Dancing into the Unknown
My Life in the Ballets Russes & Beyond

By Tamara T. Finch
December 2007
Dance Books
Distributed By Trans-Atlantic Publications
ISBN: 9781852731144
217 Pages, Illustrated, 6 1/4 x 9 1/2"
$52.50 Hardcover

Tamara Tchinarova was born in Romania in 1919 and began her dance training in Paris with emigre ballerinas from the Imperial Russian Ballet. She danced professionally in Europe with the touring Ballet Russes companies that emerged in the 1930s after the death of the entrepreneur Serge Diaghilev, and she went to Australia in 1936 with the Monte Carlo Russian Ballet, returning in 1938 with the Covent Garden Russian Ballet.

In Australia during those first two tours by the Russian Ballet, she made a strong impression as Action in Leonide Massine's first symphonic ballet "Les Presages". She was also admired for her portrayal of Thamar the Georgian Queen in Michel Fokine's dramatic ballet "Thamar", and was also praised for her dancing in demi-character roles in ballets such as "Le Beau Danube".

In 1939 at the conclusion of the Covent Garden Russian Ballet tour, along with a number of her colleagues, Tchinarova elected to stay in Australia where she met and married the actor Peter Finch and worked with him on a number of films before leaving Australia to make her home in London. But Finch had caught the eye of the glamorous actress Vivien Leigh, wife of Sir Laurence Olivier, and the love triangle that developed was to have devastating consequences.

This fascinating autobiography highlights Tamara's incredible life in Romania and her worldwide dancing career, the tempestuous marriage to Peter Finch and her involvement in his notorious affair with Leigh, through to her subsequent career as adviser and interpreter for many Russian ballet companies.

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