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Nadia Nerina (1927 - 2008)

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I am sad to learn that Nadia Nerina a former leading ballerina of the Royal Ballet, passed away yesterday.

Miss Nerina will be most remembered for being the original Lise in Sir Frederick Ashton's "La Fille Mal Gardee" and for me, remains the best exponent of this role in which the whole of the original cast gave a magical performance.

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i've attached the one photo i have of Nerina's Lise.

tho' i didn't see her live, i have seen her performances on film, including her Lise, Firebird, Giselle, Ballerina (in PETROUCHKA) and Swanilda, and much comes through.

Even on film, NN's Lise is vivid, vibrant and unforgettable.


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Is there any further information on her death? I can't find any obituaries by googling. She reached a ripe age, I think she must have been around 81.

Nadia Nerina died at her home in the south of France, apparently after a long illness. She leaves behind her husband Charles Gordon who she married in 1956.

Nerina was born in South Africa on 21 October 1927, where she received her early training (Cecchetti Method) which was completed in London where she came to live and study, firstly at the Rambert Ballet School and then at the Sadlers wells Ballet School. She joined the Sadlers Wells Theatre Ballet in 1946 and was made a soloist in 1947 and became a Principal dancer in 1952.

A film of her in Giselle with Nikolai Fadeyechev is among the filmed legacy she has left for us to admire together with the TV broadcast of La Fille Mal Gardee with David Blair. She had appeared as Giiselle at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1960 with Fadeyechev achieving great acclaim.

With the Royal Ballet, Nerina was to create roles for Ashton, Cranko, MacMillan and Helpmann and danced all the ballerina roles of her time.

Perhaps not always able to exhibit the lyrical side of her art, Nerina was always able to astound with her technical abilities without vulgarity. In both Giselle and La Fille Mal Gardee she was able to exhibit charm,

superb technical ability (not caught very well on film) and inhabited the roles to great effect.

Alongside Dame Margot Fonteyn and Svetlana Beriosova, Nerina was one of the trio of Royal Ballet dancers who were among the leading exemplars of British ballet, dancing leading roles up until 1966.

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Thanks for the info, leonid. I'd love to see the Giselle with Fadeyechev!

Nerina was born in South Africa on 21 October 1927, where she received her early training (Cecchetti Method) which was completed in London where she came to live and study,

I know :)

Her stepmother, Mrs. Judd, used to live close to us. My mother still points out the house to me.

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I was deeply saddened to learn that Nadia Nerina has passed away. When I lived in London she was one of my favorite ballerinas.

My fondest memory of her (which I have probably told before) was when she used to come to Madame Cleo Nordi for private class. Very often she stayed on and did at least barre with Madame's regular pupils. One tried hard not to stare in awe with gaping mouth! She was so kind and gracious and a real role model to us all.

There is an anecdote (true) that I would like to share with you. Miss Nerina was very fond of cats and in her apartment in Davies Street in London's Mayfair she had a room for her pets. One of the lesser English papers wrote a venomous article about that she ought to give that room to a homeless family in stead.

What a privilege it is to have been in class with her - I miss her very much. RIP my dear Nadia Nerina.

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