Music: Bis! Bis!

Outside the Iron Curtain, the dancing genius of slender, 41-year-old Galina Ulanova was mainly legend. She had danced publicly only in the Soviet Union, had rarely traveled outside its borders. Last week, for the first time, a representative Western European audience had a chance to see Ulanova dance in a concert performance at Florence. The general verdict: she is the world's best.

Ballet has always been the center of Ulanova's existence. Her parents, members of the ballet at St. Petersburg's famed Mariinsky Theater, began training her as a child. She made her first public appearance when she was eight. At...

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