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mart

Jean Babilée

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Ismene Brown is incorrect when she states that Marika Besobrasova was Jean Babilée's teacher in Monte Carlo ,it was Julia Sedova (a ballerina with St Petersburg Ballet) Marika was a student of Sedova's and later became her assistant .Julia Sedova was a great teacher , Serge Golovine and Renée (Zizi) Jeanmaire  were also her pupils in the early 40's. Marika later had a successful school in Monte Carlo.

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Mart, perhaps you will allow me to correct you. Jean Babilée himself said Marika Besobrasova was his teacher. Besobrasova herself also confirmed it. I have read both these interviews with Mikhail Meilakh from his large collection of interviews with dancers of that era. Ismene Brown

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Thank you Welcome to the Forum.

Edited by Janet McNulty
edited at request of ibrown

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Janet, I needed to make no clarification. Mart is the one who should clarify whether he/she has some other information that supersedes Babilée and Besobrasova's own words to Meilakh on the matter. If not, please would you remove the comment as it impugns my professional competence. Ismene Brown

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Babilée did classes with Marika in the 50's at her school but I maintain that it was Julia Sedova who ran ran the ballet in Monte Carlo and was the teacher ,

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You have your decades wrong, Mart, and you muddled up Sedova's career with Besobrasova's. Babilée was not taking lessons in the 1950s, he was a world-famous dancer by then. He debuted professionally in 1940, with Besobrasova's company, aged 16. Sedova did not run a Monte Carlo ballet company - she taught in Cannes and the south of France.

The situation was complicated by the war - Monaco was nominally neutral while northern France was occupied, though the south of France was at first a 'free zone' run by the Vichy government on behalf of Germany. There was a large Ballets Russes community in the Monte Carlo area. Sedova was living and teaching in Cannes, and giving classes in Nice and Menton. These are all very close to Monte Carlo, the longtime home, of course, of the Ballets Russes company. But once the Germans invaded France, Monaco's separate statehood made travel more complicated. Besobrasova was one of the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo ballerinas, a one-time pupil of Sedova. She describes in an extensive interview with Meilakh how in 1940 as a result of Sedova being unable to travel as easily as before, her star pupils, the Golovines (Serge who was 16, Solange and George), who were starting to perform in Monte Carlo, turned to Besobrasova (who was then 22) for lessons. Babilée, also 16, was sent to Monte Carlo by his parents from occupied Paris, and he joined Besobrasova's classes. After a falling out with the Casino management, Besobrasova and her young performers, including Babilée, Golovine and Trailine, were financed by the Aga Khan in a move to Cannes as the Ballet de Cannes. In 1942 things fell apart; Monaco was invaded by Italy, and the Germans ended the 'free zone'. Unable to operate, Besobrasova and Babilée returned to Paris, where Babilée joined Paris Opera Ballet and Besobrasova went on to become the balletmistress of the De Cuevas company. Certainly, she established her own studio in Monte Carlo in 1952, but this was more than 10 years after Babilée became professional. So perhaps you will now accept that my work was not incorrect.

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I certainly did not wish to impugn the professional competence of Miss Brown ,I got this information from conversations in the 50's with Jules Oudart who had been the regisseur of the ballet in Monte Carlo and subsequently was regisseeur of the Paris Opera Ballet

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Dancers stop taking lessons?  news to me

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