Jane Simpson

Eva Evdokimova

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There's now quite a long piece by Jennifer Dunning in the online version of the NY Times, at least.

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Thank you very much for posting this. A beautiful tribute to a wonderful artist and very kind person. :wub:

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This is been an eloquent and very moving thread. Thank you, all, for your impressions and memories.

Paul, you make it possible for me to see complex and subtle things that I never would understood or appreciated without reading your description. Thanks.

I agree entirely with Drew about the clips from Giselle and Sylphide:

... these clips fully captured not just my attention but my imagination.

Evdokimova moves, in the Giselle thread, like someone released from constraints of time and weight. I thought of someone moving underwater, though freer, less impeded by resistance. From the very first seconds of the clip, as she walks away from Albrecht, turns her head and amazingly long neck back to him, and extends curved arms, one forward, one back, this is one of the most beautiful ballet sequences I've ever seen.

So many Giselles only suggest what the role can be, esepcially in Act II. Evdokimova turns movement, even small gestures, into deep characterization. I wish I had seen her dance this on stage.

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There was a small and very beautiful obituary in the Sunday NY Times written by I am assuming Eva's husband Michael. If any of you still have the paper it is in the first section of the paper on page 20. It is hard to believe that the NY Times has not written a wonderful article about her. This is an unhappy state of affairs. :wub:

I graduated high school with Michael. He is a gifted pianist. He was absolutely in love and devoted to Eva. I ran into him on a bus last year and he spoke about her like they were 2 high school students in love. My heart goes out to him.

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There's now quite a long piece by Jennifer Dunning in the online version of the NY Times, at least.

Jennifer's piece is very moving and captures Eva's essence perfectly. It's on page 14 of the print edition.

My friend Jean-Marie Wynants, the dance critic for Le Soir in Brussels, has written an obituary that appears in today's issue. The article is not yet available on the free portion of the site, but may become available there in coming days.

I did a quick translation of the piece and will paste it here:

The extraordinary dancer Eva Evdokimova died during the night of Thursday to Friday in New York, after a long illness. Dancer, choreographer, teacher, she appeared on the most famous stages in the world and was Rudolf Nureyev's regular partner.

Contrary to what her last name woul suggest, Eva Evdokimova was American, born in Geneva in 1948, of a Bulgarian father and an American mother. After Geneva, she spent a good part of her childhood and youth in Germany and England. This very international life gave her a knolwedge of languages that she never ceased to perfect, adding to English, French, German, Russian and Chinese. [This is wrong, actually--it was Japanese.] But from one country to another, she pursued the true passion that drove her throughout her existence: dance.

As a child, she began her studies in Munich then followed this at the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London, from 1959. After that, her passion took her to the far corners of the world, making her unique in the history of dance. She quickly understood that in addition to classical technique, one must be open to other domains. She was to study music, theatre, and art history. These were among so many elements that were to nourish her interpretations and make her such an exceptional teacher.

As a dancer, she accumulated many "firsts": First foreign ballerina to enter in the the very closed Royal Danish Ballet, the first American to perform with the Kirov, the first American to receive the title of Prima Ballerina Assoluta abroad (at the Deutsche Oper Ballet in Berlin), the first American to receive the Ulanova prize in Moscow....

These "firsts" must not obscure the essential: the formidable talent of this ballerina, who knew how to dazle audiences everywhere, from New York to Moscow, and passing through Berlin, Peking, and the Paris Opera Ballet. If, during 15 years, she was Rudolf Nureyev's partner, she also shared the stage with many other great names of ballet. Her performances, of which happily there remain records, still fire all lovers of ballet today.

It suffices to see her in La Sylphide (a wonderful film clip is available on YouTube) in order to understand the art of this dancer edowed with an extraordinary energy behind a frail appearance. The greatest talent of Evdokimova was perhaps to know how to divinely move audiences where so many others succeeded only in dazzling them. To an irreproachable technique (that she later taught at the greatest international companies), she allied a magical grace and elegance. To see her today, in black and white, moving with so much grace and lightness that she seems literally to float in the air, leaves no doubt: A dancer has gone but her star will shine forever.

--JEAN-MARIE WYNANTS

Translated by Nicole Dekle Collins

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I am deeply saddened by the passing of this great artist. I'm also very sorry that I had so few opportunities to see her perform, because judging by what I did see, she was a Romantic ballerina nonpareil. Her line, her lightness and her jump were absolutely astonishing. My wretched old pirate of the Evdokimova/Schaufuss/Larsen La Sylphide is one of the ballet films I prize most.

May she rest in peace.

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In today’s Guardian, Mary Clarke doyenne of London ballet critics, has given us a beautifully sensitive obituary for Evie that conjures up her qualities so well and quietly puts her in the context of ballet history.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/apr/0...-eva-evdokimova

Thank you so much for letting us know. As you say, it's an extraordinary piece.

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Mary Clarke's tribute was a beautiful one, and unusual for much dance writing now, for she establishes the context of Evdokimova's dance career and accomplishments.

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