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Mathilde Kschessinska

POI: 48.856667, 2.351944
Mathilda-Marie Feliksovna Kschessinskaya (Polish: Matylda Maria Krzesińska, Russian: Матильда Феликсовна Кшесинская; 31 August [O.S. 19 August] 1872 – 6 December 1971; also known as Her Serene Highness Princess Romanovskaya-Krasinskaya from 1935) was a Russian ballerina from a family of Polish origin. Her father Feliks Krzesiński and her brother both danced in St. Petersburg. She was a mistress of the future Tsar Nicholas II of Russia prior to his marriage, and later the wife of his cousin Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia. She was known in the West as Mathilde Kschessinska or Matilda Kshesinskaya.
Early life
Kschessinska was born at Ligovo, near Peterhof. Like all her Polish family, to whom she was known as Matylda Krzesińska, Mathilde performed at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre of Saint Petersburg with the renowned Imperial Ballet. Kschessinskaya made her début in a pas de deux from La Fille Mal Gardée during a graduation performance in 1890 attended by Emperor Alexander III and the rest of the Imperial family, including the future Nicholas II. At the post-performance supper, the emperor sought out the young Kschessinskaya and told her to "...be the glory and adornment of our ballet."
Prima ballerina
In 1896, she obtained the rank of Prima ballerina of the Saint Petersburg Imperial Theatres. The old maestro Marius Petipa did not consent to Kschessinskaya receiving such a title and although she possessed an extraordinary gift as a dancer, she obtained it primarily via her influence at the Imperial Russian Court.
Relationship with Petipa
Petipa allowed Kschessinskaya to create only a small number of new roles, as he considered the Italian Pierina Legnani to be the superior ballerina. Although she was able to command top billing in theatre programs or on posters, her efforts to obtain more new roles were thwarted by Petipa, whose authority over the artistic direction of the Imperial Ballet was not challenged even by the Emperor himself. Among the few roles Kschessinskaya created were Flora in Le Réveil de Flore (1894) and Columbine in Harlequinade (1900). She also became the first Russian danseuse to master the 32 fouettés en tournant of Legnani. Although Petipa had a great respect for Kschessinskaya as a dancer, he thoroughly despised her as a person, referring to her in his diaries as " ... that nasty little swine." Even so, he chose her for the lead roles in many of the final revivals of his older masterworks, often devising intricate choreography for her to execute — the shade of Mlada in Mlada (1896), Queen Nisia in Le Roi Candaule (1897), the Goddess Thetis in Les Aventures de Pélée (1897), Aspicia in The Pharaoh's Daughter (1898), the title role in La Esmeralda (1899), and Nikiya in La Bayadère (1900). Such roles became notoriously difficult once Petipa revised them for Kschessinskaya. In 1899, Prince Serge Wolkonsky became Director of the Imperial Theaters. Although he held the position only until 1902, he achieved...   ... (English)
Matilda Felixowna Kschessinskaja - Deutsch -> English  
Mathilde Ksjesinska - Nederlandse -> English  
Кшесинская, Матильда Феликсовна - Русский -> English  
Mathilde Kschessinska - Français -> English  Español -> English  Català -> English  
Matylda Krzesińska - Polska -> English  
Matil'da Feliksovna Kšesinskaja - Italiano -> English  
マチルダ・クシェシンスカヤ - 日本語 -> English  
Матилда Кшесинска - Српска -> English  
Matilde Kschessinskaya - Português -> English  
Matilda Ksjesinskaja - Norske -> English  Svenska -> English  
Mathilde Krzesinska - Suomalainen -> English  
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