Russian Personalities

People well-known in art, sport, film, fashion

Category Archive: History

Anna Pavlova, dancing diamond

anna pavlova

White Swan

Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) was the most famous ballerina of the past century.
She was called Divine and Amazing, Dancing Diamond, White Swan and even Fairy of Swan Flock. One girl wrote to her parents: “Remember, you told that those who saw the fairy would be happy. I saw a live fairy – her name is Anna Pavlova”.
Genius Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova became a legend in her lifetime. Journalists competed with each other in writing stories about her. She read myths about herself in newspapers and laughed. Legends surround her name until now.
She had never talked about her personal life. Her real life was in dance. Only after her death the world learned about the beautiful and tragic love story, which the legendary ballerina secretly kept in her heart for long thirty years.
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Tamara Karsavina – Firebird of Russian ballet

Firebird karsavina

Ballerina Tamara Karsavina in the ballet “The Firebird” by Igor Stravinsky’s music in the costume designs by Leon Bakst for 1910.

Tamara Karsavina was loved, respected and admired. You know, she was always away from any kind of intrigue. In her youth pretty girl had decided to devote all of herself to His Majesty the Arts. During her long life she experienced many worries and troubles, difficulties and trials, but grateful audience remembered her as a talented performer.
Firebird of Russian Ballet, one of the brightest of its stars was born on March 9, 1885, into an intellectual family in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire. Her father Platon Karsavin was a dancer at the Mariinsky Theatre, and also taught at the Drama School. Tamara was a sister of the historian and philosopher Leo Karsavin. Six-year old girl knew her main passion was the theater. Supported by her mother, Tamara began preparing to enter the Theatre School.
Immediately after graduation in 1902, Tamara joined the Mariinsky Theater, where Matilda Kshesinskaya, a prima ballerina and a dance teacher, was fond of her. However, another talented performer, Anna Pavlova, disliked the young dancer. Perhaps Pavlova saw in the beginning artist her rival and competitor.
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Olga Smirnitskaya and Johann Strauss love story

Olga Smirnitskaya and Johann Strauss

Olga Smirnitskaya and Johann Strauss

The fate of the great Austrian composer Johann Strauss (1825-1899), whose waltzes are known all over the world, was linked with Russia, where in 1868 he met a rich girl. That meeting changed his life.
Johann Strauss II, as they call him in the music world, tried to prove to the world that he was the King of Waltz and not his father, also Johann Strauss, who was known in Austria as one of the most famous and talented composers.
Ambitious and really talented, Strauss’s father glorified waltz and was able to get fame not only in Vienna, but also throughout Europe. Children who were born in the family every year, almost did not see their father. Besides, he had a mistress, who also gave birth to seven children. But Strauss Sr. wasn’t ashamed and did not suffer from guilt.
Little Johann once vowed to overshadow his talent. Decisive, courageous and hardworking, he devoted himself to music lessons and kept it secret from ambitious parent.
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Alla Nazimova. Russian Queen of Hollywood

Alla Nazimova. Russian Queen of Hollywood

Alla Nazimova. Russian Queen of Hollywood

Alla Nazimova was a great and very bright Russian star of Hollywood silent films and theater, a screenwriter, and film producer.
Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon (her real name) was born in 1879 in Yalta, Crimea, Russian Empire. She was the third child in a Jewish family. Her parents divorced in 1887 and the girl lived with her father, who in the same year married again. From 1890 to 1893, Adelaide Leventon studied at the Yalta Girls’ Gymnasium. In 1893, Adelaide moved to her mother’s family in Odessa, where she entered the gymnasium and the music classes of the Odessa branch of the Imperial Russian Musical Society. Three years later seventeen-year-old Adelaide went to Moscow, where under the pseudonym Alla Nazimova began taking lessons at the Moscow Art Theater. During the studies she had a love affair with a famous millionaire, and after a painful break up she left school and began to play in the regional theater.
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Regina Zbarskaya – Russian Sophia Loren

Regina Zbarskaya – Russian Sophia Loren

Regina Zbarskaya (1935, Leningrad — 1987, Moscow) – Russian Sophia Loren

Regina Zbarskaya, one of the first Soviet Union models, was famous for her beauty and scandalous rumors about numerous lovers. Soviet fashion model became world famous in the early 60-ies. Awesome Regina gained great popularity in Paris, where she was called the most beautiful weapon of the Kremlin, later she was called Soviet Sophia Loren.
Regina Nikolayevna Zbarskaya was born on September 27, 1935 in Vologda (according to another source Leningrad region).
In 1953, seventeen-year-old Regina Kolesnikova came to Moscow and entered the VGIK, the Faculty of Economics. During her studies, she began to visit bohemian parties, where one day she was noticed by well-known Vera Aralova. As a result of that meeting Regina started her modeling career. Bright brunette with a beautiful face and gentle manners immediately attracted attention. She became the queen of the catwalk.
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