Saturday, October 18, 2014

Brief Natova bio

Brief bio of Natacha Natova, appearing in Film Choreographers and Dance Directors:

  b. Russia, circa 1900
     Fleeing Russia as a child with her parents during the Revolution, Natova eventually settling in Nice, France. Moving to Paris in her teens, she studied at the Paris Opera and was soon invited to join the company. Interested in the new “modern” ballet, she created an unique adagio act and was brought to American in The Greenwich Village Follies of 1926. She continued on stage, in vaudeville and was featured in the Folies Bergère. Also a painter and poet, Natova began creating ballets for theater (rather than concert) and when interviewed in The Dance, September, 1928, about her latest creation, she said, “This machine age in which we live fascinates me, and I want to interpret it. You will observe that my stage set calls for a mechanical contrivance. It is supposed to manufacture men… I am to represent electricity.” It is undocumented where her career went in the 1930s.

Film: 1929 The Hollywood Review of 1929—MGM (with Ernest Belcher, Sammy Lee, Albertina Rasch)


 From The Jazz Age Club re the “Lorraine Sisters”:
Then in the summer of 1925 [The Lorraine Sisters (Edna and Della)] were secured by the management of the Piccadilly Hotel in London for a new edition of the famous Piccadilly Revels cabaret doubling at the Kit Kat Club. They arrived in Liverpool on 26th July aboard Adriatic in time for the launch of the show on 7th August 1925. The cabaret featured Emile Boreo, formerly of the Chauve Souris company and the acrobatic dancing team of Nattova and Myrio. The Lorraine Sisters were described as ‘tall, slim and attractive dark haired girls’, they gave ‘simultaneaous whirls amid white feathers and frills’ and their graceful and clever dancing introduced ‘some of the best body bending and kicking, twists and twirls.’ Their stay was successful but brief and they returned to America in October.
Again, incidental:

Hamburg NY Erie County Independent 1928-1930 Grayscale


Variety, VOL. LXXXI. No. 8

Greenwich Village Follies
 Seventh annual edition of revue produced by the Bohemians, Inc., A. It. Jones and Morris Orecn, managing directors, at ChanIn's … lyrics and score by Harold L[a?]cy and Owen Murphy; staged by … Short: dancer directed by Larry … two ballets directed by Alezinder Uabrllov. [garbled]
. . .
There was a well known offer of a kingdom for a horse. The sponsors of the new "Greenwich Village Follies" would doubtless come through with a couple of horses for a laugh. Especially in the second part of the revue. The new revue is [a] sight and dancing show, and although generously enough equipped with comedians, the skits and bits are generally laughless.
 . . .
The dance sensation of the show came via Natache Nattova and Jean Myr[i]o, French team, discovered by Morris Green. Acrobatic and agile, they aroused enthusiasm in both parts of the revue, first with "White Cargo." The man drops the smallish Mlle. [mademoiselle] Nattova into the sea from a considerable height. A trampoline is used to break the fall. In the second act and near the close "The Moth and Flamo" also ended with Mlle. Nattova accomplishing a drop, this time in full sight of the audience. Kendall Capps also scored strongly with his dancing. He Is a corking soft shoe tapper, and acrobatic stepper. Miss Delroy teamed with him at times and it was good stuff.
Melle Nattova et Melle Dambreval Tirage argentique d'époque  (c. 1928)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The latest on Natacha Nattova: "immortality at the age of 19" & death at the age of 26?

     [See sad UPDATE at end.] I’ve done more research on Natacha Nattova/Natova. As you know, the trail seems to end in the early 1930s. Dang! But some of this new data is at least interesting.
     I came across a book entitled, “‪Film Choreographers and Dance Directors: An Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia, with a History and Filmographies, 1893 Through 1995.” (I’ve even ordered a used copy; I must be nuts.)‬
     Google Scholar provides a “snippet view”:
NATACHA. NATOVA. b. Russia, circa 1900 - Fleeing Russia as a child with her parents during the Revolution, Natova eventually settling in Nice, France. Moving to Paris in her teens, she studied at the Paris Opera and was soon invited to join ...
     It will be interesting to see what this entry goes on to say about our girl.

* * *
     A book entitled “‪Kindly leave the stage!: the story of variety, 1919-1960‬” mentions Natova, indicating (once again) that she married a dancer—in 1929 or earlier.
     The entry appears to be about someone named Bob Konyot:

Re Bob Konyot (1915-2000):
Obituary for [his widow] Marion Konyot, 18 Jul 2011, the Telegraph:
Bob and Marion
…The gist of the act was simple. Bob Konyot, who had been born into one of Europe's most celebrated circus families in Budapest in 1915, posed as a "slightly arthritic dandy in a tuxedo and bad wig". Together with Marion Konyot, his "plump but gracious wife in chiffon and marabou," they embarked a Fred and Ginger routine, only for calamity to strike at every turn. . . . [Marion] met her husband during the war. Bob Konyot had begun his circus career at the age of six as a bareback rider and by the time he was 20 [1935] was part of a well-known Hungarian springboard acrobatic act, the Gondor Magyar troupe. He later went on to form his own troupe, the Konyots, which was for some years a top attraction in European circuses and theatres. Bob and his sister Elizabeth then developed a comedy act based around the concept of an artist painting his model – a burlesque number which combined acrobatics and adagio dancing. After Bob and Marion married in 1945, Marion replaced Elizabeth in the act, so beginning a remarkable half-century career in which they toured the world, from Hong Kong to Las Vegas. After their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Sullivan declared them to be one of the funniest acts he had ever seen. During spells in Britain the couple lived, like many variety performers, in Brixton, south London. After her husband's death, in 2000, Marion Konyot ran their home as a popular bed and breakfast. She was also a very active member of the showbusiness organisation, the Grand Order of Lady Ratlings….
     Could it be that Nattova was dancing with a 14-year-old boy? Sure, I guess.

