Russian ballerinas are a race apart. They seem to live until they are a hundred and even on their deathbeds can still turn a pirouette or hold an arabesque. Their spines are steel ramrods, their memories elephantine. They can also be a wee bit obstreperous.
Suzana Braga has written a meticulous but uncritical biography of one of these extraordinary creatures, which reads as though she is not just deeply admiring but absolutely terrified of her subject. ‘Tatiana is not an easy person,’ she quakingly informs us. ‘She is famous for questioning everything, often to the