Beriosova, Svetlana

Svetlana Beriosova (24 September 1932 – 10 November 1998) was a Lithuanian-born British prima ballerina who danced with The Royal Ballet for more than 20 years. Born in Kaunas, Lithuania, the daughter of Nicolas Beriosoff (or Nicolas Beriozoff) (1906-1996), a Lithuanian ballet master of ethnic Russian descent who emigrated to England, Svetlana Beriosova was brought in 1940 to the United States, where she studied ballet. Her mother died in New York when Svetlana was 10 years old. She made her professional debut in 1947 with Nesta Toumine’s Ottawa Ballet. In 1952, after appearing with several major companies, including the Grand Ballet de Monte Carlo and the Metropolitan Ballet, she joined the Sadler’s Wells Ballet, where she became prima ballerina in 1955. As well as dancing the entire classical repertoire, Beriosova created the leading part in several modern ballets, notably the title role in Cranko’s Antigone (1959). In one of her more unusual modern parts, the title role of Ashton’s Persephone (1961), she recited André Gide’s poetry in French in addition to dancing to the music of Igor Stravinsky.

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Svetlana Beriosova (24 September 1932 – 10 November 1998) was a Lithuanian-born British prima ballerina who danced with The Royal Ballet for more than 20 years. Born in Kaunas, Lithuania, the daughter of Nicolas Beriosoff (or Nicolas Beriozoff) (1906-1996), a Lithuanian ballet master of ethnic Russian descent who emigrated to England, Svetlana Beriosova was brought in 1940 to the United States, where she studied ballet. Her mother died in New York when Svetlana was 10 years old. She made her professional debut in 1947 with Nesta Toumine’s Ottawa Ballet. In 1952, after appearing with several major companies, including the Grand Ballet de Monte Carlo and the Metropolitan Ballet, she joined the Sadler’s Wells Ballet, where she became prima ballerina in 1955. As well as dancing the entire classical repertoire, Beriosova created the leading part in several modern ballets, notably the title role in Cranko’s Antigone (1959). In one of her more unusual modern parts, the title role of Ashton’s Persephone (1961), she recited André Gide’s poetry in French in addition to dancing to the music of Igor Stravinsky.

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