* * *
Charmian London
     I found a snippet of a book entitled “Manuscript Sources for the History of the West Indies”
Norce, Liczbinska, Natacha Nattova and Mrs. Jack London (353 [a], [k]).- Portfolio of photographs of W.A.R. (353 [k]).- Large collection of postcards of cities, artistic forms, nudes, etc., each separate group in its own envelope (some 60 or more ...
     Your guess is as good as mine what that’s about.

* * *
     A book about the “‪Treasures from the New York Public Library‬” refers to Natova’s having achieved “immortality at the age of 19”:

* * *
     I found an ad in “‪This Week in Madison, Volume 1” that states: ‬“featuring the Follies [sic] Bergere favorite NATACHA NATTOVA.” So perhaps our girl danced with that organization (in Paris, I suppose).

re the Folies B:
In 1918, Paul Derval (1880–1966) made his mark on the review. His reviews were to feature extravagant costumes, sets and effects, and his "small nude women". Derval's small nude women would become the hallmark of the Folies. During his 48 years at the Folies, he launched the careers of many French stars including Maurice Chevalier, Mistinguett, Josephine Baker, Fernandel and many others. In 1926, Josephine Baker, an African-American expatriate singer, dancer, and entertainer, caused a sensation at the Folies Bergère in a new revue, La Folie du Jour, in which she danced a number Fatou wearing a costume consisting of a skirt made of a string of artificial bananas and little else. Her erotic dancing and near nude performances were renowned. The Folies Bergère catered to popular taste. Shows featured elaborate costumes; the women's were frequently revealing, practically leaving them naked, and shows often contained a good deal of nudity. Shows also played up the "exoticness" of persons and objects from other cultures, obliging the Parisian fascination with the négritude of the 1920s. –Wikipedia
* * *
     I found a snippet from “Theatre Magazine, Volume 43, Issues 298-303” (1926):
‬I cannot recall a single number of the show that stands out or that would give me the slightest desire to see it again — yes, just one, the marvelous dancing of Natacha Nattova and Jean Myrio. These terpsichorean artists do some wonderful ...

 * * *
     An edition of “The Dog Fancier, Volume 36” (1927) offers this:
‬‬The newspapers recently chronicled the death of Droushka, Great Dane pet of Natacha Nattova, premiere danseuse of a musical comedy. This fatuous star, like many other dog owners, thought so much of this pet, it is said, that the dog was ...
* * *
     I came across something called the “Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 4. Works of Art, Etc. New Series.” It lists this: “Nattova (Natacha) 17071” ‪

* * *
     Natacha Nattova is mentioned in “The New York Times Theater Reviews, Volume 1‬” (March 16, 1926) [Recall she arrived by boat in 1925]

* * *

     Revue: the great Broadway period - Page 273 The cast: Florence Moore, Clarence Nordstrom, Irene Delroy, Rene Riano, Frank Mc- Intyre, Sam Hearn, Joe Lyons, Jane Green, the Hemstreet Singers, Della Vanna, Kendall Capps, Natacha Nattova, Jean Myrio, Barnum & Bailey. Music and ...

    ‪AGVA News, Volumes 3-8‬ American Guild of Variety Artists, 1953‬ Natacha Nattova and Co. – Parisian danseuse Harry Karne mentalist Sid Marion and Co. comedy [This is likely from the 1920s]

    Vaudeville News, 4 May 1929 Natacha Natova & Co Vaudeville News, 29 October 1927 Orpheum Natacha Natova

     Chiparus, master of art deco - Nattova mentioned

     This is probably nothing: BELGISCH STAATSBLAD — 14.04.2000 — MONITEUR BELGE Natova echtgenote Sakindi, Violeta Gueorguieva, geboren te Pazardjik (Bulgarije) op 8 juli 1960. Natova e ́ pouse Sakindi, Violeta Gueorguieva, ne ́ e a` Pazardjik (Bulgarie) le 8 juillet 1960.

UPDATE (12:00 midnight):

Pas de Deux: The Art of Partnering, p. 4

"Undoubtedly, in 1923 Natova and Myrio were the most famous couple [among adagio dancers]. She was Russian (I believe she died in Chicago in 1931); he is French...."

* * *
     On the other hand, there seem to be indications of Nattova's continued existence after 1931:

Superb Floor Show Featuring Natacha Nattova
The Scranton Republican
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Thursday, November 7, 1935
Page 3

April 2, 1932



To whom it may concern:

The flower number, latest outstanding novelty of


in which she introduces a new type of dancing on a specially constructed apparatus consisting of a huge flower pot of various kinds of flowers, is her own exclusive invention and fully protected and patent applied for at Washington, D. C. Miss Nattova is using this apparatus in presenting her daring specialty, entitled

Anybody infringing of same in whole or part will be subject to immediate prosecution.

