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Boris Eifman Word

«By creating this ballet we wanted to pay the tribute on behalf of the ballet theater to the memory of Olga Spessivtseva, a great ballerina with the tragic fate.

Our ballet is dedicated to Olga Spessivtseva, one of the greatest ballerinas of the twentieth century. I was astonished when I learned the details of her life: the unique actress, bathed in glory and worshipped by fans and critics, spent 20 years in an asylum outside New York, absolutely alone and deprived of all her rights! The tragic emotions I felt, became the impulse for creating the ballet. This is not an illustration for Spessivtseva’s biography; rather this is an attempt to generalize her fate and the fates of many talented people who were forced to leave Russia and who came to a tragic end.

Spessivtseva was a brilliant Giselle. The ballerina got into the role so deeply that she lacked the power to come back to the real life: Giselle’s fate became hers. That fact that Spessivtseva as a prima-ballerina became involved in the bloody events of the revolutionary Petrograd played a fatal role in her life: the red symbol, like the symbol of the fate, haunted and tortured her. The emigration did not only bring her professional and personal disappointments, it filled her life with even more tragedies that led, in the long run, to the catastrophe.»