Ballet star Ludmila Tcherina dies in Paris
PARIS, March 21 (AFP) - The French dancer and actress Ludmila Tcherina, who was one of the world's leading ballet stars during much of the last century, died Sunday in Paris at the age of 79, a family friend told AFP.
Born in 1924 under the name Monika Tchemerzine, Tcherina became the youngest ever prima ballerina when she joined the Grands Ballets de Monte Carlo in 1940.
The daughter of an exiled Russian prince and a French mother, she began publicly performing as a dancer at the age of 10.
She went on to perform on stages around the world, and appeared in several films including The Red Shoes and The Tales of Hoffmann.
She has interpreted some of the most famous roles in classical repertory.In 1942 in Paris, she and Serge Lifar re-created Romeo and Juliet in which she played the title role of Juliet.
After World War II, she also gave recitals with her first husband Edmond Audran and continued her rise to international stardom.
In 1956 Tcherina sponsored Maurice Bejart’s first ballet company at the Theatre de l’Etoile in Paris.
And in 1960 Tcherina was the first western dancer to star at the Bolshoi in Moscow including in performances of Giselle.
The accidental death of Audran in the early 1950s prompted her to take up painting which, she said, helped calm her. Shortly afterwards she also began writing novels and took up sculpture.
Subject: France news