Igor Youskevitch (published 1982)

Dublin Core


Igor Youskevitch (published 1982)


Youskevitch tells how he was recruited to become a dancer, and his effort to master the role of Albrecht in the classical ballet Giselle.

Biographical note:

Born in the Ukraine in 1912, Youskevitch and his family fled the Russian Revolution to settle in Yugoslavia. He trained as a gymnast before turning to a ballet career at the age of 20. After intensive training in Paris, Youskevitch began dancing professionally in 1934. He danced as premier danseur of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo beginning in 1938. Youskevitch emigrated to the United States during World War II, joined the U.S. Navy, and became an American citizen. After the war, he danced with the American Ballet Theatre in New York. He later returned to Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo as artistic director and dancer. Youskevitch retired from dancing in 1962 and opened his own school in New York. At the time of this interview, Youskevitch was head of the dance program at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1983 he became the artistic director of the New York International Ballet Competition, a position he held until his death in 1994. He was married to Anna Scarpova with whom he had a daughter, Maria; both are also dancers.


Pratt SILS LIS-665, Barbara Newman

Date Created

January 3, 1979



Access Rights

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Is Part Of

Newman, B. (1982). Striking a balance: Dancers talk about dancing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Newman, B. (1992). Striking a balance: Dancers talk about dancing. New York: Limelight Editions




Interviews recorded on cassette by Barbara Newman

Rights Holder

Barbara Newman, Igor Youskevitch

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Audio Cassette Tape

Digital Format


Digital Master

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Bit Rate/Frequency

128 kbps/44.1kHz


Barbara Newman


Igor Youskevitch, 1912-1994


San Francisco, CA

Additional content

I can't remember a time when the name Igor Youskevitch wasn't synonymous with the role of Albrecht and with the title danseur noble. But I never saw him dance, and when you miss someone's career completely - through the misfortune of time or geography - you've missed it, and there are no second chances. Or so I had always thought, until Youskevitch taught a class I had expected to take from his wife. The splendors of his renowned technique have naturally vanished, but the danseur has survived and still flourishes in his bearing and manner. Youskevitch radiates more unashamed grandeur and unabashed gallantry in the studio than most male dancers today bring to the stage. What he taught me about dancing that winter evening had little to do with steps," Barbara Newman (1992).




“Igor Youskevitch (published 1982),” Dance Dialogues: Interviews by Barbara Newman, 1979-Present, accessed August 10, 2022, http://dancedialogues.prattsils.org/items/show/21.

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