Galina Ulanova was born in St Petersburg in 1910. She studied with her mother Maria Romanovna and Agrippina Vaganova at the Leningrad Choreography School. Graduated 1928 and danced with the Kirov Ballet until 1944 when she transferred to Bolshoi Theatre.
Her impact on both Russian and Western ballet was enormous. Unforgettable are her roles in Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Les Sylphides, Fountain of Bakhchisarai and many others. In 1959 she became ballet mistress of the Bolshoi and coached Ekaterina Maximova.
As a great Russian ballerina she created magnificent images and incarnated in her dancing most complicated dramatic collisions and developed the principles and traditions of the Russian school of choreography. She has won world recognition. She is the winner of the following international prizes: Anna Pavlova Prize of the Paris Academy of Dancing (1958); Oscar Parcelli Prize "Life for the Sake of Dancing" (1988 Milano). On November 16, 1981 a UNESCO - sponsored evening, devoted to Ulanova was held in Paris, with the ballet "In Ulanova's Honour" shown (choreographer Vasiliev). Ulanova's statue is installed in Stockholm (sculptor E.A. Yanson-Manizer, 1984), and her bronze bust, in St. Petersburg (sculptor M.K. Anikushin, 1984). Honorary Member of the US Academy of Arts and Sciences; Comandore Order for contribution in the sphere of art and literature (France, 1992).