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Violet Bovt, Stanislavsky ballerina, 1958

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Violet Bovt, also known as Violetta Trofimovna Bovt (1927-1995) is a dancer identified with Moscow's Stanislavsky, a.k.a. Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater, and about whom i know only a little.

she's pictured here with Eugene, a.k.a. Evgenii, Kuzmin, about whom i know nothing, in a production of JOAN OF ARK, which the captioning identifies by composer but not choreographer.



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Bovt is the subject of a longish (one hour+) Russian TV documentary, now available on YouTube, of which this is part one:

I had the surprise-honor of meeting Ms Bovt in Cairo, Egypt (of all places!) in summer 1989. I was at the Shepherd Hotel, waiting for my apartment to be finished. Ohio Ballet/Ballet MET (of Columbus) was playing at the Cairo Opera House, with cast & crew staying at the Shepherd! At that time, I knew of Bovt just as a former superstar ballerina of the Stanislavsky troupe. Imagine my surprise when the sweet blonde 'granny' sharing my breakfast-buffet table was one and the same. She said her name after she told me that she was in town with the company, who I had seen at Cairo Opera the night before. I almost fell out of my chair. The funny intersections in life! She was the regisseur and, I believe, passed away a few years after that Cairo tour.

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many thanks, N.

do we suppose this listing (below) from NYPL names the prod. being danced in the Bovt tv prog. linked above?

Don Juan : Original title: Don-Zhuan. Chor: Aleksei Chichinadze; mus: Richard Strauss (Don Juan); lib: Gennadii Provatorov and Aleksei Chichinadze; scen: IA. Markovich. First perf: Moscow, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater, Dec 31, 1962, Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Ballet.

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Indeed. That's one of several ballets in the Stanislavsky of the 1950s/60s/70s featured in the film. I especially love Bovt's leaping 'entrance solo' in Bourmeister's Esmeralda.

She was the first Soviet ballerina to dance the role of Tatyana in Cranko's Onegin, which she did in her late 40s (pushing age 50).

By the way, Bovt was perfectly bilingual, speaking both English and Russian without accent. She was born a US citizen (in L.A.!) but made her mark as a great Soviet ballerina -- the muse of Bourmeister, one of the greatest Soviet ballet choreographers. What an amazing bio book her story would make.

Link to an earlier BalletAlert/BalletTalk thread about her:


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further thanks, N. for the info and link to previous discussions of Bovt.

perhaps interestingly, Martha Graham's TRIUMPH OF ST. JOAN, a solo work for herself from1951, and her Joan of Arc-inspired dance in which she had no role, SERAPHIC DIALOGUE, 1955, both closely predate the '58 Stansilavsky ballet, which also curiously doesn't have a listing that i can find in the NYPL dance cat.

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scan of a recently acquired photo of American-born, Moscow-trained Soviet ballerina Violeta Bovt, taken presumably in Paris, in 1956 when the Stanislavsky Theater of Moscow played Vladimir Burmeistger's SWAN LAKE (the one that tried to more or less go back to the 1877 scheme of Tchaikovsky's score).



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