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Olga Lepeshinskaya
Birth: Sep. 15, 1916
Kiev, Ukraine
Death: Dec. 20, 2008
Moscow, Russia

Ballerina. The prima ballerina of the Soviet Union over a career lasting thirty years, she is remembered for her long tenure at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. Born into a noble family and raised in the Ukraine, she entered the Moscow Choreographic School in 1925, took minor roles at the Bolshoi from age 10, and made her 1933 'official' debut there as Lise in Gorsky's "La Fille Mal Gardee". Olga excelled in comedic fare such as Kitri in "Don Quixote", though she danced the standard repertoire in such parts as Aurora in "Sleeping Beauty", Rosina in "The Barber of Seville", and Masha in "The Nutcracker", and created roles in new works, including "Tarus Bulba" (1941), "Cinderella" (1947), and "The Bronze Horseman" (1949). During World War II, she was part of a Bolshoi touring company that performed for troops at the front lines. Always known for being tough and dedicated, she broke her leg in a 1953 performance as Tao Hoa in "The Red Poppy" but finished the show. Olga was said to be the favorite dancer, and according to some sources mistress, of dictator Josef Stalin, who called her "dragonfly" and awarded her the Stalin Prize four times, the first in 1941 for a 1940 performance with the Kirov as Kitri. She was married to Soviet general Alexi Antonov from 1956 until his death in 1962, his demise leading to a year long episode of blindness after which she spent a decade as an unperson in her homeland and relocated to Germany where she served as Ballet Mistress of the Komische Oper Berlin. Olga taught throughout Europe and later returned to the Soviet Union where she was a ballet reviewer during the 1970s and 1980s and was for the last 40 years of her life in charge of the entrance exams for the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts. Her awards were many including the medal for Valiant Labour in the Great Patriotic War, 1951 designation as People's Artist of the USSR, and the 1971 Lenin Prize. She lived out her days in Moscow and died of heart disease and the effects of advanced age; some films of her performances have been preserved. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Vvedenskoe Cemetery
Moscow
Moscow Federal City, Russia
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Dec 21, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32314912
Olga Lepeshinskaya
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Olga Lepeshinskaya
Added by: julia&keld
 
Olga Lepeshinskaya
Added by: julia&keld
 
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- David Wend
 Added: Sep. 15, 2015

- quebecoise
 Added: Jun. 15, 2015

- Bob Hufford
 Added: Oct. 26, 2014
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