2 3 Throwback Thursday and Vaganova | Ballet Webb

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday and Vaganova

Throwback Thursday and Vaganova

The daughter of an usher at the Maryinsky Theater in Russia, Agrippina Vaganova was exposed to ballet at an early age.  She was born in 1879 and attended the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg.  She graduated in 1897 at age eighteen and joined the Maryinsky corps de ballet. Critics called her the “Queen of Variations” because her solos were performed so beautifully.  She soon caught the eye of  choreographer Marius Petipa. 

After performing for many years, she gave her farewell performance in 1916 and began the teaching career that would make her far more famous than her successful performing career.  Over the years she developed a precise system of teaching ballet  - the Vaganova Method. 

In 1931 she became the Artistic Director of the Kirov Ballet and staged her versions of Swan Lake and Esmeralda.  She held that directorship until 1937, but always continued to teach and train a long series of famous ballerinas.

When Vaganova died in 1951, her teaching method was preserved.  In 1957 the school was renamed The Vaganova Ballet Academy, and today her method is well known.  It is a respected method of training in many countries, including the United States.
From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #53:  
Vaganova was a great Russian teacher who developed the Vaganova method of ballet technique.

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Albert Einstein            

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