Karsavina, Tamara (təmäˈrə Kərsäˈvyĭnə) [key], 1885–1978, Russian prima ballerina. Karsavina was trained in the Imperial Theatre School and the Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, making her debut at the latter in 1902. At its inception in 1909 she joined the Diaghilev Balles Russes in Paris and was considered the greatest ballerina to perform with the company. Partner to Nijinsky, she created principal roles in many works, including Les Sylphides, Petrouchka, Firebird, Le Spectre de la rose, Daphnis and Chloë, and The Three-Cornered Hat. She danced with the company until 1929 and was a leading exponent of Michael Fokine's dance theories. In the 1940s she coached the Sadler's Wells company. Her books include her reminiscences, Theatre Street (1931, 2d ed. 1981), Classical Ballet: The Flow of Movement (1962), and Ballet Technique (1968).
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