2 3 Throwback Thursday and Asaf Messerer | Ballet Webb

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Throwback Thursday and Asaf Messerer

Throwback Thursday and Asaf Messerer

Asaf Messerer was born in Lithuania, and began studying ballet when he was a teenager. He took private classes at Mikhail Mordkin’s  school and then began performing with the ballet company of the Theater of Working Youth.  Soon, he entered the Bolshoi Ballet School, becoming part of the senior class.

He took technical skills to a new level, as well as creating “a stir by substituting naturalistic acting for conventional mime as Siegfried in Swan Lake” according to the New York Times. He began choreographing for the Bolshoi’s 1962 tour, and is probably best known for creating “Spring Waters”, a short, exciting pas de deux that helped define Russian bravura dancing.

In 1923 he began teaching at the Bolshoi school and soon became known as one of Russia’s greatest teachers. His system of teaching is documented in his book “Classes in Classical Dance” which was published in the U.S. in 1975.

Asaf Messerer taught up until his death from bronchitis in 1992.  He was 88 years old.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #69:  
“Asaf Messerer was a great Russian dancer, teacher and choreographer.”

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
William Arthur Ward

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Want to know more about me?  Here is my interview on Ballet Connections:

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