* * *

The Daily Star, March 23, 1931

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

More on Otto Hänfler and his people

Marthe, Edith, Otto, c. 1938
     According to his own records, Otto Hänfler's parents were Gustaf Hänfler of Pietronke and Christiane Fischer of Charlottenburg. Last time (i.e., last post), I did a search for Hänflers in the Poznan Project database (a new database for records of 19th Century Poznan residents). Today, I did a search of Fischers, and that yielded the above (that's odd, for, earlier, I got nowhere because there were too many Fischers!). In 1832, Johann Geske married Christine Fredrich Fischer (a peculiar union considering the age difference; see), in Łabiszyn. Interestingly, the latter town is about 65 miles due east of Pietronke. That's pretty close.
     But we're likely barking up the wrong tree, since Otto's mother hailed from Charlottenburg, which is no where near Pietronke; it is in the Berlin area, well to the west. We know that Otto's brother lived in the Berlin area and that Otto and Marthe lived there for a time too. Dang.
     Here's something more positive. In my Hänfler search, I came across various Hänflers in a town called Laski. (There appear to be several Laskis in Poland.) Yesterday, I found a village or town by that name in or near Warsaw, which is very far to the southeast (relative to Pietronke). But, today, I noticed a village called "Laski" very near one of the other towns (Drozki) that comes up when searching "Hänfler" at the Poznan Project site. Is this the Laski of the Hänflers? Maybe so. (See maps below.)
     Maybe we're zeroing in on the Hänflers that produced Gustaf. We'll see.
     Another question is whether Otto Hänfler, or earlier Hänflers, were in some way connected to the "Leipzigers" that lived in that large estate situated near or at Pierotronke. Earlier, I noted that the Leipzigers (or von Leipzigs), a noble family, had connections to Meissen; and, of course, Otto Hänfler made his living, for a time, as an artisan for the Meissen porcelain people (which led to Otto and Marthe's living in Denmark for several years).
     It will be difficult tracking down the Fischer family (i.e., Otto's mother's family), I think, if they lived in or near Berlin, which appears to be the case. That area was, of course, heavily bombed and largely destroyed. It now appears that the Hänflers of Pietronke offer the hotter trail.
Approximate location of three cities mentioned in "matches" to Haenfler
in Poznan Project: Laski, Drozki, Wyszanow (see relative to Hanfler's
hometown, Pietronke (at upper left). There's a village called "Laski" 
seven miles to the east of Drozki--perhaps that is the correct Laski.
DETAIL above. Context below. Look for Drozki and Laski: location of some Hänflers

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Dear Sir,

I have read the entry on your blog with much interest. For several years I have been reading and researching the ethnic and political history of Polish-German borderlands. I thought you might be interested to know that a free online genealogical project called "Poznan Project" is aiming to index all XIXth century marriage records from the province of Posen. Perhaps you might find it helpful in tracing back some of your ancestors. By the way Pietronke and the Kolmar region is a very specific part of Wielkopolska (Greater Poland or what was later called "Posen") with strong German presence since XVIIth century. Several German settlements were established in the area already by the end of the XVIth century with most Germans arriving throughout the XVIIIth century in the aftermath of the 30-year war. German influx made Chodziez-Kolmar largely a German city, and the nearby Ujscie remained predominantly Polish. Kolmar was surrounded by a ring of German settlements. Pietronke is however a very peculiar case since it was one of the few villages around Kolmar/Chodziez with Polish majority. A sort of Polish "island" and as such it was the only village in the nearest area suitable for dialectological research after WW II along with the village of Prosna to the South. In most other villages around Kolmar German farmers predominanted and Poles constituted mainly mobile labour force so no stable local Polish dialect could ever develop. Pietronke however, partly because of its isolation, retained certain archaic features - some linking it with the dialects spoken North of the Netze, rather than mainland Wielkopolska/Posen. It also has to be said that many of the Germans became Catholics and there was a certain division between the Protestants and the Catholics. Intermarriage between Polish and German Catholics was relatively common and  families in the mixed areas were usually to an extent bilingual.  Should you ever need to know the relevant parishes - "Gemeindelexikon Posen" availabe  at may be useful. 

best wishes from Poland and many thanks for an interesting entry about a local family!

[Wojciech Witold]

Approximate location of three cities mentioned in "matches" to Haenfler
in Poznan Project: Laski, Drozki, Wyszanow (see relative to Hanfler's
hometown, Pietronke (at upper left). There's a village called "Laski" 
seven miles to the east of Drozki--perhaps that is the correct Laski.
• Pietronke of Kreis Kolmar, Posen
• Pietronke, part 2
Re Herr Hänfler [Edith's stepfather]: 
• Otto Hänfler, Edith's "father"
• French kiss: the sad story of baby Peter
Explanation: Edith's biological father, Hermann Schultz (1901-1939), died in an accident in 1939. By then, Edith had already lived for several years with her father's sister, Marthe, who lived with her husband, Otto Hänfler, in Bärwalde, the Schultz hometown. Otto, who had been an artisan with the famous porcelain makers Meissen, hailed from Pietronke--in one of the German/Polish borderlands to which Mr. Witold refers above. Pietronke was fifty (?) or so miles to the southeast of Bärwalde.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mystery babe Natacha Natova (and my Natacha=Nathalie thesis)

"Playtime" at the Piccadilly Hotel, 1925
Natacha Natova (the initial photo)
Natasha: closeup
     [I can be a bit obsessive. The following post, a few hours' work, illustrates the phenomenon. I've added to it since then. I don't think I'll ever get to the bottom of this thing.]

