Seraphine Astafieva (1876-1934)

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Serafina Astafieva (1876 – 13 September 1934) was a Russian dancer and ballet teacher.Astafieva was a pupil at the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre School and in 1895 graduated from the Mariinsky Ballet School. In 1896 she married Jozef Kshessinsky a famous character dancer. From 1909-1911 Astafieva performed with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. After retiring from performing she opened the Russian Dancing Academy at 'The Pheasantry' on King's Road in Chelsea, London. Her pupils included Anton Dolin, Margot Fonteyn, Alicia Markova and Hermione Darnborough.A blue plaque unveiled in 1968 commemorates Astafieva at 152 King's Road in Chelsea.She is referenced as "Grishkin" in T. S. Eliot's poem Whispers of Immortality.

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