Aleksandra Danilova
POSTED ON24.02.2021
They say, behind every great man is a great woman. In the case of George Balanchine, there were quite a few. But each and every one of them was important to him. Let’s remember one of his first muses.

Alexandra Danilova was a schoolmate of Balanchine: both of them graduated from the Imperial Theatre School in St Petersburg (now the Vaganova Academy) and joined the Mariinsky Theatre, but in 1924 left the country and never came back.

She is known to have had a very sharp tongue. For example, when they decided to join Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe, while Balanchine had to have an audition to join the company, she just said: “If I am good enough for the Mariinsky, I am good enough for you”.

Choura, as she was known to her friends, was admired for her champagne-like sparkle, intense stage presence and the most beautiful legs in the company.

The love story with George turned out out to be short, but they continued working together for many years — for example, she became one of the coaches of his School of American Ballet. Who else could convey the beauty of the Russian ballet style?

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