Bronislava Nijinska

Bronislava Nijinska

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Bronislava Nijinska) was a Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n dance
Dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

r, choreographer, and teacher
Teacher
A teacher or schoolteacher is a person who provides education for pupils and students . The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional...

 of Polish descent.

Nijinska was born in Minsk
Minsk
- Ecological situation :The ecological situation is monitored by Republican Center of Radioactive and Environmental Control .During 2003–2008 the overall weight of contaminants increased from 186,000 to 247,400 tons. The change of gas as industrial fuel to mazut for financial reasons has worsened...

, the third child of the Polish dancers Tomasz and Eleonora Nijinska (née Bereda). Her brother was Vaslav Nijinsky
Vaslav Nijinsky
Vaslav Nijinsky was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer of Polish descent, cited as the greatest male dancer of the 20th century. He grew to be celebrated for his virtuosity and for the depth and intensity of his characterizations...

. She was four years old when she made her theatrical debut in a Christmas pageant with her brothers in Nizhny Novgorod
Nizhny Novgorod
Nizhny Novgorod , colloquially shortened to Nizhny, is, with the population of 1,250,615, the fifth largest city in Russia, ranking after Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, and Yekaterinburg...

.

Nijinska played a leading role in the pioneering venture that turned against 19th-century Classicism
Classicism
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint...

. A breakthrough came in 1910, when she created her first solo, the role Papillon in Le Carnival.

Nijinska was a member of the Imperial Ballet
Mariinsky Ballet
The Mariinsky Ballet is a classical ballet company based at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Founded in the 18th century and originally known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet is one of the world's leading ballet companies...

 and then the Ballets Russes
Ballets Russes
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Directed by Sergei Diaghilev, it is regarded as the greatest ballet company of the 20th century. Many of its dancers originated from the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg...

, for whom she choreographed her best known works, Les Noces
Les Noces
Les noces by Igor Stravinsky, is a dance cantata, or ballet with vocalists.-History:The ballet was premiered on June 13, 1923 at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, by the Ballets Russes with choreography by Bronislava Nijinska...

(1923), The Blue Train (1924) and Les Biches
Les Biches
Les biches is a ballet by Francis Poulenc, premiered by the Ballets Russes in 1924. The composer, who was at the time relatively unknown, was asked by Serge Diaghilev to write a piece based on Glazunov's Les Sylphides, written seventeen years earlier...

(1924). She also choreographed the dances (to Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Barthóldy , use the form 'Mendelssohn' and not 'Mendelssohn Bartholdy'. The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians gives ' Felix Mendelssohn' as the entry, with 'Mendelssohn' used in the body text...

's music) for Max Reinhardt
Max Reinhardt
----Max Reinhardt was an Austrian theater and film director and actor.-Biography:...

's 1935 film version of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935 film)
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a 1935 film directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle, produced by Henry Blanke and Hal Wallis, and adapted by Charles Kenyon and Mary C. McCall Jr...

. Bronislava Nijinska died in Pacific Palisades, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

.

She was twice married. Her first husband was Alexandre Kochetovsky, a fellow Ballet Russes dancer by whom she had two children - a son, Leo Kochetovsky, who was killed in a car accident and a daughter, Irina Nijinska, a ballet dancer in her own right who subsequently carried on her work, including editing and publishing her mother's memoirs in 1972. The true love of her life, but to whom she was never married, was the Russian bass singer Feodor Chaliapin
Feodor Chaliapin
Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin was a Russian opera singer. The possessor of a large and expressive bass voice, he enjoyed an important international career at major opera houses and is often credited with establishing the tradition of naturalistic acting in his chosen art form.During the first phase...

.

She was the subject of an album The Nijinska Chamber by Kate Westbrook
Kate Westbrook (musician)
Kate Westbrook is an artist following the professions of painter and musician. Her musical work centres around her career as a vocalist, predominantly with her husband, British composer and bandleader Mike Westbrook's bands...

http://www.westbrookjazz.co.uk/katewestbrook/nijinska_chamber.shtml and Mike Westbrook
Mike Westbrook
Michael John David 'Mike' Westbrook is an English jazz pianist, composer, and writer of orchestrated jazz pieces.-Early work:Mike Westbrook grew up in Torquay...

.

Her students included the prima ballerina Maria Tallchief
Maria Tallchief
Maria Tallchief was the first native-American prima ballerina. From 1942 to 1947 she danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, but she is best known for her time with the New York City Ballet from 1947 to 1965.-Early life:...

 and the dancer Cyd Charisse
Cyd Charisse
Cyd Charisse was an American actress and dancer.After recovering from polio as a child, and studying ballet, Charisse entered films in the 1940s...

.

Nijinska was inducted into the National Museum of Dance C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame
National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame
The National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, in the Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga, New York, was established in 1986 and is the only museum in the nation dedicated entirely to dance. It contains photographs, videos, artifacts, costumes and biographies. The museum is located in the former and...

in 1994.

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