About Mia Arbatova
In1938, after a tour of recitals in the capitals of Europe, Mia Arbatova ,a soloist with the Riga Opera Ballet, arrived in Tel-Aviv to settle. Mia Arbatova's goal was to develop classical ballet in the country, In 1940 Mia was appointed dancer and choreographer of the " Amamit Opera".
Her marriage to the singer–actor Josef Goland initiated a partnership of various artistic activities: they established together the first satiric cabaret in Tel- Aviv, "Af-Al-Pi" ,and later the "Li-La-Lo" and "Do-Re-Mi" theaters to name a few.
In 1943 Mia opened her first ballet studio in a laundry, which was located on Yona Hanavi Street. With the years ,the studio moved into a wedding hall, a furniture store, a water-logged basement and finally to 72 Ben Gurion Blvd.(then Keren Kayemet Blvd).
At the time, ballet slippers were unknown in this country, so Mia taught a Tel-Aviv shoemaker how to make them. Mia accomplished all this in the face of much opposition and criticism, as ballet was then held to be a bourgeois art.
At its peak, the studio, one of the precious few in the country which had a wooden floor, a barre, mirrors and a piano, counted 500 pupils. Together with Mia Pick, her long–time assistant, Mia formed three generations of dancers, many of them distinguished artists in Israel. Many of her pupils received free tuition and some of them even lodged in her home, yet she never received any financial support or contribution from any public institution. Mia Arbatova's studio achieved a world-wide reputation and for many years was artistic home for prominent dancers and great choreographers while touring the country with their companies. Such names as Anton Dolin, Jerome Robbins, Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, the London Festival Ballet, the Netherlands Ballet and the Kirov ballet.
In recognition of her talent and professionalism , Mia was asked to judge in many important international Ballet competitions. Clearly, this competition is a Homage to Mia's courage, vision, talent and unforgettable personality.