Author Topic: Accurately Portraying Anastasia  (Read 23574 times)

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Offline BecomingAnastasia

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Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« on: July 11, 2009, 11:01:47 AM »
Hi everyone :)

I'm a drama student who has the very challenging, yet very exciting task of creating a solo performance based around "the life and legend of Anastasia Romanova".
It is extremely important to me that I characterise her as best as possible.

In a nutshell...I need to become Anastasia...without seeming like another imposter hehe!

Watching some of the Anastasia inspired movies has given me a few ideas, but still to me, there seems to be something missing in these portrayals.

I have spent the last couple of weeks researching this amazing young woman. I've sifted through countless inaccurate websites (claiming to be biographies) to find a few rare treasures (like this forum!) and have read a couple of books on the Romanov family. Every new piece of knowledge I learn makes me want to know more about the impish little Nastya!

So just a few questions...

How did Anastasia speak? I've been studying Russian accents, but it occurred to me that Russian royals might have spoken differently to the middle and lower classes. I've noticed that most of the actors portraying Anastasia completely drop the Russian accents and speak in refined english accents instead. What do you think would be more convincing?

What is something that characterizes her? A cheeky sparkle in her eye, a mischievous smile...or is there more to the young woman than the entertaining prankster?

What piece of clothing would best represent her character? I'm thinking costume wise :)

If Anastasia could come back to tell us something, what would it be? What would be her message to the people of the twenty-first century?

Thanks,
BecomingAna :)

Offline Tina Laroche

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2009, 11:33:32 AM »
How did Anastasia speak? I've been studying Russian accents, but it occurred to me that Russian royals might have spoken differently to the middle and lower classes. I've noticed that most of the actors portraying Anastasia completely drop the Russian accents and speak in refined english accents instead. What do you think would be more convincing?

As far as I know, Anastasia spoke English fluently and without an accent.

P.S.: About your username - I assume you got it short from "Becoming Anastasia" - so, to tell you for sure, Ana is not a Russian nickname for Anastasia, and Anastasia Nicholaevna was definitely never called Ana. ;-)

Offline BecomingAnastasia

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2009, 07:23:41 PM »
wow without an accent. That's interesting, thanks Tina :)

Quote
P.S.: About your username - I assume you got it short from "Becoming Anastasia" - so, to tell you for sure, Ana is not a Russian nickname for Anastasia, and Anastasia Nicholaevna was definitely never called Ana. ;-)

I had a feeling that was the case. But thanks for the heads up.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2009, 09:50:32 PM »
There's a long thread about how the imperial children talked here:
OTMA -- Talking like children?

This thread also discusses the issue of accents:
Voices

What I recall of the top of my head is that one courtier's memoirs (Mossolov? Botkin?) said Nicholas II's children spoke with a charming accent all their own -- they sounded English when speaking Russian, and Russian when speaking English. There's also a story of King Edward VII being put off by a Hibernian accent the children supposedly picked up from their Scottish nanny. Gilliard said Anastasia had a particularly good accent when speaking French.

If you read some of Anastasia's letters online or in A Lifelong Passion, you'll get a feel for her vocabulary and turns of phrase.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
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Offline NAOTMAA Fan

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2009, 07:55:54 PM »
You should really speak to a member of this forum by the name of Holly : D She can tell you just about every-damn-thing. Given that you still need help pf course.

If I may say, as far as "what piece of clothing" would define Anastasia, all the girls dressed identically to one another. When I think of OTMA, I think a white blouse (long sleeve) with a lacey collar (with lapels, not a high necked one), and a dark coloured skirt (something that goes out full, not some tight, skinny thing). These skirts usually sat above the waist, above your belly button (and were so fitted that there was no need for a belt). As it is Anastasia, the skirt should not go past your mid-calf (it was a kind of age complex during the period that the younger you were, the higher your skirt sat). Add some white stalkings and black pumps (or any old fashioned shoe--no high heels of course!--, perchance with a buckle). Make sure you do your best to imitate her hairstyle, it's almost a trademark (meaning bangs and a kind of "poof" on top). If I were you I'd look around the Anastasia picture threads here and see what she wore later in life (ei. about 1914- 1917) since you're being of an older age, going for an older Anastasia would be more authentic. Either that or just ask people such as myself to send you pictures!

