The name Tamara Polonska, so well suited for sophisticated Lady, Artist, Distinguished and Kind Human being, born Aristocrat - and that is who really she was. For all of us who happened to be fortunate and get to meet and know Tamara Konstantinovna is indeed a blessing  for a Lifetime. For me personally knowing Mme.Polonska on so many levels, being one of the closest student to her, that she let into her private life is something I will treasure and cherish for the rest of my life. I met Mme.Polonska in the classroom of course, at the National Ballet School " Lujo Davico " in my native Bor City, Serbia, Yugoslavia. Our class was unfortunately fortunate that in the first four years of training had three different teachers ( rather unusual history ) starting with Boris Subotic our teacher in first year, who after teaching us Immigrated to the United States, following the second teacher we admired "Our Goddess" as we called her Radmila Teodorovic Novosel, teaching us second and third year class but left to teach in Italy, we got a third teacher - Russian Imperial Ballerina, Aristocrat!  It was September 1981, early afternoon, hot and sunny day. We were waiting in the classroom with anticipation to begin our first class of the fourth year with new teacher. Soon our director whom I always admired for not just being amazing professional but a representation of a true Gentlemen, Prof.Miodrag Tirmenstajn entered class followed by two  Ladies and introduced us to our new teacher and pianist. Mme.Polonska was dressed very elegantly in beautiful yellow and navy exquisitely combined dress with matching shoes and purse. Her hair was white and shiny like silver. As the sunlight was entering thorough the windows and shades of yellow and navy reflected throughout our classroom, Mme.Polonska looked like the most beautiful Tulip Flower Bouquet!  We all fell in love instantly with our new teacher and we knew that we are very lucky, since our teacher is obviously extraordinary human being. From first day in her class Mme.Polonska had my full devotion, admiration, sympathy and attention . We all called her " Our Divine Teacher Aristocrat ".

As a Classical Ballet teacher she was exceptional, energetic, musical and very strict, creating delightfully structured  hard class combinations that reflected times of Marius Petipa, Fokine, Vaganova and Russian teachers of XX Century. In short words, everything about her classes was Style, Aesthetic,  Beauty and Musicality. We as students could not wait for another day to come and start all over again with plies, indulging the beauty of our teacher and her classes. She had most  beautiful hands, arms, and when demonstrating combination or later variations/choreography she would transform her facial expression and body language into that - so it was very easy to learn and feel the right emotion and propper execution of each step. Often in class we would spend dedicating time and attention on very important details of epaulement, head positions and  finger positions. Allegro combinations and pointe work for girls was Mme.Polonska's specialty. We danced in class, repeating over and over until we did not hear that familiar deep voice of our teacher saying that we did it fine - jumping in class was just a pure joy. The last year of training as a student in lower school ended fast, and in 1982 I continued my education at the National Ballet School " Lujo Davico" in Belgrade. Fortunately Tamara Konstantinovna was going back to Belgrade too.

