Alovert, Nina


Nina Alovert is a Russian-born photographer who has turned her interest in history and love of dance into art. Born in St. Petersburg, she studied history through graduate school, researching the medieval period and the evolution of comic theater. But when she needed a break from academia, she’d head to the ballet, following both the Kirov and Bolshoi companies since the 1950s, with camera in tow. Taking pictures was a hobby, but the strength of her images soon landed her contracts with both companies, who hired her to chronicle their productions and stars. She photographed Mikhail Baryshnikov from the moment he first graced the stage, and has been credited with “noticing” up-and-coming dancers through her lens long before the rest of the dance world takes note.  

Alovert emigrated to the US in 1977, and it has been suggested that she was following Baryshnikov, who had defected to Canada earlier. She began work as a freelance ballet critic and photographer, eventually landing a position with Dance magazine. Then, in 1984, she published Baryshnikov in Russia, a collection of photographs highlighting his career. For two years, she wrote and broadcast reviews of New Your culture on “The Voice of America” radio station, but has recently turned her attention to a large retrospective collection of her dance photography, which is being housed in St. Petersburg. Over 120 shots are featured, a collection unparalleled in size and scope, including works in color, rather than traditional black and white.