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Spotlight Saturday: Elisabetta Terabust

Today's Spotlight Saturday honours Elisabetta Terabust, an Italian prima ballerina who recently died aged 71.

Elisabetta Terabust, 'Don Quixote', Teatro alla Scala (La Scala Theatre)

Elisabetta Terabust was born in Varese, Italy, on August 4 1946. She began her training at the Rome Opera's Ballet School, under the direction of Italian ballerina Attilia Radice. Upon graduating, she joined the Rome Opera Ballet, where she was promoted to principal in 1966 and Etoile (prima) in 1972. Terabust was often partnered by Danish dancer Erik Bruhn, dancing in such ballets as Don Quixote and Flower Festival in Genzano.

In 'Onegin' with Paul Chalmer

She was also often seen alongside Peter Schaufuss, with whom she frequently danced in the Bournonville style. The National Ballet of Canada mounted a production of Bournonville's Napoli for Terabust and Schaufuss, and she was a frequent guest star, dancing Giselle at La Scala, Nureyev's Romeo and Juliet in New York, and in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and many others for the London Festival Ballet (now the English National Ballet).

In more contemporary works, she frequently collaborated with Roland Petit (famous for his Carmen) at the Ballet de Marseille. She also danced contemporary works by Tetley, Moreland, and MacMillan, but Balanchine was a particular favourite of hers; she danced in Agon, Apollon Musagete (known now as Apollo), Allegro Brillante, La sonnambula, and the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux. She was a frequent collaborator with the company Aterballeto and Amedeo Amodio's Psiche a Manhattan was created for her.

'Le Corsaire' with Peter Schaufuss

One of her last stage roles was in Roland Petit's Charlot danse avec nous (1991) with the Ballet National de Marseille, a ballet about Charlie Chaplin. After retiring from the stage, Terabust moved to direction of Italy's ballet companies; Rome Opera Ballet (1990-92), La Scala Ballet (1993-1997) - where she advanced the careers of Roberto Bolle and Massimo Murru - MaggioDanza (2000-2002), and the San Carlo ballet company at Naples (2002-2006).

In 'Greening' with Nigel Burgoine, London Festival Ballet

She died on February 5, 2018, aged 71. La Scala Ballet observed a minute's silence before commencing their performance on February 6, and their triple bill, which opens March 10, will be dedicated to her memory.

Elisabetta Terabust, pictured in the director's role at Teatro alla Scala

Here she is with Peter Schaufuss in the Le Corsaire Pas de Deux:

Thanks for reading! Next week the Spotlight will be on Marianela Nunez.

- Selene

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