     It's no secret that I love artifacts of times past, especially those with which I have some connection—a shared locality, interest, whatnot.
    I’m especially a sucker for photos of mystery babes of the past.
    Earlier today, I came across a picture of a Russian dancer who performed with her troupe (a “company”) in the Vaudeville circuit in the late 20s-early 30s. Her name was Natacha Natova. See above.
    Intriguing, eh? I'm obsessed!
    It's the only pic I could find specifically of this mysterious Natacha Natova. She is sometimes described as a “famous” dancer—a "danseuse"—but, beyond the fact that she had a company that performed in a 1929 movie, I can find almost no information about her at all. [Well, see UPDATES.] I did come across an obscure remark in a French article that seemed to say that Ms. Natova went to America because of Americans' relative embrace of the "cult" of energetic dancing—a phenomenon at the time perhaps related to jazz. (Natacha NATOVA - brillante danseuse russe classique était folle du jazz et elle le considérait comme l'expression parfaite du culte de l'énergie qu'avaient les Américains à cette époque.)
     One ship's manifest, recording Natova's trip to the U.S. in 1925, indicates that she was born near St. Petersburg, Russia, a cultural center and home to perhaps the most important figures of 20th Century ballet. Serge Diaghilev was originally based in that city.
     Yep, she and the Natacha Natova Company appeared in The Hollywood Review of 1929, MCd by a wisecracking—and racist, by today's standards—Jack Benny. Here’s their part of the movie, doing an adagio dance:

     Apparently, an “adagio” act entails the throwing, spinning, and twirling of a petite dancer/acrobat, and Natova was the baton du jour. Here's a still of our girl being used as a jump rope:

Natacha as rope, 1929
     I found a book that mentions Natova (spelled Nattova) on the circuit in 1929. It includes this clip, evidently from Billboard, April 6, 1929:

     It appears that Natova later continued such an act with the popular variety performers (in Britain, I believe), the Ganjou Brothers, but Natova decided to go solo in 1931 and was then replaced by a dancer named Juanita (the Ganjous had a “Juanita” version of the act, I think, well into the 50s. See). [UPDATE: it appears that the troupe that performed on film in '29 was the Ganjou Brothers [Bob & George; Serge was still in Europe]. For some reason, they used Natova's name. The Ganjous, who were Polish/Russian, later produced the Dior Dancers.)]
     I noticed that has a record of a Natacha Nattova (note the 2 T’s), born about 1905 in Petrograd, Russia. Nevertheless, her ethnicity is listed as “French.” (The Ballet Russes, albeit "Russian," never performed in Russia; it was essentially self-exiled and based in Paris.) She sailed the Aquitania to New York on Nov. 6, 1925, from England.

Natacha arrives in New York, 1925. (Click on graphic to enlarge.)
     That looks like our girl, all right.
     Unfortunately, that's pretty much all that I can find on Natacha. But I have run across yet another female Russian dancer of the time, one Nina Natova. Could it be that Nina is Natacha? Or are they sisters? What gives? I'm thinkin' sisters.

     [UPDATE: I've done further looking and have found that, in Britain, Natacha Nattavo (two t's) had a male dance parter, Jean Myrio, and, together, they were called "Myrio and Natacha" or "Natacha and Myrio." The partnership seems to have existed on both sides of the Atlantic, for I've found records of the two in Britain up through September, 1925, but then in the New York area in 1926. By late 1927, however, she was dancing with G. Rodion and Harry Glick. She fired (or had fired) the latter, who sued but lost the suit (see below). (She explained that Glick was not strong enough to catch her or toss her around and that, besides, there was no need for a second man.)
     It appears that Myrio's real name (but who knows what's real with this crowd) was Jean Henry [or Henri Jean] Raoul Delteil, a classically trained dancer (and Russian? French?), who later married a famous artist's model, known as Desha Delteil (1899-1980). The two formed their own dance duo and performed in Britain and France in the 1930s:
[Desha Deltiel] married Jean Henry Raoul Delteil, known as Jean Myrio, another classically trained dancer from [Michel] Fokine's company. In the 1930s she and Myrio performed at a number of nightclubs in Paris and London, and their dance interpretation of George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue at the Kit-Cat Club was recorded in a Pathé motion picture review. In 1939 they worked at the Casino de Paris together with Josephine Baker. Jean had a small house in the Dordogne where Maurice Chevalier, with friends Nita Raya and Josephine, were hidden from German invaders during World War II. After the war, Desha and her husband established the first classical dance school in the French town of Bergerac. A French source claims she died in 1980 and is buried in Bergerac.
     Myrio's mentor, Fokine, hailed from St. Petersburg and studied at the Vaganova Dance Academy. You'll recall that Nathalie Hoyer studied under Agrippina Vaganova and that she, too, hailed from St. Petersburg, as did our girl Natacha (Petrograd). Good grief.
     Oddly (or?), our girl Natacha was also a famous model, having modeled for famous artists by (I believe) 1923 (Serge Yourievitch, Emile Arthur Soldi-Colbert). In fact, Natacha Natova (or Nattova) was voted as having the most beautiful figure of any "foreigner"--not sure when. About 1927? Photos of her during that period testify to her beauty.
     I've also found that, in London in 1925, she actually slapped a fellow performer during an argument. (See clippings below.) It's hard to tell what that was about, though one reporter referred to "jealousy."]

