AvdotIa IlInichna Istomina

Istomina, Avdot’Ia Il’Inichna


Born Jan. 6 (17), 1799, in St. Petersburg; died there June 26 (July 8), 1848. Russian ballerina.

Istomina graduated from the St. Petersburg Theatrical School in 1816 and made her debut on the stage of the St. Petersburg Bol’shoi Theater, where she soon became the leading female dancer in the ballet company. Dancing the lead roles first in lyrical ballets (Galatea in Cavos’ Acis and Galatea) and later in the heroic ballets of C. Didelot (Evharisa in Jomas’ Evtimii and Evharisa, or The Vanquished Shadow of Libas), she displayed the gift of expressive pantomime and a virtuoso technique. A.S. Pushkin glorified her in Eugene Onegin. Her most famous roles included Flore in Cavos’ Flore et Zéphyre, Lise in La Fille tnal Gardee, Luiza in The Deserter, to music by several composers, the Circassian Girl in Cavos’ The Prisoner of the Caucasus, and Tsaritsa Sumbeka in Sumbeka, or The Subjugation of the Kazan Khanate. Her artistry embodied features that heralded the flowering of the Russian Romantic ballet.


Krasovskaia, V. Russkii baletnyi teatr ot vozniknoveniia do serediny XIX veka. Leningrad-Moscow, 1958. Pages 156–158.
Slonimskii, Iu. Didlo. Leningrad-Moscow, 1958.
El’iash, N. Avdot’ia Istomina. Leningrad, 1971.