“A Ballet Tribute”
Dedicated to Ms Tatiana Akinfieva-Smith
The Eastern Shore Ballet Theatre’s 2012 Spring performance will be “A Ballet Tribute”, dedicated to Ms Tatiana Akinfieva-Smith, ESBT’s first Artistic Director, who passed away on September 25, 2011 at the age of 92. The show will feature some of her most outstanding choreography including ‘Pas de Quatre’, ‘Kremlin Waltz’, ‘Dying Swan’ and other selections from ‘Swan Lake’, as well as two contemporary ballets including ‘Strange Allies’, which Ms Tatiana commissioned during her tenure as artistic director of ESBT.
Born in Russia, Ms Tatiana epitomized the quality and magic of classical Russian ballet. The rigorous training she re¬ceived with teachers Helene Poljakova, Olga Preobrajenskaja, and Nina Kirsanova (all products of the Imperial Ballet School), and the superb staff at the Na¬tional Opera Theatrical Academy in Belgrade, prepared her for the life she later led as principal dancer with the Belgrade State Opera Company.
However, and most importantly for hundreds of her students, her training plus personality produced a teacher who was both perceptive and demanding. Highly recognized schools in the United States and Canada regularly accepted and gave scholarships to her students, which demonstrated the high degree of her expertise. Tatiana was an invited guest instructor at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, where students and faculty acclaimed her classes to be challenging and rewarding. She was artistic director for the Delaware Regional Ballet Company, and the founding artistic director for Ballet Met in Columbus, Ohio.
Those who knew her well found her to be a veritable encyclopedia of the classics and opera ballets as originally staged. Tatiana’s shyness and unpretentiousness belied her experiences in Europe, including dancing before kings. A lady in the purest sense, her greatest pleasure was derived from passing on her special talents to her students. “A Ballet Tribute” will be presented on Sunday, April 15, at 2:00pm, in the Wicomico High School Auditorium, in Salisbury, Maryland. Ticket prices are $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for students or seniors. Tickets can be ordered by phone at 443-358-2300, or purchased at Dance Wear, Etc, 1405 S. Salisbury Blvd. in Salisbury, the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council in downtown Salisbury, or various Bank of Delmarva locations.