Bronislava Nijinska

Bronislava Nijinska (8 January 1891 [old style 27 December 1890] – 22 February 1972) was a Russian ballerina, choreographer, and teacher of Polish descent. Her parents were dancers. She was one of three siblings and the sister of the famous ballet dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky.

Bronislava Nijinska
Бронисла́ва Фоми́нична Нижи́нская
Harvard Theatre Collection - Saison Russe 1913, Petrouchka, MS Thr 965 (7).jpg
Bronislava Nijinska in Petrouchka. From a playbill, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Saison Russe. 23 May 1913
Bronislava Fominichna Nizhinskaya

(1891-01-08)January 8, 1891
DiedFebruary 21, 1972(1972-02-21) (aged 81)
Occupationballerina, choreographer, ballet teacher
Spouse(s)Alexandre Kochetovsky
Nicholas Singaevsky
ChildrenLeo Kochetovsky, Irina Nijinska
RelativesVaslav Nijinsky (brother)
AwardsNational Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, 1994

When she was very young, Nijinska learned to dance at home. Her parents taught her Polish, Hungarian, Italian, and Russian folk dances. Her father also taught her some acrobatics. This helped her later with her choreography.[1]

She was only four years old when she made her debut in a Christmas program with her brothers in Nizhny Novgorod.[2] Nijinska trained with the Italian dancer, Enrico Cecchetti, before joining the Imperial Ballet School in 1900. She was a student there until 1908. Her teachers were Nicolai Legat and Mikhail Fokine.[3]

She danced with the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg and the Ballets Russes. She was a choreographer for the Ballets Russes, with important modernist dance titles to her credit: Les Noces (1923), Le Train Bleu (1924) and Les Biches (1924). She guided the re-creation of these works in modern times.

She died in Pacific Palisades, California. She was twice married and had two children.


  1. Makaryk, Irena Rima, and Virlana Tkacz, eds. Modernism in Kiev: Kyiv/Kyïv/Kiev/Kijów/Ḳieṿ: Jubilant Experimentation. University of Toronto Press, 2010.
  2. Nižinska, Bronislava. Bronislava Nijinska: Early Memoirs. Duke University Press, 1992.
  3. Sanders, Lorna. "Les Noces (Svadebka/The Wedding)." The Dancing Times. Oct. 2004: 48-53. Print.