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Henry M. Robert

Bravo, Ukrainian Ulanova!

Natalia Slobodian celebrates her 90th anniversary on stage on February 27
27 February, 2013 - 17:46
GRAND BALLET DANCER AND TEACHER NATALIA SLOBODIAN AT DANCE BARS / Photo courtesy of the literary department of the Lviv Opera and Ballet Theater

Ballet experts put the name of People’s Artist of Ukraine Natalia Slobodian on a par with the most famous ballet stars in the world. She is often referred to as Ukrainian Ulanova. Ballerina from Lviv became famous primarily for her parts of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and Odette-Odile in Swan Lake by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Nikiya in La Bayadere and Kitri in Don Quixote by Ludwig Minkus, and Maria in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai by Boris Asafiev. Special chapter of artistic career of Slobodian is presented by the characters she played in Ukrainian ballets: Marusia Bohuslavka (Marusia Bohuslavka by Anatolii Svechnikov), Lilia (Lileia by Kostiantyn Dankevych), Dzvinka (Dovbush Shawl by Anatolii Kos-Anatolsky).

Slobodian has been working in Lviv Opera and Ballet Theater for seven decades already (since 1944!). She came to Lviv after graduating from Kyiv Choreographic School. On her home stage Slobodian danced all the leading parties of European repertoire. In the early 1970s she switched to teaching – she became a tutor and up until now has been sharing her invaluable experience with young dancers in spite of her venerable age. Every day she teaches her students not only about the subtleties of choreography for creating the best scenic effect – sequence of steps, movements, figures, but also about the commitment to the art of dancing and its traditions.

Gala concert in honor of the great dancer Slobodian will be held on March 1 at the Solomia Krushelnytska National Opera and Ballet Theater. The concert has been prepared by Slobodian’s students, who will come to Lviv from different Ukrainian cities and from abroad for this occasion.

By Tetiana KOZYRIEVA, The Day, Lviv
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