Mme.Polonska`s well appointed apartment was in Central Belgrade, just few blocks to the left from National Theater and few blocks down the street to National Ballet School. On one occasion she borrowed to me book that was in French,  about Paris Opera Ballet History and as the time drew near I was ready to return the book. I can not remember exact circumstances and cause of arrangement that brought me in front of large dark brown wooden doors on Hilandarska street, fourth floor, apartment number eight - but there I was, visiting my teacher at her apartment. The moment you entered apartment was like entering another world,  sophisticated, refined impeccable taste with everything placed exactly where it should be - World of Balance, Beauty and Harmony. She lived alone in three long shaped rooms apartment with wooden floors, dominant color of emerald green for furnishings and pale cream walls covered with carefully selected art collection, including two large paintings - portraits of herself. The furnishings consisted of many small detailed chairs, tables, vitrines, accented with large sofa's and book shelves hosting thousands of books - all carefully selected and read by respectful owner. We sat in Salon, touched many conversation subjects on Art, Ballet, Music, History and since then I became my teacher's regular guest. During many years of visiting her in that same Salon we danced Mazurkas, she instructed me Barre Par Terre exercises by Boris Kniaseff, coached me Classical Ballet Variations, reading Russian poetry of Sergey Yesennin, listening the music of Scriabine, Balakirev, Russian Romances, Julio Iglesias and Edith Piaf. If for some reason I visited in the morning hours she loved to make a French Toast for us accompanied by cup of hot Earl Gray tea, while we sat in her kitchen with walls covered in Blue Bone China Plates - imports from all her guest appearances throughout the world. Each item in Mme.Polonska's home was selected with utmost care, unique and had story. Her Intellect was beyond remarkable with knowledge of many languages, History and Science too. She admired dancing of Nina Kirsanova, Margot Fonteyn, Claude Bessy, Yvette Chauvire, Natalia Boskovic and Maya Plisetzkaya. Great Fan of Italian Fashion, loved spending her vacations in Vienna, Italy or Croatian Coast. Consumer of Chanel No 5 perfume and always dressed so Elegantly with impeccable hairstyle. Her favorite colors were Pink, Green, Yellow, Blue and Navy. She is survived by her daughter Vera Avakumovic Obradovic and grandchildren Aleksandra Bugarin and Miodrag Misha Obradovic.



Tamara Konstantinovna Polonska, Russian Emigree, Ballerina and Teacher was born in Sevastopol,  Russia, in 1920 and as a baby along with her mother and father brought via Dubrovnik to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. The family settled in Belgrade and as a little girl after seeing Premiere of ballet Raymonda at the National Theater she immediately asked her mother to take her to the Ballet School. From 1929 - 1936 she has received Classical Ballet training in the finest traditions of Russian Imperial Ballet School and her teacher was famous Mariinsky Ballerina, Director and Choreographer Elena Dmitrievna Poliakova. As being among one of the promising and talented graduates with unique Russian Beauty, Elegance, Sophisticated Manner and Grace, she entered Ballet Company at the National Theater in Belgrade as Soloist. Her first performance was in the Ballet Legend of Ohrid in which for many years was famous interpreter and noted by critics in a role as  Romanian Girl.  Mme. Polonska was Distinguished Artist and important figure in the History and formation of Ballet Troupe in Belgrade between two World War's and in post War period. ​From 1936 till 1967 she has danced in all Classical Ballet repertoire and also character roles. Her first debut as soloist was in ballet Les Sylphides - Prelude, following solo roles in Coppelia, Legend of Ohrid, Swan Lake, Scheherazade, The Gingerbread Heart, Raymonda, The Sleeping Beauty, Devil in the Village and Legend of Josef. She has worked with important Directors and Choreographers of XX Century in Historic and Monumental performances choreographed by Elena Poliakova, Nina Kirsanova, Boris Kniaseff, Pia and Pino Mlakar, Margarita Froman, Anatoliy Zhukovski and Boris Romanoff. ​In long career over three decades as Ballerina Mme. Polonska was frequently partnered by Anatoliy Zhukovski, Sima Laketic, Milos Ristic and Alexander Fortunato. With Ballet company of National Theater in Belgrade she has toured on many International tours enjoying sights and beauty of distant places while performing on stages in Athens, Sofia, Tehran, Venice, Monte Carlo, Frankfurt, Madrid, Brussels, Cairo, Paris, Edinburgh and Zurich. ​During her last years before retirement from stage she started with teaching Classical Ballet at the National Ballet School and Academy of Dramatic Arts while holding a short term Ballet Mistress position at the National Theater in Belgrade. From 1970 to 1986 she was teacher at many Ballet Schools and Studios throughout former Yugoslavia and also permanent teacher at Ballet Schools in Sicily, Italy. After several months of illness Mme. Polonska died in Belgrade in 1998.

Beauty and Harmony on Hilandarska Street

Misha Bart