Thus, it did my heart good today to see Ulanova as an answer in the Saturday New York Times crossword. They don't usually get beyond Pavlova's first name (Anna). And plié is about as far as they ever get in terminology. Of course, I get annoyed by all of the pop-culture and sports references, but I manage to figure them out anyway. (O.K., I had to Google a character on Lost today; at least I had heard of the program.) My revenge is that pop-culture mavens have to figure out Ulanova.
I took this photo a few years ago on a visit—my second—to Russia. Ulanova was Stalin's favorite ballerina. At least he had good taste in dancers, even if he ruined the careers of many other artists, writers, and composers.