Page:The Art of Nijinsky.djvu/31

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spection, girls are taken into the Government ballet schools from the age of eight to ten. At school they remain, on an average, about seven years. Then, after passing the final examination, they are enrolled as members of the corps du ballet. The step from corps dancer to première danseuse depends entirely on the dancer's own ability and talent. Sometimes, as in the case of Anna Pavlova"—and, he might have added, of Nijinsky—"promotion comes almost immediately, and usually it is easy to recognise the future ballerina before she has reached her twentieth year. Practice, however, is essential, and even to the end of her career the most talented ballerina must practise three or four hours a day."

Such is the course of training which in recent years has produced more than one dancing star of the first magnitude—a training whose principles are bound up