The Baby Ballerinas were 3 young leading principal dancers of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the 1930s. They were individually selected by George Balanchine, and deemed the "Baby Ballerinas" by ballet critic Arnold Haskell based upon their age.
Click here for an article on the history of the Baby Ballerinas.
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Tatiana Riabouchinska was born in
Tatiana stayed with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo until 1942. Afterwards she would go on to guest with Ballet Theatre, now ABT, the Original Ballet Russe, Ballet des Champs-Elysées, and the London Festival Ballet.
Tatiana created the role of the Florentine Beauty in Paganni, which some consider to be her finest work, due to a nearly impossible set of whirling pirouettes that she executed before collapsing at the feet of Paganini. Dance critic Arnold Haskell called her performance, “among the most moving I have seen on the ballet stage.” Tatiana was also the Junior Girl in Graduation Ball, title roles in Coq d'Or and Cinderella. Tatiana married fellow dancer and choreographer David Lichine. She passed away in 2000, just after teaching a ballet class.
Irina Baronova was one of the three famous "Baby Ballerinas" along with Tatiana Riabouchinska and Tamara Toumanova. She was born in Petrograd in 1919 and moved to
She created roles in Leonide Massine's Les Présages, Jeux d'enfants, Beau Danube, and Bronislava Nijinska's Les Cent Baisers. In 1940, she joined Ballet Theatre, now ABT in
Tamara was born in Russian on a train while her mother was trying to flee during the Revolution. The family eventually settled in
George Balanchine saw her in ballet class signed her to the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. Balanchine choreographed the part of the Young Girl for Tamara in his ballet Cotillon, Concurrence and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and Le Palais de Cristal (now Symphony in C) in 1947 at the Paris Opera. Due to her stunning beauty and dark features, she came to be known as "The Black Pearl of the Russian Ballet." She starred in a little known pro-soviet film with, Gregory Peck, called "Days of Glory".