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Dancers: Natalia Trouhanova
by Vlad for group historicalziegfeld Jun 25, 2010

Natalia Trouhanova
Natacha Trouhanowa
Nataliya Trukhanova
Natalia Vladimirovna Trouhanova

“Natalia Vladimirovna Trouhanova was born in Kiev in 1885 into the family of the singer Vladimir Bostunov
She studied in the class of Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, a co- founder of the Moscow Art Theater.”

1904-1905. She was a chorus girl at Omon's Theater, a cafe-chantant with rooms (“cabinets”), a meeting place for wealthy men and actresses, located in a park known as Aquarium. “The Maison Tellier” by Maupassant! It was a worse than tavern! What a shame!” © Natalia Trouhanova, “Na Stsene I Za Kulisami”, 2003.


“Within a year of leaving Moscow, she was in Monte Carlo for the first of several seasons at its celebrated opera house.
In 1906, she danced the lezginka in Anton Rubinstein's opera Le Demon.
Reviewing Les Deux Pigeons, a local critic noted with admiration “the expressive beauty of her face, the harmony of her movements, and the impeccable elegance of her sculptural forms”. However, her talent, he added, “seems better made for character than for classical dancing, where her remarkable qualities as a mime hardly find employment.”
In 1907, she performed the "Dance of the Seven Veils" in Richard Strauss' opera Salome, one of the stellar events of the theatrical season.
Within a month, she was engaged by the Paris Opera. She made her debut as the priestess in Saint-Saens' opera Samson et Dalila.
Between 1907 and 1911, when she presented her first full-scale concerts, Trouhanova's career demonstrated the fluidity of the categories of dance performance in a Paris that had yet to assimilate Russian notions of status and professionalism as applied to nonballetic forms of dance.
By 1911, she was not only a star but also a highly respected artist. Moreover, through her involvement with the composer Paul Dukas, she was becoming a propagandist for modern music. His La Peri was almost certainly intended to be a highlight of the "Concerts de Danse" that Trouhanova presented at the Theatre du Chatelet in early May 1911.
She was at the height of her celebrity. In 1913, she made a tour of Russia and Germany, danced at the Theatre Marigny, and starred in Narkiss, a ballet inspired by the legend of Narcissus that was choreographed by Madame Mariquita.
Already in 1913, unhappy with the precariousness of life as a soloist, Trouhanova had confessed to Rene Bizet that she was thinking of giving up dance and becoming an actress. “Dance today for us pure dancers has become impossible,” she told him.
“We drag our tutus or ... veils abroad . . . , but are chased from the big theaters. ...
I do not belong to the Opera and can make only occasional appearances at the Opera-Comique or the Gaite.
The music halls no longer mount those sumptuous works of Richepin or Lorrain in which we did so many beautiful things.
So what should we do? Run off to London, Russia, Germany? Rent halls at our own expense? Wait for authors to give us works? We have to live. Pure art feeds the dancer no more than the writer.”
In the end, Trouhanova did not make the jump to drama. However, she happily gave up her career as a dancer during World War I. She married Count A.A. Ignatiev, the chief of the Russian military mission at the French GHQ (as The Dancing Times put it) and, after the Russian Revolution, started a model farm with him near Paris. She resumed dancing in 1921 (to help pay the bills), appearing at the Opera as well as in revues, and in a joint program with the Russian Kibaltchitch Chorus. Despite Ignatiev's aristocratic background, he eventually returned to the Soviet Union, as did Trouhanova.”
© Lynn Garafola, “Legacies of twentieth-century dance”

“Diaghilev’s interest in La Peri was almost certainly piqued by a sense of competition: apart from Le Dieu Bleu, which had music by Reynaldo Hahn, his new season was notably short of French composers.
If Trouhanova danced the Paris premiere, Diaghilev claimed he would lose not only his best dancers but also his financial support.
"The unanimous revolt against this intrusive ballet has now reached a climax. Karsavina refuses to come to Paris to dance alongside Trouhanova. Fokine declared yesterday that staging La Peri with Trouhanova would be the most idiotic thing he had ever let himself for... Benois declines all responsibility for this anti-aesthetic act. The artists are in revolt."”
© Lynn Garafola, “Legacies of twentieth-century dance”

“…dancer Natalia Trouhanova, who rose meteorically to fame after her performances in Gabriel Astruc's 1907 Paris production of Salome, at which Richard Strauss himself conducted the orchestra. Reclining on a richly carpeted step, the barefoot Trouhanova smiles enigmatically and raises her arm in a gesture of welcome; her body, roped in jewelry, is otherwise revealed by a transparent dress allowing a clear view of her breast and nipple. Sensual and seductive, the image conveys the sensibility of the Ballets Russes rather than a specific moment from its repertoire, and its eroticism is heightened by the orientalizing context, which by 1911 was firmly associated with Diaghilev's troupe.”
© Mary E. Davis, “Classic chic: music, fashion, and modernism”, 2006

“Count Alexey Alexeyevich Ignatyev was born in St. Petersburg on March 2 (14), 1877, into an aristocratic family involved in military and diplomatic service for several generations. His grandfather, a hero of the 1812 Patriotic War [against Napoleon Bonaparte], held the rank of Artillery Major General. And his father, General Alexey Nikolayevich Ignatyev, commanded a guards cavalry regiment in St. Petersburg, served as Governor General of Siberia and Kiev, and sat on the State Council. Count Nikolai Ignatyev, uncle to Alexei, had the rank of general; as Ambassador to Constantinople, he took part in the signing of the Treaty of San Stefano (1878) - the accord that marked the end of the Russo-Turkish War in the Balkans.”
© N Shepova, 2004

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