Anna Ward, Ballet Choreographer, Teacher, Instruction


History - Ballet Russe and Nathalie Krassovska



A video clip of the Ballet Russe is available here

courtesy of the


Most people knew Nathalie Krassovska as "Madame"--a title of great and well-deserved respect. As a ballerina she performed the best of the classical repertory with some of the finest and most famous dancers of the Twentieth Century. As a member of the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo, she toured Europe and South America. In North America she toured with the Ballet Russes on a train that brought classical ballet to large and small cities and towns that had never seen a ballet. They were the ballet pioneers in America.

Nathalie Krassovska  Nathalie Krassovska 

Early in her career she worked with such choreographers as Balanchine, Bronislava Nijinska, Michael Fokine, and Leonide Massine. After a long career as a soloist and then Prima Ballerina with the Ballet Russes and then went on to become Prima Ballerina with the London Festival Ballet from 1950 to 1960.

In 1963, Madame Krassovska settled in Dallas, Texas. As a Dallas teacher, she maintained a strict classical Russian Romantic style. She gained a loyal and devoted following of hundreds of students and many many fans. She incorporated the delicacy, soft phrasing, effortless and almost non-acrobatic aspects of that old company style into her new dancers to an impressively thorough extent. Upon seeing a performance of Krassovska Ballet Jeunesse, Victoria Lowe of "Dance Magazine" said, "It was, simply the best perfornance by a local company this season....the discipline of the classical Russian Romantic tradition; the soft arms, expressive epaulement and stage presence, and the technical command which permits dancers to move without apparent effort and without making the slightest sound. They were not just good; they were great.


 Nathalie Krassovska

There is almost no one, it seemed, that Madame Krassovska did not know or at least had not met in the ballet world. She told her wonderful stories as she told of her experiences dancing with Anton Dolin, Igor Youskevitch, Frederic Franklin, Alexandra Danilova and Serge Lefar--stories which few in the ballet world was able to match and were a joy.

Jack Anderson, dance critic for the "The New York Times," remembers Madame Krassovska as the first ballerina he ever saw perform the Black Swan Pas de Deux from Swan Lake, an occasion which he says made an indelible impression. But there are many others like him who can say Madame Krassovska is the woman responsible for instilling in them a fascination and love for ballet.

Flamboyant, animated, and dedicated, Madame Krasskovska carried herself like a Prima Ballerina who commanded a spotlight of her own until her death at 86 years in 2005. She held rehearsal the day before she died.

Madame Krassovska was teacher and mentor to Anna Ward for almost 18 years. Not only did Anna dance principal roles with the Company, but also was Madame's protege, and encouraged her talent in creating original ballets of her own.