Born in Moscow, Anna Volkova began her dance training in Paris with former Imperial Russian ballerinas Olga Preobrajenska and later Lubov Egorova. She began her professional career with Colonel de Basil’s Russian Ballet at the Alhambra in London in 1933 and then at Covent Garden in 1935. From 1935 onwards she was a de Basil dancer and travelled with them around the world until 1943. Volkova came to Australia with the Covent Garden Russian Ballet in 1938 and returned in 1940 with the Original Ballet Russe. In Australia she danced many important roles and was known in particular for her interpretation of the first Waltz in Les Sylphides. Following the Original Ballet Russe Australian tour, Volkova toured with the company to South America, and was stranded in Cuba during the infamous Ballets Russes strike. She moved to Australia in 1945 to marry an Australian, Jim Barnes, and has lived in New South Wales since that time.
Irina Baronova, Valrene Tweedie & Anna Volkova share some memories of their performances of Leonide Massine's symphonic ballets, Choreartium, Symphonie Fantastique and Les Présages.