Saturday, 21 November 2020




Pencil and Mascara

Three studies of Natalia Makarova made by H.I. the other day. She freeze-framed a video of her dancing The Dying Swan. H.I. has just reminded me that she had the most wing-like arms in the business.

What we both liked about Makarova - apart from her actual performances - was her down-to-earth approach to the world of ballet. No Nureyev tantrums or bullying, none of the untouchable aloofness of Margot Fonteyn (every schoolgirl's magazine heroine of the late 1950s).

I once watched an endearing documentary about her, where she chatted away with a coffee and practiced at the bar with a cigarette in her free hand.

The lower drawing reminds me of Rodin's. (H.I. says that the upper one does too.)


  1. Fantastic..Although l'm a fanatic about Soul music,
    and dance..l was five years old when l started ballet
    lessons, love it..the lady my Mum cooked for,
    used to give her ballet tickets for Bournemouth
    Pavilion, so as a nipper, ALL dressed up..tuxedo and all
    off we'd go to the ballet..! :)..
    Unfortunately over the next few years, l grew to tall,
    and bigger, l carried on with my tap, and, no, l never
    ever fell in the sink...Joke! Joke! :).
    So, over the 60/70's l spend twelve years in the
    entertainment business..stand up/drums etc..But!
    mostly dance, and went on to choreograph many shows,
    in Germany, and across the pond, back in the world!

    And, yes, Natalia Makarova, she was truly amazing,
    and also a choreographer..she defected to the west
    in 1970..a very beautiful and lovely lady, still with
    us aged 79..! :o).

    Rodin..Yes! The Gates of Hell...?

  2. Not his sculpture, the Balinese dancer drawings.

    1. Ah! Yes! I see now..Your quite right..!
      Tchaikovsky...Swan Lake..still my favourite...

  3. Replies
    1. So do I. She has been drawing since she was a child and has never stopped.

  4. The drawings are beautiful. It takes a lot of talent to absorb the dance movement that way.

    1. Yes, it does. She is so good at what she does.

  5. H.I. is SO talented .... they are all very beautiful ...... the first one is my favourite. Will H.I. frame and display them ? XXXX

  6. Love the drawings. A talented HI.

  7. Lovely drawings capturing the grace of Makarova. I saw one of her last performances (Giselle) with the Kirov in London right before she defected. Wonderful memories of an incredible ballerina.

  8. The drawings are ballet on paper! How amazing to be able to do that....

  9. There is a youtoob of our Royal Winnipeg Ballet prima dancing the dying swan. Check out Evelyn Hart, it is pretty spectacular, if I do brag her up.

  10. Oh, beautiful drawings! Her arms are pretty wing-y. And I didn't know mascara was so handy.

  11. I love the top drawing, it really captures the movement of her arms.

  12. Message from H.I. (Jackie):

    "Thank you for all your lovely comments. It is very encouraging, and that's what you need - encouragement - even after all these years."

  13. In the sketches, the arms look so supple--wing like.