Rina Nikova – Biblical Ballerina

Rina Nikova (1898-1972) is the artistic pseudonym of Roza Rubinovich, a world-renowned Israeli artist, prima ballerina and precursor of biblical ballet, a style in which the biblical themes and motifs were interpreted through dance. Her name is permanently recorded in the history of global and Jewish ballet.

Roza was born and grew up in Białystok, in the family of Lejb and Ester Rubinovich, initially on Kupiecka Street (presently – I. Malmeda Street), then on Polna Street. This is where she spent the first ten years of her life, until the outbreak of the World War I. The years, that certainly did have an impact on her further life and the choice of artistic path. The knowledge of Rina Nikova’s relationship with Białystok has been blurred during the turbulent history of this part of Europe in the first half of the 20th century. The exhibition about the life and work of this outstanding artist restores the memory of her Białystok beginnings and also presents her further fate and international career. We want Rina Nikova’s character and her artistic activity to become permanent parts of the memory of the multicultural tradition shaping the history of our city and region.

The aim of the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue is to combine early Israeli dance and photography, without which it would be difficult to imagine the history of dance in Israel. Each of the photographers recorded different stages of Nikova’s life in his own way. The first presentation of the exhibition took place in Jerusalem, in a dance house founded by her, what brought her back to her homeland. The current exhibition is Nikova’s return to her native Białystok. Thanks to this “time capsule”, Białystok residents will be able to get to know the artist’s biography and work. 

[Guy Raz, exhibition’s curator]

The exhibition premiered in Jerusalem in 2018 at the “Rina Nikova’s Biblical Ballet House” – the place where the artist continued her educational activity until her death.

  • exhibition opening: July 19th, 2019, 6 PM, Białystok Cultural Centre / Ludwik Zamenhof Centre (19 Warszawska Street)

  • curator: Guy Raz

  • assistant curator: Tal Schwartz

  • authors of introductory texts: Guy Raz, Wiesław Wróbel

  • the exhibition is open until September 15th, 2019

Source: press materials of the Białystok Cultural Centre / Ludwik Zamenhof Centre