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Ninel Alexandrovna Kurgapkina
Birth: Feb. 13, 1929
Saint Petersburg
Leningrad Oblast, Russian Federation
Death: May 8, 2009
Saint Petersburg
Leningrad Oblast, Russian Federation

Ballet Dancer. As prima ballerina of the famed Kirov Ballet, she was the first partner of both Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshinikov. Raised in Leningrad by a working-class family, she studied at the Vaganova Ballet Academy where she was one of the last pupils of the legendary Agrippina Vaganova. During World War II she entertained Soviet troops under difficult conditions, and for two decades afterwards she was one of top stars of Russian dance. Having a physique that was a bit muscular for a ballerina, she compensated with an exuberant style that fitted her perfectly for such characters as Princess Aurora in "Sleeping Beauty", Jeanne in "Flames of Paris", and Kitri in "Don Quixote", as well as her only created role, Anna Andreevna in Oleg Vinogradov's "Revisor". Kurgapkina had a somewhat ambivalent relationship with the Soviet system. In 1959 she was chosen to provide entertainment at a lavish garden party put on by Soviet leaders Krushchev and Bulganin, and in 1974 she was honored as People's Artist of the USSR. Yet she continued to support Nureyev after his defection, even partnering with him in Paris. Retiring at 52, she became a respected teacher, first at the Vagnova School for nine years, then at the Marinsky Ballet, until her death in a motor vehicle accident. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Literatorskie Mostki
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russian Federation
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: May 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37198546
Ninel Alexandrovna Kurgapkina
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Ninel Alexandrovna Kurgapkina
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
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