My recollections of Princess Nathalie Poutiatine go back to when I was five years old and commenced my ballet training at the Academy of Ballet. I remember her as a woman of extraordinary beauty. Her classes were always full of imagery. She would impart not just the brilliance of technique, but would stress the quality of movement, and musicality. Temperament was essential. Linear beauty and ethereal quality of the romantic period were perhaps the two things she imparted to us most of all. She would often refer to the stern discipline of her own teachers, slow progress was not tolerated.
Manage and virtuoso Pirouettes were among her favourite to finish a class. She had extraordinary knowledge of Grecian art and oriental movement. I remember three beautiful choreographic solos: a Grecian dance, a Turkish dance for the opera Caterina Desguanez by Maestro Carmelo Pace and a Mazurka performed at La Scala Theatre London.
We were taught how to appreciate the spiritual and intellectual values in life, these same principles I encouraged within my school: good character formation with a sound artistic and intellectual development.
She taught many of us the true love for beauty and for this sublime art, which she so much loved. She lived for the joy of dance, and her expression was so rich that she has left an indelible mark in the souls who were ready to receive it.
I had the privilege of working closely with Princess Nathalie during the last few precious years of her life. She gave me the confidence, the courage and the vision to direct her Academy of Ballet she so much loved and left her legacy for generations to come.
Princess Poutiatine’s life and teachings were published in March 2020 in a book edited by Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel , with contributions from Tanya Bayona titled “Princess Nathalie Poutiatine – The Art of Ballet In Malta”
The world needs beauty and the understanding of it helps refinement of the spirit, kindness, and joyful mood and even encourages goodness. We have a duty to preserve the legacy of artistic loveliness passed on to us. A world from which beauty has vanished would be a very sad place to live in. May the Almighty Creator save the world from such a calamity for the benefit of generations to come.
Quote by Princess Nathalie Poutiatine.