Even before her graduation she had danced the roles of Princess Florine and Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, and in her first season at the GATOB – Kirov (ex-Mariinsky) she danced Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Kitri (Don Quixote), and Masha in The Nutcracker. During her long career (some waiting ballerinas said that it was too long) she danced all of the classical repertoire (she had a monopoly on Giselle), with an unsurpassed technique – surviving film shows a high, powerful jump, five pirouettes en pointe, a lightning man of piques turns. She was the essence of a Petipa ballerina; as such her best roles were the Grand pas in Paquita, and the Kingdom of the Shades scene in La Bayadere. For Dudinskaya technique was everything, dramatic truth was secondary, although in Swan Lake there is a beguiling magnificence about her Odile, seducing Siegfried with a regal display of ballet fireworks.
The drama ballets did not suit her so well, despite that she created many of the leading female roles in the Soviet repertoire:
- The Flames of Paris (1932)
- Lost Illusions (1936)
- Taras Bulba (1940)
- Cinderella (1942, with Sergeyev, her husband)
- Laurencia (1939) and most famously the title role in Laurencia, with Chabukiani.
- As late as 1950 she was the first to dance the Bird-Girl – Suimbike, in Shuraleh,
- Paths of Thunder (1958) – Sari .
Since 1960 Dudinskaya was teaching at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. Among her students were: Valentina Gannibalova, Eva Evdokimova, Elena Alkanova, Alla Sigalova, Galina Rakhmanova, Margarita Kullik, Uliana Lopatkina, Anastasia Volochkova. As well as the founders of the International Ballet Festival Dance Open -Ekaterina Galanova and Vasily Medvedev.
As the brightest light in art, of course, shines the name Natalia Dudinskaya, the undisputed prima ballerina of the St. Petersburg ballet of the twentieth century. Her legend of today is connected to the legends of Pavlova, Karsavina and Nijinsky. But it is only her, Dudinskaya, who appears as the link between the two centuries.