GOLLNER, NANA (1919–1980). Nana Gollner, prima ballerina, was born in El Paso on January 8, 1919. She began ballet training at age four as treatment for infantile paralysis. She continued dance lessons after moving to Los Angeles, making her first professional appearance there at age fourteen in a Max Reinhardt production. In her teen years Gollner also performed with the de Basil and Blum companies of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. During the 1940s she appeared alternately with the American Ballet Theatre, de Basil's Original Ballet Russe, and the London-based International Ballet. With the latter she became the first twentieth-century North American to gain prima ballerina roles in a European company. While best known for performances in classical ballets such as Giselle and Swan Lake, she also performed memorable parts in works by modern choreographers Anton Dolin, George Balanchine, and Antony Tudor. Gollner married Paul Eilif Petersen, a Danish member of the Ballet Russe, in 1942 in Mexico. Frequent dance partners, they used the professional names of Nana Gollner and Paul Petroff. The couple had two sons. In 1948 Gollner and Petroff formed their own company and toured Europe and South America. In 1950 Gollner returned to New York to perform major roles with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, later known as American Ballet Theatre. The Gollner-Petroff company resumed touring in 1951 and 1952. In 1952 Gollner and her family moved to Belgium, where she and Petroff subsequently taught ballet. In 1977 they opened the Academy of Classical Russian Ballet in Antwerp. Gollner died in Antwerp on August 30, 1980, after a long illness.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Sherilyn Brandenstein, "Gollner, Nana," accessed April 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fgo48.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles