Nina (Nina Vasilievna Vaner) Kirsanova

Dancer, Choreographer
Born in Moscow in 1898. She began dance lessons there at the age of thirteen. In 1919 she completed her studies in Moscow and married Boris Popov, a singer at the Bolshoi Theatre. Although accepted by the Bolshoi, she did not appear in performances because in 1920 she fled with her husband from the USSR. Originally they went to Poland, but eventually settled in Belgrade, Serbia (1923). Soon, Kirsanova joined the Manjež Theatre and later the National Theatre of Belgrade, where she danced in the ballets Madame Butterfly [Madama Butterfly], Giselle and Coppélia. In 1926 she went to Paris to further her studies in dance. She was a principal dancer of Anna Pavlova’s Dance Company touring around the world (1927-1931). She returned to Belgrade in 1931 and joined the National Theatre as head of ballet, choreographer and director. Here she danced the leading roles in 18 ballets and created choreographies for 28 operas and ballets. She also cooperated with the Opéra de Monte-Carlo (1934-1937) and the Opera of Lithuania. After the Second World War she founded the National Ballet School of Belgrade. In 1951 she danced for the last time on stage at the National Theatre ( Swan Lake). She retreated from dance and studied archeology in Belgrade, receiving a master's degree at age 70 and participated in scientific missions in the Middle East. She died in Belgrade on 02/03/1989 (or 1990). For the Greek National Opera she choreographed ballet segments in the operas Moses in Egypt [Mosè in Egitto] (1960-61) and Prince Igor (1961 to 1962) and the ballets [Les Sylphides] and Princely Wedding (1962-1963), Suite of Spanish dances and Symposium Strauss (1961-1962, 1962-1963).