Helen Tsoukala-Pfeffer

Dancer, Choreographer, Actor
She was born in Hamburg in 1921. She attended dance lessons from an early age under Konrad Schwarzer and Helga Swedlud. She then studied at the Hamburg State Opera, and took choreography lessons at a Mary Wigman school branch (1938-39), as well as in Berlin under Russian Eugenie Edvardova. She worked with the Hamburg State Opera as a dancer, principal dancer and teacher. She moved to Greece in 1947, and until 1975 she worked with the GNO as dancer and choreographer in approximately 100 productions and/or revivals. She choreographed the ballets Spring (Vivaldi) and Polovtsian dances (Borodin), while she danced in The pedlar/O pramateftis (Grimanis/Petridis), The death of the brave woman/O thanatos tis andriomenis (Grimanis/Kalomiris), Symposium Strauss (Kirsanova/Johann Strauss), Suite of Spanish dances (Kirsanova/Albéniz), etc. She also choreographed ballet segments in the operas: A masked ball [Un ballo in maschera], Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Giovanni, The love for three oranges [L'amour des trois oranges], Kassiani, The Italian straw hat [Un capello di paglia di Firenze], Aida, Queen of Spades [Pique Dame] and The Marksman (or The freeshooter) [Der Freischütz]. In addition, she choreographed the operettas: The Riviera Girl [Die Csardasfürstin], Kiss me Kate, The Beautiful Helen [La belle Hélène], The godson [O vaftistikos], A Waltz Dream [Ein Walzertraum], Frederica, The land of smiles [Das Land des Lächelns], The little Dutch girl, Countess Maritza [Gräfin Mariza], etc. In the period from 1947 to 1953 she danced in about 70 ballet, opera and operetta productions and/or revivals. During the 30-year period from 1947 to 1997, she taught dance and rhythmic gymnastics at the National Theater Drama School. She married twice, one to tenor Alekos Tsoukalas and another to conductor Walter Pfeffer.