Sophie Fedorova (1879-1963)

Sophie Fedorova graduated from the Bolshoi School in 1899 and joined the Bolshoi Ballet, where she was most admired as a character ballerina. She danced with the Diaghilev Ballet from its beginning in 1909, dancing major roles throughout the entire history of the Diaghilev Ballet. Fedorova continued to dance with the Bolshoi until 1917, dancing also with Diaghilev's and Anna Pavlova's companies. Her last performance was with the Diaghilev Ballet in 1928. Then her illnes took over. She endured her ordeal courageously, drifting from one mental institution to another. In 1963 at the age of eighty-three her obituary read, "She lived quietly between outbursts of consciousness and delirium."

(First published May 1995)

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