National Library of Australia
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The collection contains magazine programs, souvenir programs, cast lists, brochures, pamphlets, flyers and newspaper clippings primarily relating to ballet performances. There are also personal items, photographs and scrapbooks documenting the career of Tamara Finch, together with photographs of Finch's husband Peter Finch.
This collection is available for research.
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Tamara Finch, National Library of Australia, MS 9733, [series and file/item number]'.
The collection was donated to the National Library by Tamara Finch. An initial instalment was received in November 2000, followed by two smaller instalments in December 2001, and a further instalment in January 2005.
Selected photographs from Series 5 have been digitised, and are available online through this finding aid and via the Library's catalogue (http://nla.gov.au/catalogue).
Papers of Peter Finch are held at MS 7003. An interview with Tamara Finch is held in the Oral History Collection at ORAL TRC 3120.
The order of the collection has been devised by Library staff.
Tamara Tchinarova was born in 1919 to Russian parents in a Russian province that became part of Romania. She moved to Paris at the age of six and began her dance training there with emigré ballerinas from the Imperial Russian Ballet.
Tchinarova danced professionally in Europe with the touring Ballets Russes companies that emerged in the 1930s after the death of the entrepreneur Serge Diaghilev. She first came to Australia in 1936 on tour with the Monte Carlo Russian Ballet and returned in 1938 with the Covent Garden Russian Ballet. In Australia during those first two tours by the Russian Ballet she made a strong impression as Action in Leonide Massine's first symphonic ballet Les Présages. She was also admired for her portrayal of Thamar the Georgian Queen in Michel Fokine's dramatic ballet Thamar, and was also praised for her dancing in demi-character roles in ballets such as Le Beau Danube.
In 1939 at the conclusion of the Covent Garden Russian Ballet tour, along with a number of her colleagues, Tchinarova elected to stay in Australia. She made an especially important contribution in the 1940s to newly developing Australian companies, which included the Kirsova Ballet, the Polish-Australian Ballet and the Borovansky Ballet. During her time with the Kirsova Ballet she created a number of roles, including that of Satana in Kirsova's three act ballet Faust, which premiered in November 1941. She was a principal dancer with the Borovansky Ballet in the mid 1940s and worked with Borovansky to restage ballets from the Ballets Russes repertoire. In Australia she met and married actor Peter Finch and worked with him on a number of films before leaving Australia to make her home in London in 1949.
Since retiring from dancing Finch has acted as interpreter for many English-speaking dance companies, including the Australian Ballet, during tours to Russia, and for Russian companies touring in the West. She was also employed by the Foreign Office to interpret for trade fairs held in the Soviet Union. She has also pursued a career as a dance writer and has been published in a range of dance magazines, notably The Dancing Times.
Roebuck, G. 'Tamara Tchinarova and the Ballets Russes', Dance expression, August 2000, pp.26-27.
Roebuck, G. 'Tamara Tchinarova', Dance expression, September 2000, p.37.
Profile of the Ballets Russes in Australasia, 1936-1940, in the Australian Performing Arts (PROMPT) Collection, National Library of Australia
Comprising personal items relating to Finch, including correspondence, invitations and legal papers. Correspondents include Peter Hawker, Ian McRae and Michael G. Nagy.
Containing a variety of programs relating to dance and opera performances primarily in Europe and the United Kingdom. There are magazine programs, souvenir programs and cast lists, as well as advertising ephemera, such as brochures, pamphlets and flyers.
Includes a program for the Coronation Ballet Homage to the Queen performed by Sadler's Wells Ballet (1953).
Comprising scrapbooks and loose newspaper and magazine clippings capturing the career highlights of Finch and her contemporaries.
Comprising ballet periodicals, books and miscellaneous printed material.
Featuring an article on Finch by Gavin Roebuck.
Includes a book review.
Incomplete set. A number of these issues contain articles written by Finch.
Featuring photographs of Finch in dance costume as a child and dancing for the Ballets Russes Australian tours, the Monte Carlo Russian Ballet, Kirsova Ballet, the Polish-Australian Ballet and the Borovansky Ballet. The series includes photographs relating to Finch's career as an interpreter and photographs of Australian Ballet dancers and productions (especially on the company's 1988 overseas tour). There are also a number of photographs of Peter Finch, some taken on movie sets, together with photographs of Aboriginal people in Arnhem Land during an expedition by Peter Finch and George Heath, ca. 1944.
Selected photographs from this series have been digitised, and are available online through this finding aid and via the Library's catalogue (http://nla.gov.au/catalogue).
Date indicated by location of photographic studio.
Photograph may predate Ballets Russes Australian tours.
Dated on assumption that photograph dates from Australian tour.
Annotated verso: 'Tchinarova age 15'. However, an identical photograph in MS 9803 is stamped 'Hollywood Studios' indicating a later date.
Date indicated by location of photographic studio and implication (verso) that photograph may have been taken after the Australian tour.
Annotated verso: 'Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo'. However, Riabouchinska toured with Covent Garden Russian Ballet, suggesting a date of 1938/1939, although photograph may predate her Australian tour.
Annotated verso: 'Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo'. However, Nelidova toured with Covent Garden Russian Ballet, suggesting a date of 1938/1939, although photograph may predate Australian tour.
Annotated verso '1937'. However, these dancers performed with the Covent Garden Russian Ballet, suggesting a date 1938/1939.
Annotated verso 'Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo 1935/36'. However, these dancers performed with Covent Garden Russian Ballet, suggesting a date of 1938/1939.
Signed 'Dorothy Stevenson with love to Tamara'.
Annotated verso: 'Choreartium 1935/6 (should not have had red nail polish on)'.
Annotated verso with detail by Tchinarova Finch.
Christmas card from the Australian Ballet.
Including letters from Finch to Michelle Potter, and letters to Finch from Edouard Borovansky, Bill Constable, Arnold Haskell, Maina Gielgud, Hector MacQuarrie, Ian McRae, Noel M. Pelly, Lady Potter, Lady Tait and Joan Trunoff.
Manuscripts and typescripts of writings by Finch, including 'History of dance, ballet', 'Portrait of Elizabeth Toohey and David McAllister', 'The Australian Ballet tours Soviet Russia' and others; together with an article not written by Finch, entitled 'The lucky country'
Audio cassette featuring the radio program 'Tribute to Borovansky', Radio National, 24 September 1994.
Compact cassette tape