Ballet Gala of the Best Graduates of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Choreography
The Bolshoi Ballet Academy was established in 1773. Over the years it has gained the international reputation for the quality of training it renders to nurture world class dancers.
The Academy’s graduates pursue their dancer careers with major national and international dance companies.
The Bolshoi Ballet Academy invites international students and trainees to enroll for the below programs:
- full-time vocational program – students major in Choreographic Art; graduates are awarded the qualification of Ballet Performer;
- traineeship program - participants train in Choreographic Art; graduates are awarded the qualification of Ballet Performer;
- academic higher education program for those interested in becoming ballet teachers, specialists in arts management and ballet masters.
- academic higher traineeship course programs;
- summer intensive course programs.
The training rendered to the students helps prepare them for a variety of career opportunities. In addition to the dance disciplines the students succeed in a number of areas: from ballet dancing to ballet masters, teaching, and arts management. It is the level and long-time expertise of the faculty that is the cornerstone underpinning this successes.
Best graduates go on to careers with major national and international dance companies, like Bolshoi Ballet and Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet.
History of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy
The history of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy dates back to 1773 when fine arts including dance were added to the curriculum of the Moscow Foundling Home founded in 1763 per the Order of Empress Catherine II of Russia.
Filippo Beccari, an Italian instructor, was first invited to teach “the art of dancing” to 26 little girls and 28 boys. Four-hour-long lessons were held four times a week. The talented Russian orphans quickly mastered the subtleties of the foreign art of dance and six years later Leopold Paradis, another famous foreigner, produced his first group of graduates. His students joined the Petrovsky Theatre Company (today’s Bolshoi).
The folk aka “character” dance has always been held in high regard by the Moscow school – the studies have been exhaustive, and character dancers have always been in demand at the Bolshoi. There was also a rapid development in classical ballet. It was the Russian interpretation of La Sylphide that many eyewitnesses gave preference to, seeing it as the one representing “the soul of Russian ballet”.
In the end of 1880s, after passing of a new Statute by which the Moscow Imperial Ballet School was renamed The Moscow School of Ballet, Jose Mendez began to train his students including Ekaterina Geltser, the future prima ballerina, in the novelties of the virtuoso Italian school. He nurtured strong toe and pirouette techniques, as well as balance and stage presence sense while carefully maintaining the overall musicality of the performance for which the Moscow school had always been renowned.
In the 1930s the famous figures from the Petersburg ballet world joined the faculty of the School: Elizaveta Gerdt, Aleksandr Chekrygin, Viktor Semyonov and Mariya Kozhukhova moved to Moscow where their efforts helped nurture a galaxy of great ballerinas and superb male premier dancers. Later Marina Semyonova worked at the School.
In 1933 Olga Lepeshinskaya, the brilliant virtuoso, graduated from the School.
During World War II the School produced two star graduates: Maya Plisetskaya (1943) and Raisa Struchkova (1944). And in late 50s – early 60s the Moscow Ballet School graduates, Ekaterina Maximova (1958) and Natalia Bessmertnova (1961), began their careers.
In 1960 - 2001 Sophia Golovkina led and managed the Moscow Ballet School. Since 2002 the Bolshoi Ballet Academy has been ably led by the former leading Bolshoi performer Marina Leonova (Rector, People’s Artist of Russia, Professor).
There are world famous ballet performers among the graduates of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy: V. Malakhov, A.Uvarov, N.Tsiskaridze, S.Lunkina, N.Osipova, etc.
The method of teaching and training is based upon a thorough, comprehensive, classical training curriculum that is carefully tailored to fit the students` abilities.
The Academy curriculum includes Ballet Technique, Point Work, Repertoire, Pas De Deux, Modern Choreography, Character Dance, Historical Dance as well as general education / professional orientation classes.
The Bolshoi Ballet Activities
Performance repertoire is an integral part of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy curriculum. Learning and rehearsing the internationally famous repertoire and contemporary pieces helps the students to participate in one of the important educational activities – annual overseas performance tours.
- The Nutcracker - 2-act ballet or 1-act suite; music by P.Chaikovskiy, choreography by V.Vainonen.
- Grand Pas Classique from Paquita - choreography by Petipa / Minkus
- La Fille Mal Gardee - 2-acts ballet or 1-act suite; music by L. Hertel, choreography by Y. Grigorovich
- Divertissements (classical variations, Pas de Deux, character dances)
- Contemporary pieces
Performance venues to date: Athens (Greece) – 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009
Thessaloniki (Greece) - 2004
Los Angeles (USA) - 2006
Washington DC (USA) - 2008
Barcelona (Spain) - 2009
Students have regular opportunities to participate in the Academy concerts held 2 - 4 times a year at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia and take part in the Bolshoi Theatre performances according to the Academy curriculum. Such performances are a significant part of the Academy life.
International Dance Competitions
Students of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy are frequent participants of international dance competitions:
- Yury Grigorovich International Competition “World Young Ballet” (Russia)
- Moscow International Ballet Competition (Russia)
- Competition of ballet dancers of Russia open for foreign dancers “Arabesque” (Perm, Russia)
- Premio Roma (Italy)
- International Ballet Competition “Orley” (Kazakhstan)
- International Festival-Competition “TanzOlimp” (Germany)
- International Ballet Competition - Varna (Bulgaria)
We firmly believe that participation in Ballet competitions is a launching pad, a platform giving the students experience, allowing them the opportunity to meet and work with their peers from other ballet schools in an exciting, emotional and intensive environment.
FOREIGN TOURS OF THE BOLSHOI BALLET ACADEMY
2006 - USA. Los-Angeles.
2006 - China. Beijing.
2006 - Greece.Athens.
2004 - Japan, Greece.
2003 - Italy, concerts on occasion of the 190th anniversary of the La Scala Ballet School.
2002 - Latvia, concerts on occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Riga Choreography School.
2001 - Greece.
1999 - Germany, Israel.
1998 - Germany, Norway, Austria.
1997 - Germany, South Africa, Japan, France.
1996 - Japan, Cyprus, Greece.
1995 - USA, Greece.
1994 - USA.
1993 - USA, Japan.
1992 - USA, Greece.
1991 - USA.
1990 - Japan, USA.
1989 - France, Belgium, USA.
1988 - USA.
1987 - England.
1985 - Japan.
1984 - Yugoslavia.
1984 - Sweden.
1981 - Hungary.
1977 - Finland.
1973 - USA.
1970 - France, Monte-Carlo, Spain, Italy.
1967 - France, England.
1963 - GDR.
1961 - Italy.
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