Nattova & Rodion, Scherl's Magazine, 4.1928, H.2, Februar

* * *

As we'll see, Natacha Nattova's early partners included:
Jean Myrio, aka Jean Henry Raoul Delteil or Henri Jean Raoul Delteil
Gritzanov Rodion (later, Radion Gritzanov)
Val [Valagimer] [Vladimir] Gueral
Nicholas Daks
G. Bogdan (aka Bogdan Ganjou)
Harry Glick (briefly)
William Hendricks (from Copenhagen, Denmark; among the film dancers?)
* * *

Who was G. Rodion?
Natacha's partner c. 1927-8
Records found on
Gritzanov Rodion (naturalization) Russian Pol Age 32
Feb 4 1929
Manger Hotel
April 17, 1928
Petition for Naturalization Gritzanov Rodion ALSO Rodion Gritzanov 
Has resided in New York since Jan. 1, 1914
Dancer and Actor, Manger Hotel
B. Oct 22, 1896 New Macshanitza, Russia
Renounces citizenship, Russia, Poland
Witnesses: Suzanne Barse, dancer; Martha Arnold, dancer  
Radion Gritzanov
b. Oct 22, 1896
d. April 1968
ss 125-09-1924
10024 New York, New York, New York, USA
* * *
     Here's a pic of Nina:

Nina Natova
Nina's the second from left (with her Monte Carlo pals, Natalie beside her)
     Evidently, these photos depict Nina when she was a member of the Monte Carlo Russian Ballet, performing 'Les Cent Baisers.' The picture was taken by a Dr. Evan Murray-Will, who photographed performers from the Ballets Russes while they were on tour in Australia from 1936-7.
     Let's compare Nina's photo with photos of Natacha snatched from the movie made seven years earlier:

     --And, of course, there's this photo, which is not dated, but looks early:

     Maybe they're sisters. Nothing I see here suggests otherwise. I just can't tell.
     I mentioned that Nina went to Australia. I have several shipping records indicating that Nina  travelled to Australia:

From ship manifest for N. Natova, arriving in Australia, 1936

This indicates that, in Dec. of 1933, Nina travelled from Britain to New York
at age 25 (indicating that her birth year was about 1908). See below.

Nina travelling from London to Brisbaine (Australia), in Sept. of 1936.
Natalie Hoyer, her sister, is also on the list
Nina's petition for naturalization (in New York), January, 1933 records indicate that Nina died in New York (state) in 1972.

     Good grief! I just came across this factoid: Nina Natova is the sister of Nathalie Branitzka (who seems also to go by the name Nathalie Hoyer). I've come across Nathalie or Natalie's name several times today; she was important in the Ballet Russes scene of the 30s.
     And get this. I remember reading (some time today) that "Natache" (and "Natashe") is the Russian pet name for "Natalie." So Maybe Natalie/Nathalie is our mysterious Natache. But I'm not sure yet. Don't want to jump to conclusions.
     Before receiving that revelation, I discovered that Nina may have first arrived in the U.S. in 1933—at least she travelled to NY from England at that time (but possibly not for the first time). In New York, in the same year, she petitioned for naturalization (see above). 
     Curiously, by 1935 (and through 1936), she worked at a dance school called "Natova-Snodgrass" in Columbia, South Carolina—that must've been just before she headed for Australia with the Monte Carlo Russian Ballet. (A "Frances Snodgrass" appears on some of these shipping manifests, along with Nina and Natalie.)

     I also learned that Nina returned, from France to the U.S. (New York), in late 1939. (Do you suppose the Natovas were Jewish? Clearly, many in these companies were) It seems clear that she ultimately remained in the U.S. She died in Sea Cliff, Nassau in 1972.

Natalie (Nathalie), late 30s?
Nathalie Branitzska in Australia
Dancers from the Monte Carlo Russian Ballet at Bungan Beach, New South Wales;
left to right, Jean (Jan) Hoyer, Anna Skarpa (crouching), Nathalie Branitzka,
unidentified dancer, two friends, and Igor Youskevitch, 1936 or 1937. (See)
     Let's get back  to Nathalie (or Natalie). I found a ballet Russe website that offers this bio:
     Nathalie Branitzka was born July 18, 1905, in St. Petersburg, Russia. She studied ballet at the Petrograd Ballet School under the famous teacher Agrippina Vaganova in St. Petersburg. She later studied with Lubov Egorova in Paris. She started her professional career in the Anna Pavlova Company, continuing with Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe and appeared with Vera Trefilova and Pierre Vladimioff in Berlin. Following Diaghilev’s death, she performed with Boris Kniaseff's ballet company in Paris in 1930. She joined with De Basil's Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo dancing from 1932-1937. Rising to soloist, she made a world tour and appeared in many works by Leonid Massine, including Choreartium, Jeux d'Enfants, Beach and Scuola di Ballo, and in Mikhail Fokine's Carnaval and Les Sylphides. She moved to US to teach with her husband, Jan Hoyer, who had also been a member of both companies. She was the director of her own eponymous ballet school in New York City. She died March 8, 1977, in New York City.
     The Nathalie Branitzka-Hoyer collection is our one of our largest and most diverse collections. It was donated by her son, Andre von Hoyer.
     Recall that the 1925 passenger manifest for "Natacha Nattova" indicates that she was born in Petrograd, as was Nathalie (see above). Interesting. Still, there's no mention of the (Natacha) Natova Company here and, indeed, there would seem to be some confict with Branitzka's activities from 1929-1930 (above) and the apparent location and activities of our Natacha during the same period (evidently in the U.S.). Further, it seems highly unlikely that a dancer with this hard-core ballet background would have anything to do with American vaudeville or Hollywood films, those presumably lowbrow entertainments. And so, despite the delicious facts that (1) "Natache" is the Russian pet name for Natalie and that (2) Natalie's sister's last name was "Natova" (etc.), I don't think that Natalie is our mystery woman. And since (among other reasons) Nina arrived in the states in 1933 (not sure about that), I don't think Nina is Natache either.
     Could it be that Natache is a third sister, a rogue sister? Maybe.

