Modernism and classic
In Paris, the Grand Opera of Spesivtsev danced “Giselle” with triumphal success. The ballerina was called the first Russian star of the first theater in France. At the end of the contract, she accepted an invitation from Sergey Dyagilev and performed in his troupe. Repertoire specifically for Spesivtseva was reoriented to the classics.
But the company Dyagileva experienced far from the best of times. The ballerina’s mother wrote bitterly that Olga was “in bondage.” Then Spesivtseva returned to the Grand Opera. However, classical ballets have faded into the background. Olga Alexandrovna could not help but dance and agreed on roles in new-fangled productions - “Bacchus and Ariadne”, “The Tragedy of Salome”.
Participation, albeit forced, in modernist ballets very clearly showed how many-sided was the talent of the artist. Yet her true vocation was classical dance. It was said that she carried with her everywhere a portrait of the legendary Maria Taloni. It was the ideal that Olga Spesivtseva always sought to approach.
After the death of Anna Pavlova, Victor Dandre organized the Classical Ballet troupe. It was planned tour in Australia. Olga Spesivtseva was elected the star of the troupe. Despite the difficulties of the trip and the unusual climate, the success of the performances was triumphant. But the tour had to be interrupted ahead of schedule due to aggravated health problems.
Some time later, Spesivtseva opened her own studio in Paris. With the help of students, she staged several performances, including one-act ballets, created specially for her by Mikhail Fokin. Periodically toured. The last performance took place in Argentina, in Buenos Aires. And then came the tragic events.
Even during the tour of Australia, Olga Spesivtseva was accompanied by one Mr. Brown. He persuaded her to go to the United States, then flatly refused to return her Soviet passport. Tense conversation deprived the artist of the rest of his soul and physical strength. In serious condition, she was in the walls of a psychiatric clinic. There the great ballerina spent twenty-two years.
She was doomed to painful loneliness. The consolation was the days when her school friend visited her - the famous dancer Felia Dubrovskaya. Olga Spesivtseva was not completely insane - she remembered the years of study and work in the theater. Bright intervals alternated with bouts of unconsciousness.
It took a long time to get out of the prison of mental illness. Medications were found that helped Olga Alexandrovna to significantly improve her condition. She was found by her sister Zinaida and brother Anatoly. There was a question about returning to Russia. The correspondence of Zinaida Papkovich-Spesivtseva, Felia Dubrovskaya and Olga Alexandrovna herself has been preserved. These letters are like a monument to that bitter story when a great actress wanted to see the Motherland, but in response met only indifference.
“The years will pass,” the ballerina’s sister wrote, “and they will come to their senses when it rises to the top, as the talents are trapped. This is the cry of my soul, understand. "
Olga Spesivtseva became a prisoner of a new dungeon - human indifference. No matter how many attempts were made, the return journey was impossible. It remained to live, constantly carrying in the soul longing for the motherland.
Since the 60s, after leaving the clinic, Olga Spesivtseva settled on a farm near New York. Alexandra Lvovna Tolstoy - the daughter of Leo Tolstoy - created a foundation with the aim of helping compatriots who find themselves in a foreign land. The farm founded by her has become a kind of shelter. There the Russian ballerina lived to the end of her days.
More than once she met with artists who came overseas on tour - in different years Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya, Maris Liepa visited her. Olga Aleksandrovna constantly corresponded with relatives and friends. In addition, she was strongly supported by religious philosophy.
In the autumn day of 1991 the great ballerina was gone. She was 96 years old.
Such an unusually long life turned out to be - despite the painful experiences and truly terrible, tragic events in her fate. Olga Spesivtseva became one of the symbols of Russian ballet and high art in general. But not only - it is also an example of loyalty to its ideals, which was maintained despite the circumstances. This is the strength that will amaze for centuries.