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Inna Zubkovskaya.

Inna Zubkovskaya was that rare creature, a Kirov ballerina with a Bolshoi background. She was born in Moscow on November 29, 1923, and she died in St. Petersburg on February 5. Born Inna Izraelyeva, she was trained at the Bolshoi School and graduated in 1941. She was instantly invited to join the Kirov Ballet, where she remained as a ballerina until her retirement from the stage in 1970, although for the last thirty years of her life she remained with the company as a teacher and coach. She was with the company in London in the summer of 2000.

Her most important created roles were Phrygia in Leonid Jacobson's version of Spartacus in 1956 and Mekhmene-Banu in Yuri Grigorovich's Legend of Love in 1961. She did not dance very frequently in the West, although in 1961 when the Kirov made its first appearances outside Russia (first in Paris, where the defection of Rudolf Nureyev stole the headlines, and then in London and New York), Zubkovskaya, partnered by Vladilen Semyonov, was the first-cast Odette-Odile in Swan Lake. She opened the New York season in that double role at the Metropolitan Opera House on September 11.

Of her Odette-Odile in London, I wrote of her being "a majestic, passionate Swan Queen, beautifully fluent with a broad, fascinating plastique ... perfectly content to let her dancing speak out for itself ... However, as Odile she glowered balefully, an uninhibitedly histrionic approach." She was also seen to fine advantage as the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty and as the Mistress of the Copper Mountain in Grigorovich's The Stone Flower.

She was married twice, on both occasions to dancers, the first being Nicolai Zubkovsky, whose name she adopted professionally, and later to Sviatoslav Kusnetsov.
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Title Annotation:ballet dancer, Russia
Author:Barnes, Clive
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Jun 1, 2001
Words:288
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