ARBATOVA, MIA (1911–1990), Israeli ballet dancer and teacher. Arbatova was a soloist at the Riga Opera Ballet for a number of years before settling in Palestine in 1938. She had been a pupil and protégée of Alexandra Federova, artistic director of the Riga Ballet, and was on tour in Europe and the United States when Federova left Riga for America. Arbatova decided to make her home in Tel Aviv and danced and choreographed for the Opera Amamit but in 1943 opened her own ballet studio. By that time she was well known, having performed with her husband, singer-actor Joseph Goland, in various theaters, clubs, hotels, and cabarets. Many young men and women who later became prominent locally and abroad passed through her studio, including Domy Reiter-Soffer, Rina Schenfeld, Noa Eshkol (of the Eshkol-Wachman movement notation system), Moshe Efrati (founder of Kol Demama), and Yonatan Karmon (creator and director of folk dance shows). Arbatova herself was often invited to serve on the jury of ballet competitions abroad.
A Mia Arbatova Ballet Competition was launched in 1990 in her honor. She attended a benefit performance for this purpose but died before the actual competition took place.
[Dora Leah Sowden (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.