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Tamara Tchinarova
, 1938

by Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph

Tamara Tchinarova (1919-2017), dancer, was a pupil of the great Russian teacher Olga Preobrajenska, formerly of the Imperial Russian Ballet. She went to Roumanian Bessarabia soon after the Russian Revolution, and at seventeen became one of the original 'baby ballerinas' of Colonel de Basil's 1932 Ballets Russes company. Tchinarova came to Australia on the first and second tours of the Russian ballets. At the conclusion of the second tour she elected to remain here. In about 1939 she married the young actor Peter Finch, who had recently made his film debut in Dad and Dave Come to Town. During the 1940s she contributed significantly to the development of fledgling Australian dance companies including the Kirsova Ballet and the Borovansky Ballet. After she retired from dancing she worked as a Russian/English interpreter for touring ballet companies, including the Australian Ballet, and as a dance writer.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Rex Dupain 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.75