Princess Seraphine Astafieva


The Pheasantry on King’s Road
enlarge image


Name:Princess Seraphine Astafieva

Dates:1876 - 1934

Profession:Performing Arts

Address: 152 King’s Road, SW3

Dates at address:1916 - 1934


Astafieva was a member of the Russian aristocracy and a relation of Tolstoy. A gifted dancer trained at the St Petersburg Imperial Ballet School she danced and taught across Europe. Amongst her friends were such ballet legends as Diaghilev and Dame Margot Fonteyn.

She joined the Diaghilev Ballet in Paris in 1909, performing in France and England. Then in 1914 she settled in England, establishing a Russian Dancing Academy. This moved to The Pheasantry in Chelsea in 1916, rapidly becoming one of the most successful dance schools of its time. Pupils include Dame Alicia Markova, Anton Dolin and Dame Margot Fonteyn. It was also used by her mentor Diaghilev as a rehearsal rooms when he was in London.

After moving to Chelsea Astafieva became a very well known and popular resident. Originally used for pheasant breeding in 1865 The Pheasantry was also home to a famous restaurant to Chelsea’s stars between 1932 and 1966, with guests including Augustus John, Francis Bacon, Dylan Thomas and Gregory Peck. The plaque was organised by the studio’s 1968 resident, Timothy Whidborne. Unveiled by Fonteyn, many of her other students attended the event.

Related records

Click this image to download a free copy of Acrobat Reader in order to read PDF PDF stands for Portable Document Format developed by Adobe.
For help and download tips see About Adobe and PDF files. You need a copy of Acrobat Reader on your computer to access a PDF file. Get either a free copy or upgrade by accessing the following link - download Adobe reader.

If you have difficulty accessing PDF documents, there are some useful online tools available on the Access Adobe website which can convert PDF documents into HTML or text. Click the following link

Virtual Museum – The History of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Home | News | At your service | Local life | top of page
Legal notices | Copyright notices | Comment on this page

Copyright © 1998-2006 The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea