Ludmilla Tchérina

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Ludmilla Tchérina
Ludmila Tchérina.jpg
in The Red Shoes (1948)
Born Monique Tchemerzine
(1924-10-10)October 10, 1924
Paris, France
Died March 21, 2004(2004-03-21) (aged 79)
Paris, France
Spouse(s) Edmond Audran (1946–1951) his death
Raymond Roi (1953–2004) her death

Ludmilla Tchérina (10 October 1924 – 21 March 2004) was a French prima ballerina, sculptor, actress, painter, choreographer and author of two novels.

Tchérina was born Monique Tchemerzine, into Circassian aristocracy as the daughter of Kabardian Prince Avenir Tchemerzine (Shamyrze), a former Russian general, who had escaped from St. Petersburg, and Stéphane Finette, a Frenchwoman.

She studied with Blanche d'Alessandri, Olga Preobrajenska and Clustine. She started dancing at 16 and danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, where she was spotted by Serge Lifar. She made her Paris debut creating the rôle of Juliet in his Romeo and Juliet in 1942, becoming the youngest prima ballerina in the history of dance. In 1945 she was a principal dancer with the Ballet des Champs-Élysées and performed in Paris concerts with her husband Edmond Audran. She created various rôles in Lifar's ballets including: 'Mephisto Waltz' in 1945, A la memoire d'un heros in 1946 and in Le Martyre de Saint-Sebastian in 1957. She appeared often with the Paris Opera, the Bolshoi Ballet and the Kirov Ballet as a guest performer.

Ludmilla Tchérina acted in several films including The Red Shoes, Les Rendezvous, The Tales of Hoffmann, Oh... Rosalinda!! and Luna de Miel. She also appeared in television. In the 1980s she turned to writing and published two novels under her own name, L'Amour au Miroir (1973) and La Femme a L'Envers (1986).

Ludmilla Tchérina had a lifelong passion for painting and exhibited in many major galleries. She also conceived and executed several monumental sculptures, including Europe à Coeur, chosen in 1991 by the EU to symbolise the union of Europe and now located at the European Parliament. In 1994 she created Europa Operanda, now installed at the French terminal of Eurotunnel.

Edmond Audran, whom she married in 1946, died in a car accident in 1951. She married Raymond Roi in 1953.

She was decorated with the "Officier, Legion d'honneur" in 1980

Tchérina died in 2004, aged 79, and is buried at the Montmartre Cemetery, Paris.

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