Irina Baronova

Irina Baronova was one of three famous "baby ballerinas" discovered by George Balanchine in Paris in the 1930s, when she was 12.  She was in residence at the Pillow for a good part of the 1941 season (when Hans Knopf took this photo of her in the Tea Garden), and discussed the conditions she endured here at Derby house in her 2005 biography.  "There was a bathroom, of sorts, but the toilet was in a shed outdoors."  Baronova retired from the stage only a few years later, at the age of 27, but she went on to play small film roles and was a glamorous presence in the documentary Ballets Russes.  She was married for many years to prominent British talent agent Cecil Tennant, and they were parents of three children including the actress Victoria Tennant.  When Baronova accepted the invitation to serve on the Pillow's 65th Anniversary Artists Committee in 1997, she wrote, "We worked hard, had much fun and loved every moment of our stay at Jacob’s Pillow.  Memories forever cherished!"  She later joined her family to live in Australia, where she died in June 2008 at 89.
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