Felia Doubrovska Remembered

Like her colleague George Balanchine, Felia Doubrovska (b. 1896) was a graduate of the Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg and danced with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes after fleeing Russia. In 1949 she was invited by Balanchine to join the School of American Ballet, where she taught advanced girls’ classes until shortly before her death in 1981. In this program, former students and Balanchine ‘muses’, including Allegra Kent, Maria Calegari, Tanaquil LeClercq and Maria Tallchief, share reminiscences of Doubrovska, recalling her gentle manner and the long, elegant legs that marked her as the prototype Balanchine ballerina.

The program includes excerpts of a 1978 interview with Doubrovska in which she touches on the important roles she created with the Ballets Russes, including the Bride in Nijinska’s Les Noces and the Siren in Balanchine’s Prodigal Son. The film also references her friendly rivalry with fellow Ballets Russes dancer Alexandra Danilova. Although the dialogue is tricky to catch, footage from 1975 captures their banter as they reconstruct a male variation from Fokine’s Le Pavillon d’Armide. Produced and directed by Virginia Brooks, 2008.

Region Code: 0
Format & Aspect Ratio: NTSC, 4:3
Number of discs: 1
Run time: 36 minutes
Studio: Brooks Dance Films and Video
Release date: 2008