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Mme. Hermine

Riabouchinska

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Mention of Tatiana Lichine on another thread made me recall a moment in the late 70s or early 80s when i went to her school in Beverly Hills to do class. walking up to the building, i saw a somewhat pudgy lady in a jogging suit trying to coax a cat out from under a bush; that was her!

we went into the school, where there was a large portrait of her in her youth behind her desk and as I signed up for class, I remarked on it, whereupon she smiled and said perkily: "I used to be Riabouchinska!"

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I saw her when she "used to be Riabouchinska" It was during the '44 - '45 season of Ballet Theatre. She performed in "Graduation Ball" and danced her most famous role of the Prelude in "Les Sylphides". She was not a great technician (she left that to Toumanova)but she had great charm and effervescence, especially in "Graduation Ball" where she and Lichine sparkled. Her "Prelude" was everything I had read or heard about. I really think she was incomparable in this role. So, that little pudgy woman was really quite something at one time!.

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