Tamara Toumanova (Georgian: თამარა თუმანოვა; March 2, 1919 – May 29, 1996) was an American ballerina and actress of Georgian descent. Toumanova is notable for ballet, and she also acted in several movies.
Tamara Toumanova in a promotional portrait
|Died||May 29, 1996 (aged 77)|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Shortly after the Russian Revolution of 1917, Toumanova's mother, Eugenia Toumanova, left Georgia, Russia looking for her first husband, Konstantin Zakharov. She was pregnant at the time. She gave birth to Toumanova in Siberia. It has been verified that Toumanova is of Georgian ancestry.
Toumanova's parents became separated during the revolution. Toumanova was 18 months old before her parents were found each other. The family went from Russia to Shanghai, China. They lived there for a year. They then moved to Cairo. After living in refugee camps, the family moved to Paris. There was a large Russian émigré community there.
After moving to Paris, Toumanova was given piano lessons and studied ballet with Olga Preobrajenska. Toumanova said she was her "first and only permanent teacher" and an "immortal friend". She made her debut at the Paris Opera at the age of ten in the children's ballet L'Éventail de Jeanne. George Balanchine saw her in ballet class and hired her for de Basil's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo as one of the three "baby ballerinas".
- The Examiner. Is ballet dancing slavery? April 19, 1952
- Gottlieb, Robert 2004. George Balanchine: the ballet maker. HarperCollins, p. 136; ISBN 0-06-075070-7
- Cohen, Selma Jeanne (ed) 1998. International encyclopedia of dance. Oxford University Press, vol. 6, p. 182f; ISBN 0-19-512310-7
- Tracy & DeLano 1983. Balanchine's ballerinas: conversations with the muses. Linden Press, p. 66; ISBN 067146146X
- Tamara Toumanova notice of death. Michaelminn.net (1996-05-29). Retrieved on 2011-09-30.