Russina-born Tamara Tchinarova began her dance training in Paris with emigre ballerinas from the Imperial Russian Ballet. She danced professionally in Europe with the touring Ballet Russes companies that emerged in the 1930s and she came to Australia in 1936 on tour with the Monte Carlo Russian Ballet. Tchinarova returned in 1938 with the Covent Garden Russian Ballet. 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. Tamara has also pursued a career as a dance writer and has been published in a range of dance magazines, notably the Dancing Times.
This is the fourth part of Tamara Finch’s story of her career as a dancer. The first three parts were published as ‘My dancing years’ in New York in Dance Chronicle, Volume 27, Numbers 1 – 3, in 2004. Part three concludes with the decision of Finch (then Tamara Tchinarova) and her mother to remain in Australia at the end of the 1938 – 39 tour by the Covent Garden Russian Ballet, and with an account of some of her early experiences in Australia including her time with the Polish-Australian and Kirsova Ballets.