Irina Baronova

Irina Baronova

Russian ballerina, danced in France and the USA
Date of Birth: 13.03.1919
Country: USA

Biography of Irina Baronova

Irina Baronova was a Russian ballerina who gained recognition for her performances in France and the United States. She was born in 1919 to a family of a naval officer and at the age of two, her family relocated to Romania. It was there that she developed an early passion for ballet after seeing Tamara Karsavina perform.

Irina Baronova

Baronova's family brought her to Paris to pursue her ballet training. She studied under renowned ballet teachers such as Olga Preobrajenska and Mathilde Kschessinska. In 1930, she made her debut at the Opéra de Paris and caught the attention of George Balanchine, who included her in a trio of "baby ballerinas" alongside Tamara Tumanova and Tatiana Riabouchinska.

She joined the Russian Ballet of Monte Carlo, led by Anton Dolin, and performed in various ballets, including the iconic Swan Lake. Baronova also toured with the Ballet Theatre in the United States under the patronage of Sol Hurok.

In 1946, she made the decision to leave the stage after receiving an ultimatum from her second husband. During this period, Baronova explored acting and appeared in several films. She focused on raising her children after the deaths of both her husbands in 1967 and 1974.

After a hiatus, Baronova returned to the ballet world as a teacher, choreographer, and consultant. She was invited by Margot Fonteyn to lead a ballet course and worked as a choreographer for the biographical film "Nijinsky" (1980). She also restaged Mikhail Fokine's ballet "La Sylphide" with music by Chopin and orchestrated by Glazunov (1986). Baronova provided assistance to the Mariinsky Theatre in 1992.

In 2005, she published her autobiography. One of Baronova's daughters, Victoria Tennant, became an Anglo-American actress and was married to actor Steve Martin from 1986 to 1994.