December 20, 2008

Bolshoi's Olga Lepeshinskaya dies at 92

The Russian Culture Ministry says Olga Lepeshinskaya, a Soviet-era prima ballerina who danced with the Bolshoi Ballet for decades, has died. She was 92.

Culture Ministry spokeswoman Nataliya Uvarova says Lepeshinskaya died Saturday of an unspecified illness.

ITAR-Tass news agency reported Lepeshinskaya died in her Moscow apartment in her sleep.

Lepeshinskaya was born in Kiev in 1916. She graduated from the Moscow Choreographic School and joined the Bolshoi Ballet in 1933. She was a top dancer at the Bolshoi until 1963 when she turned to teaching.

Lepeshinskaya danced Kitri in Don Quixote, Tao Hoa in The Red Poppy, Jeanne in The Flame of Paris, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and Masha in The Nutcracker.

Uvarova said Lepeshinskaya will be buried Tuesday.

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Source: The Associated Press

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