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SAB 90 - Helene Dudin

Updated: Mar 29

Who was Helene Dudin?

Helene Dudin was a Soviet trained ballerina who came to SAB in 1954. She was close friends with Tumey (Antonina Tumkovsky) who had come to SAB in 1949. Tumey and Dudin are responsible for developing the children’s syllabus that is still used today at SAB. Her students remember her for her tough classes, kind spirit, and generous empathy. Most students who trained at SAB in the last half of the twentieth century took their very first class from Dudin.

Photos provided by Suzy Pilarre taken from a book that Helene’s family had created after her passing in 2008.

What was Helene Dudin like?

“Her cap of black hair fluffed firmly into place, dressed in a neat navy skirt and leotard with pink T-strap shoes and a pearl necklace, Dudin is a tiny, firm figure of adulthood in that sea of small bodies. Feet, head, carriage, and epaulement are still focal points for correction as Dudin moves from child to child at the barre, touching faces and patting heads or taking all the children in with a single gaze as they stand center, listening to her rapid instructions.”

“Dudin lay the foundation on which the children will draw for the rest of their training in classical ballet.”

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