Page:The Art of Nijinsky.djvu/30

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Warsaw and enlisted as a scholar in the college of the Imperial Ballet at St. Petersburg.

A correspondent of the Manchester Guardian has given a neat précis of that famous system to which is owing so much of the supremacy of the Russian Imperial Ballet. "To-day," he writes, "the ballet is a vast State organisation with an annual budget of over a million roubles. The members of the ballet troups are Government servants, with the attendant rights and privileges of this class. Most of the corps du ballet are of quite humble origin, and are generally the daughters of small clerks, of the theatre attendants, who have naturally numerous facilities for advancing their children, and of former ballet-dancers. The training of a dancer is long and severe. After having passed through a process of selection and of physical in-