But again, speak to Holly. Seriously.
"...I am in Tatiana's room...Olga and Tatiana are here. I am sitting and digging in my nose with my left hand... Olga wanted to slap me but I ran away from her swinish hand..."
-Anastasia Nicholaievna Romanova, May 8th, 1913

Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 06:53:34 PM »
P.S.: About your username - I assume you got it short from "Becoming Anastasia" - so, to tell you for sure, Ana is not a Russian nickname for Anastasia, and Anastasia Nicholaevna was definitely never called Ana. ;-)

Wich was her correct nickname? Nastya?

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2009, 09:40:26 PM »
Wich was her correct nickname? Nastya?

Anastasia's letters to her father during WWI are sometimes signed Nastasya, Nastya, or Shvybzik. After she got her regiment, she also referred to herself as Kaspianets.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
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Offline Holly

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2009, 05:24:37 PM »
Wich was her correct nickname? Nastya?

Anastasia's letters to her father during WWI are sometimes signed Nastasya, Nastya, or Shvybzik. After she got her regiment, she also referred to herself as Kaspianets.

She would also sign her name using Nastaska.
"Господь им дал дар по молитвам их размягчать окаменелые наши сердца за их страдания..Мне думается, что если люди будут молиться Царской Cемье, оттают сердца с Божией помощью."

http://www.otmaa.org -- Coming Soon.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2009, 06:54:49 PM »
She would also sign her name using Nastaska.

Thanks! I knew there was a third one but couldn't find it -- "Nastas" didn't quite sound right...
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Beautiful_Anastasia

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2009, 12:22:35 PM »
Anastasia's nicknames
Anastasia had the most nicknames out of all of the Grand Duchesses, and, as far as I know, her entire family (NAOTMAA)! Here they are:
Nastya,
A (sometimes 'An', she signed this a lot when writing letters),
Nastas,
Nastenka,
Nastasya,
Nastaska,
Shvybzik (Russian for imp),
Malenkaya (She hated this one, as it means 'little one'),
she also sometimes signed letters to her Papa as 'A.N.R.P.K.Z.S.G.'
She also earned the nickname Dumpling which she greatly hated, as she was called it because "Some people even have the nerve to call me dumpy!" (A quote by Anastasia)

Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2009, 01:39:23 PM »
Wow!! Thank you very much for this detailed list Beautiful_Anastasia!!!! ;-)

Offline Beautiful_Anastasia

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2009, 04:39:36 AM »
Wow!! Thank you very much for this detailed list Beautiful_Anastasia!!!! ;-)
You are welcome!

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2009, 06:24:16 AM »
She also earned the nickname Dumpling which she greatly hated, as she was called it because "Some people even have the nerve to call me dumpy!" (A quote by Anastasia)

Where did you find that quote? I've never heard it before.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline Beautiful_Anastasia

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2009, 10:56:49 AM »
She also earned the nickname Dumpling which she greatly hated, as she was called it because "Some people even have the nerve to call me dumpy!" (A quote by Anastasia)

Where did you find that quote? I've never heard it before.
I'm not sure, I believe she either wrote it in her diary or said it to a visitor to the palace who commented on her appearance, or it could have been both seeing as, unfortunately, Anastasia was not as slender as her sisters and was also shorter!

Offline Beautiful_Anastasia

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Re: Accurately Portraying Anastasia
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2009, 11:03:22 AM »
If Anastasia could come back to tell us something, what would it be? What would be her message to the people of the twenty-first century?
Erm, I think she would be greatly amused and excited abou this whole 'world-wide mystery' thing, but I think she would be rather annoyed at people like Anna Anderson pretending to be her and at people pretending to be descended from her family.