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 Lyalya Chornaya


Born:   Feburary 15, 1909
Deceased:   September 2, 1982

Gypsy singer, dancer, and actress of the Romen Theatre, the Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1960)

      

Lyalya Chornaya was the stage nickname of Nadia Kiseleva-Khmelyova. She was born into the family of Moscow nobleman Sergey A. Kiselev and gypsy Maria Bonner Polyakova, the singer and dancer of the Strelnensky Gypsy Choir, in Nalchik on February 15, 1909.
The girl first took the stage as a dancer at the age of 13, with Egor Polyakov' Moscow Gypsy Choir at the restaurant "Arbat Basement." At the age of 15 Lyalya was already a celebrity and performed with the same choir in variety show, including thematic gypsy singing concerts, which were held every year in the Hall of Columns, the Bolshoy Theatre and the Experimental Theater.
Lyalya Chornaya sang gypsy folk songs that she learned from her mother. Viewers were particularly impressed with her dances imbibed with richness of rhythms, musicality and plasticity.
Lyalya Chornaya performed on stage of the Romen Theatre since its foundation in 1931. She debuted there with a cameo role in "Morning and Evening", but soon her vivid talent gained her the status of the theater's leading actress.
Her creative destiny was greatly influenced by her two husbands, Mikhail Yanshin and Nikolay Khmelev, both outstanding actors of the Moscow Art Theatre.
During the war Lyalya divorced Mikhail Yanshin and married Nikolay Khmelev. A year later, the couple gave birth to a son. Mikhail Yanshin became the godfather of his ex wife's son.
After the death of Nikolay Khmelev the actress was left alone with a baby to take care of. Mikhail Yanshin supported Lyalya as much as he could.
Postwar years turned to be the most fruitful for the actress. Lyalya Chornaya played a lot and performed numerous concerts. It was the heyday of her fame. She was beautiful, energetic, and a guest of honour at both secular parties, and celebrations at the government level.
In 1972, Lyalya left the theater. She  gave concerts sometimes, but less and less often. She performed her last concert one year before her death. 
In the last years , when the actress was less busy in the repertoire, she enthusiastically shared her experience with young artists, teaching them with loving attention and  care.
Lyalya Chornaya  passed away in Moscow on September 2, 1982. She was laid to rest next to her husband Nikolay Khmelev at the Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow.
 


Tags: Lyalya Chornaya Gypsy Music Romen Theatre   








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