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March 25, 2023

35 Beautiful Photos of Tamara Toumanova in the 1930s and ’40s

Born 1919 in Tyumen, Georgian-American prima ballerina and actress Tamara Toumanova was invited by the ballerina Anna Pavlova to perform in one of her gala concerts in 1925 at the age of six. She danced a polka choreographed by Preobrajenska.

A child of exiles in Paris after the Russian Revolution of 1917, Toumanova made her debut at the age of 10 at the children’s ballet of the Paris Opera in L'Éventail de Jeanne (for which 10 French composers wrote the music).

Toumanova became known internationally as one of the Baby Ballerinas of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo after being discovered by her fellow émigré, balletmaster and choreographer George Balanchine. She was featured in numerous ballets in Europe. Balanchine featured her in his productions at Ballet Theatre, New York, making her the star of his performances in the United States.

While most of Toumanova’s career was dedicated to ballet, she appeared as a ballet dancer in several films, beginning in 1944. She became a naturalized United States citizen in 1943 in Los Angeles, California.

Toumanova died in Santa Monica, California in 1996, aged 77. Take a look at these vintage photos to see the beauty of young Tamara Toumanova in the 1930s and 1940s.


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