On the other hand...
     I've just come across this picture of Nathalie Branitzka likely from her time in Australia:

     It's signed by Natasha Branitzka! OK, now I'm confused. (Note, however, that she spells the name with an s, not a c.)

     UPDATE: It's time to start comparing photos, I think. I took stills of Natacha from the 1929 film and a photo of Natalie c. 1936—the one with her husband and sister (below), among others. In the first comparison below, I took the hair from the '29 photo and put it around Natalie's head at the right.
     We'll, if you ask me, they're the same person. I'm aware, of course, that people often do disagree about such resemblances.
     For now, I'm thinking that fancy Ms. Nathalie Branitzka, the ballet dancer, is none other than lowbrow Ms. Natache (or Natashe) Natova, the vaudevillian.
     If so, then it's curious that the available literature on Nathalie makes no mention of that odd, early period of her career. Or maybe it's obvious what's going on: she wished to distance herself from her vaudevillian/Hollywood adventures. Could be. Or maybe there was a political reason for obscuring her American adventures.

Natacha in 1929, Natasha in 1936
Natache at left; Nathalie at right. Same gal?
Natacha Natova, 1923?-1927
Nathalie?, Natacha

Natacha Nattova, 1928; Nathalie Branitzka, c. 1937
Natache c. 1924 at left; Nathalie c. 1936 at right
     I'm now tilting in the direction of supposing that Natalie/Nathalie Hoyer/Branitzka is indeed "Natacha" Natova, though I cannot be certain. 
     Here's another lead: the names of the Ganjou Brothers—Bill and Bob and Serge—seem curiously to correspond (more or less) to the names of brothers (or simply guys with the same surname?) in the Ballet Russe with Natalie. The surnames don't match, but, obviously, that's no clincher: these people often seemed to go by multiple monikers. I'll see if I can nail this lead down. If the Ganjou Bros are those Ballet Russe bros (a few years later), then that about clinches it for the Nathalie Hoyer/Branitzka = Natacha Natova thesis. That is, if those guys cavorting with Natacha in the 1929 film are the same guys dancing with Nathalie years later in the Ballet Russe, then, well, bingo. --This did not pan out.

Nathalie Branitzka, Jan Hoyer and Nathalie's sister Nina Natova.
Nathalie and Nina's surname was Zaharachevich-Kapustiansky
New Zealand/Australia, 1937

P.S.: essentially, more updates

• Found this old photo of Natacha Nattova (note the spelling): Amazon

     NATACHA NATTOVA Rare! Small 3x5 photograph of the dancer is shown on stage in a butterfly pose Photograph signed: "Nattova". Sepia, 3x5.
     Russian ballerina Natacha Nattova appeared in the West in a variety of venues in the late 1920s. She starred in the show "Playtime" at London's Piccadilly Hotel, in New York in the "Greenwich Village Follies," and in the MGM Hollywood Revue (1929). She was the model for Serge Yourievitch's bronze statue "La Danseuse." 

Serge Yourievitch's bronze statue 
"La Danseuse" [Nattova] (1915? 1923?)

The Mail (Adelaide) Jun 20 1925

• "Navatto and Myrio" appeared from June to Sept., 1925, in London:
Press and magazine cuttings of reviews of 'Cleopatra', adapted from the book by Brammer and Gruenwald; with photographs and illustrations of members of the cast; typescript inside front cover gives cast list, cast changes and dates; includes magazine extract photographs of cast members in scenes from the musical Performed at Daly's Theatre, London, 2 Jun 1925, closing performance, 5 Sep 1925; presented by George Edwardes; produced by Oscar Asche; scenery by Alfred Terraine and Joseph and Phil Harker; music by Oscar Straus; lyrics by Harry Graham; additional numbers by Arthur Wood The Opera House, Manchester, 11 May 1925 Casts: Alec Fraser, Frank Cochrane, Shayle Gardner, Henry Hallatt, Stanley Rendall, Alan Dale, Jay Laurier, Neta Underwood, Ninon Zaria, Laurie Newton, Alma Lee, Peggie Lovat, Marjorie Blareau, Evelyn Laye, Jeanne Planas, John Coyle, Carl Brisson, Tilly Brisson, Nattova and Myrio, Illene Evelyn, Ireland Cutter
The Vaudeville News, Jul 17, 1925

The Vaudeville News, Aug 21, 1925

The Queenslander, Aug 29. 1925

This bronze sculpture by Emile Arthur Soldi-Colbert is titled
"La Danseuse" and depicts ballerina Natacha Nattova. This pose
comes from a dance she performed in front of a Prussian Prince who was
so moved that he asked her to marry him. See.

• Evidently, our girl appeared in a New York production--the Greenwich Village Folllies--for five months starting in late 1925!: "Chanin's 46th Street Theatre , (12/24/1925 - circa. 5/1926)
First Preview:Total Previews:
Opening Date:Dec 24, 1925
Closing Date:May 1926Total Performances:180

Category: Musical, Revue, Original, Broadway
Description: A revue in two acts
Music by: Harold LeveyOwen Murphy;  Lyrics by: Owen MurphyHarold Levey
• Jan 2, 1926. "Nattova and Myrio"mentioned

Jean Myrio?

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 6, 1927

• Natacha Nattova - Goldberg - Physical Culture, April 1927:

• Motion Picture News, July, 1927:
Philadelphia… The Fox had an exceptionally heavy week with "Frisco Sally Levy." [N]atacha [N]attova, assisted by G. Rodion, headed the surrounding bill, which was further augmented by Jack Osterman, in a snappy monologue, S. L. Rothafel's "Silhouettes,'"'and Lillian Bernard and Flo Henri, feminine harmonizers....

