Bessmertnova as Giselle, 1966.
Natalia Igorevna Bessmertnova
19 July 1941
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Died||19 February 2008 (aged 66)|
Natalia Bessmertnova was born in Moscow in 1941 and trained at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography from 1953-61. Among her teachers were Sofia Golovkina and Marina Semyonova. She graduated in 1961 as the first student in the school's history receiving A+ in the final examinations. In 1963, she joined the Bolshoi Ballet and was its prima ballerina for three decades. She was married to Yuri Grigorovich, former Director and Chief choreographer of the Bolshoi. When Yury Grigorovich was forced to leave the Bolshoi in 1995, she took part in a historic strike which led to cancellations of scheduled performances.
- Giselle in Lavrosky's 1963 Giselle production
- Leili in Goleizovsky's Leili and Mejnun 1964
- Anastasia in Grigorovich's Ivan the Terrible (Prokofiev) 1975
- Valentina in Grigorovich's The Angara 1976
- Juliet in Grigorovich's new Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev) 1979
- Rita in Grigorovich's The Golden Age (Shostakovich) in 1982
- Raymonda in Grigorovich's new Raymonda production 1984
- Giselle in Grigorovich's Giselle in 1991
Other important roles
- Phrygia in Spartacus
- Odette-Odile in Swan Lake
- Shirin in Legend of Love
- Kitri in Don Quixote
- Maria in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai
- The girl in Le Spectre de la Rose
- Gold Medal at Varna International Ballet Competition in 1965.
- The Anna Pavlova Prize in Paris 1970.
- USSR State Prize (1977) and Lenin Prize (1986).
- People's Artist of the USSR in 1976.
- Bessmertnova bio, Bolshoi.ru; accessed 27 June 2018.(in Russian)
- Obituary, New York Times, 20 February 2008; accessed 27 June 2018.
- BBC obit
- Clarke, Mary & Vaughan, David (1977) The Encyclopaedia of Dance and Ballet. Pitman Publishing; pg. 63
- British Pathé. New Russian Ballet "A Vision Of A Rose" (1968). Retrieved 2018-08-31.
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