Fedorova, Sofia

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Sofia Fedorova Photos

Sofia Fedorova Biography

Notable: 1879 – 1963; Bolshoi Ballet, Ballets Russes

Sofia Fedorova was born in Moscow 1879. She graduated from the Moscow Theatre School (pupil of V. Tikhomirov) into the Bolshoi Ballet in 1899. A striking dark beauty, called “Fedorova II” since her sister Olga graduated earlier. Her strength was an outstanding theatrical personality rather than her technique. Had her first great success replacing Ekaterina Geltser in Don Quixote in 1900. Her most memorable role was her Esmeralda in Gorsky’s Gudule’s Daughter. Other fine roles where Mercedes and Street Dancer in Don Quixote, the Gypsy dance in The Humpbacked Horse, Khita in Gorsky’s Fille du Pharaon, snake charmer in Salammbo and Lise in La Fille Mal Gardée. In 1913 Gorsky tailored a Giselle for her, omitting some technical difficulties, which she danced with almost nightmarish realism. But it was too much for her and nervous strain caused her to refuse the classical parts. Later she ceased to attend classes and rehearsals, and was forced to leave the Moscow stage in 1917. She left Moscow 1919 for St Petersburg and after her husbands death in 1922 she settled in Paris. She danced with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1909-1913 and 1928, triumphing in Fokine’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor (1909) and Scheherazade (1910). Also danced with Anna Pavlova’s company in 1925 and 1926. After a total nervous collapse in 1930 she lived in obscurity.