• The Bridgeport Telegram 
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Tuesday, September 6, 1927
Natacha Nattova heads the new bill at tire Palace. This clever star, late the hit of the Greenwich Village Follies, is assisted by G. Rodion, the Tosha Samarow Gypsy orchestra, and Joe Price.

• Text from Variety, OCTOBER 5. 1927
 …Harry Burns followed and scored with his balloon bit, set more extravagantly now and almost a new act, but still the balloon bit. Natacha Nattova. who knocked them dead here and elsewhere with her sensational adagio work in the "O.[G.?] V. Follies," closes the first part. Miss Nattova's act is elaborately staged. She does little to hint of her former sensational work until the finale, but does It then and does it well. She wowed with a breath- taking twirl finish. Joe Price, speedy knce*dropper, and included in the company, likely to be heard from….

Bert Lytell Co Natacha Nattova  
     Judge Holds Harry Glick Not Entitled to Unperformed Services Professional qualification and satisfaction are important factors in a theatrical contract concluded Judge Lauer In the $900 damage suit by Harry Glick against Nattacha Nattova, danseuse. While Glick held a written contract, the clause that he prove up to Miss Natovas terpsichorean standards made or unmade the argument. The danseuse state* Glick was a good, strong man, but not up to snuff on lifts and adagios for which she engaged him. Glick. who Is a physical culture exponent, stated he was engaged at $160 a week and guaranteed six weeks as a strong Miss Nattova. alleged Glick \. is strong he did her bodily harm in proving weak on the dance partnership' when with the "Greenwich Village Follies." Glick argued he was let out when the revue man- agement concluded that Miss Nattova's partner, G. Rodion, was all [that was] necessary, and that she did not need two team-mates. Following argument by Sidney Kalfus of Ken, Her & Goldstein, representing Miss Nattova, Judge Lauer gave her the decision.

Desha Deltiel, famous model (wife of "Jean Myrio")
Myrio and Desha, the 1930s

• Kansas City Star - Sunday, October 23, 1927 - At the Orpheum

Let's try that again:
She originally pursued painting? Hmmm. And who are Joe Price and Tosha Samarow [Gypsy]?

• Here's another photo I found:
Russian dancer Natacha Nattova poses for the camera in 1929. 

• I've made inquiries:

• Myrio & Desha (and Barte)

• The Sun and the Erie County Independent
Location: Hamburg, New York Issue Date: Thursday, June 20, 1929 Page: Page 3

• Who was Nicholas Daks? (One of Natacha's partners, c. 1927)

Daks, Nicholas - 1899-1978.
First Name: Nicholas
Last Name: Daks
Age at Time of Census: 43
Gender: Male
Race: White
Ethnicity: American
Est. Birth Year: 1897
Birth Location: Russia
January 17, 1899 - September 01, 1978 Plant City, Florida

New York Times
At Radio City: It Happened One Night
February 23, 1934
…A conception of Oscar Wilde's "The Birthday of the Infanta" is the principal stage attraction. The participants in this offering include Eda Vitolo, Gluck-Sandor, Nicholas Daks, Jan Peerce, M. Vodnoy and Stan Kavanaugh. Isabelle Herbert recites the story. The scenes include "The Processional," "The Palace Courtyard," "The Garden of the Palace" and "The Hall of the Palace." The ballet corps, the choral ensemble, the Roxyettes and the Music Hall male dancers also take part in this subject. Interviewed on the radio, 1965, in New York re Radio City Music Hall, etc.

 New York Sun, Jun 30, 1943

• New York Sun, Jan. 2, 1931.
At the Roxy:
A "dance spectacle" named "RHYTHM," with two familiar names: V[al] Gueral and Nicholas Daks, both one-time partners of Natacha Natova. An April 6, 1929 Billboard piece praises Natova's show with the assistance of Daks, Gueral, and G. Bogdan. The seem to be describing at least part of the performance that was (later?) presented in the 1929 "Hollywood Review" film.

• And who is "G. Bogdan"? Why, it's Bogdan Ganjou of the "Ganjou Bros": 
The Winnipeg Tribune
Winnipeg, Canada
Saturday, March 1, 1930
Next Week The Most Spectacular Dancing Famous Exotic International with NICHOLAS DAKS BOGDAN GANJOU Corking Comedy In Cork 

• Name: Valagimer Gueral
Age: 41 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1899
Gender: Male Race: White Birthplace: Russia
Marital Status: Married Relation to Head of House: Inmate Home in 1940: North Elba, Essex, New York
Map of Home in 1940: Lake Flower Avenue House Number: Wa
Inferred Residence in 1935: New York, Manhattan, New York Residence in 1935: New York, Manhattan, New York Resident on farm in 1935:
No Citizenship: Naturalized Sheet Number: 4B
Institution: National Vaudaville Home 5-80 Attended School or College: No Highest Grade Completed: High School, 4th year Weeks Worked in 1939: 25

Name: Vladimir A Gueral
Age: 42 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1898
Gender: Male Race: White Birthplace: Russia
Marital Status: Married Relation to Head of House: Son-in-law Home in 1940: New York, New York, New York Map of Home in 1940: View Map Street: Fort Washington Avenue Inferred Residence in 1935: New York, New York, New York Residence in 1935: Same Place Citizenship: Naturalized Sheet Number: 11A
Occupation: Dancer Attended School or College: No Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 7th grade Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker in private work Weeks Worked in 1939: 12

The Capital Times - Madison, Wisconsin Monday, February 10, 1930
The International Star of Dance NATACHA NATTOVA In A Resplendent Preasentation NICHOLAS DAKS BOGDAN & GEO. GANJOU

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle -  Brooklyn, New York
Sunday, October 7, 1928
Honor to Present NATACHA NATTOVA Sensational Parisian Danseuse in Her Latest Triumph "The Moth and the Flame" Assisted By Ceral WISIIE UIHS ERLANGER Z"BAz?'

