Ludmilla Tchérina

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Ludmilla Tchérina
Ludmila Tchérina.jpg
in The Red Shoes (1948)
Monique Tchemerzine

(1924-10-10)10 October 1924
Died21 March 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 French woman.

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.

Ludmilla Tcherina 1955 at Frankfurt airport
Grave of Tcherina at the Montmartre Cemetery

Personal life[edit]

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.


Year Title Role Notes
1946 Un revenant Karina
1948 The Red Shoes Irina Boronskaja
1949 Fandango Angélica
1950 Here Is the Beauty Mireille Oslava
1950 La nuit s'achève Danielle Chevalier
1951 The Tales of Hoffmann Giulietta
1951 Clara de Montargis Clara
1951 Parsifal Kundry
1952 Grand Gala Monique
1953 Sins of Rome Amitys
1954 La figlia di Mata Hari Elyne
1954 Sign of the Pagan Princess Pulcheria
1955 Oh... Rosalinda!! Rosalinda
1959 Honeymoon Anna
1962 The Lovers of Teruel Isa
1964 Une ravissante idiote

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