Nation: Exit Stage Left

Ballerina goes back to Moscow

The plot line was murky, the key-action took place offstage, and some motives were unclear, but one thing was certain about last week's high drama at Kennedy Airport: the Soviets got the girl.

Whether Ballerina Ludmila Vlasova of the Bolshoi Ballet really wanted to go home or to defect with her husband, Dancer Alexander Godunov, may never be known in full. When Godunov, one of the most brilliant of Soviet ballet stars, made his rush to freedom, he did not—or could not—take her with him. Upholding U.S. law prohibiting forced repatriation, the State Department insisted on interviewing Vlasova...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!