The Jewish Transcript (Seattle)
January 25, 1929:

Tuesday, October…6, 1931
...Which may or may not [signify?] that the Greeks had a word for everything and they usually combined all ideas for entertainment. The current Roxy bill is the staid idea of classicism with a novelty turn wherein the Parthenon frieze of jug carrying goddesses rises and descends on an elevator; as an interlude Natacha Nattova does some wrestling with a flower urn. That's a fine scene and Interesting. Miss Nattova shows great grace in movement. . She is followed by Paul Haakon … spear dance….

"Hollywood Filmograph (Jan-Dec 1932)"
. . .
LOEW'S STATE [March 16]
For class in staging, costuming, novelty, scenically and all around enter- tainment, this Leonidoff production, "Impressions," a Fanchon and Marco idea, leaves little to be desired. In addition to all this there is Natcha Nattova, who has a presentation all by herself. Miss Nattova has a distinct novelty and a worthy feature offering for any stage. In her present routine Miss Nattova executes her effective and artistic dance movements on a huge vase filled with rose buds, the petals and stems serving to support her in difficult dance postures. The ensemble numbers started with the girls in a toe routine with Corinne in front and faded out in a pretty picture of cups and saucers. A military stair number with Joe Rose leading in some Russian stepping, and for the finale a beautiful rainbow effect. In the entertainment section Paul Sydell and his dog Spotty sommersaulting to difficult stands won good appreciation.
. . .
WARNING [April 2, 1932?]
To whom it may concern: The flower number, latest outstanding novelty of NATACHA NATTOVA in which she introduces a new type of dancing on a specially constructed apparatus consisting of a huge flower pot of various kinds of flowers, is her own exclusive invention and fully protected and patent applied for at Washington, D. C. Miss Nattova is using this apparatus in presenting her daring specialty, entitled Anybody infringing of same in whole or part will be subject to immediate prosecution. Booked Solid Fanchon and Marco

Motion Picture News
Oct-Dec 1929
ADAGIO - NATACHA NATTOVA. Music arrangement by Arthur Lange.

Vaudeville News, 4 May 1929
RADIO-KEITH-ORPHEUM ( EASTERN ) FORT WAYNE , IND . New Emboyd ( First Half ) Natacha Natova & Co .

Yes, our girl appears in this
A superb adagio act which ran from 1933 to 1957. It derived from Natasha Natova and Company of c1929 and led to the Dior Dancers (1958-1963) and the Bal Caron Trio (1964-c1966) -
1929: Hollywood Review of 1929 (billed as Natasha Natova and Company comprising Natasha plus Bob and George Ganjou and William Hendricks from Copenhagen, Denmark – who may have been Natasha’s husband).
1933: came to England and Serge Ganjou came into the act. Did Royal Variety Performance with Juanita Richards
1934: Juanita Richards left and was replaced by Joy Marlowe (who married Serge Ganjou in 1956)

• Who was Harry Glick? American Radio Digest, 1933:

A jovial radio personality. Once danced with Natacha Nattova.
Fails to mention that he once sued her and lost.
He was a great wrestler, too, I guess.
I think he skated with Rosina Blackburn, too

The Polish brothers Bob and George Ganjou started the original act in the United States, performing with another male dancer, and the female dancer Natacha Natova. When she went solo, her place was taken in 1931 by Juanita Richards, born in Detroit. She was the Juanita who performed at the Royal Variety Show in 1933 but when she left the act she was replaced by the second 'Juanita', Joy Marlow (1912-1980), another dancer who stayed with the act throughout the 1940s and 1950s when they went to Hollywood and regularly appeared on television. They did their last tour in 1956 and in 1958 Joy Marlow married Serge Ganjou who joined his brothers in the act in the 1930s.

Old Harry squeezed his brief association with Nattova
for all that it was worth and then some.
An article about American dancer George Church:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Apr 2, 1965
Upshot: Church started his career with "an adagio" act with Natacha Nattova. It all started when his mom discovered his was involved in prize fighting. She put a stop to that, so...

[Marriage record:]
Nathalie S Kapoustiansky
Spouse Surname: [Jan] Hoyer
Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1927
Registration district: St Martin
Inferred County: London
[Sacharachevit Ch-kapoustiansky Or Branitzka]

The Independent (London)
January 22, 1999, Friday
Obituary: Serge Ganjou
... The third male member of the original team was William Hendricks from Copenhagen, Denmark. He had emigrated to New York at the age of 13, and had won an international Charleston dance championship. Becoming a solo singer and dancer in several South American cabarets, Hendricks had much experience in several different adagio teams before joining the Ganjous...

Variety VOL. XCIX. No. 4
Closing is Natacha Nattova, featured In the unit with three male assistants. Miss Nattova was among the first. If not the first, to present quartet adagio, and has dressed it novelly as an interpretation of the machine age. This num.ber is from John Murray Anderson's "Almanac," and highlights an enjoyable act. Before this routine is a dance of death, also presented cleverly in adagio.