Saturday, December 27, 2008

Olga Lepeshinskaya

From the Telegraph:
"Olga Lepeshinskaya, who died in Moscow on December 20 aged 92, was the Bolshoi Ballet's prima ballerina in the 1930s and 1940s and Josef Stalin's favourite performer – rumoured to be her lover, he would bring red roses to her dressing room after performances, and he decorated her four times with the Stalin Prize.

In 2000 Olga Lepeshinskaya was awarded a Soul of Dance prize by the Russian magazine Ballet. She also received various honours from Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania and the Philippines.

She was a deputy on the Committee of Soviet Women, and later chairman of the Central House of Art Workers. She regularly chaired the organising committee and jury of the celebrated Moscow International Ballet Competition and withdrew from her public activities only in the last decade of her life. "

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