2 3 Throwback Thursday and Vasili Vainonen | Ballet Webb

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Throwback Thursday and Vasili Vainonen

Throwback Thursday and Vasili Vainonen

Born in 1901, Vasili Ivanovich Vainonen was born in Russia in 1901. He was a famous Soviet choreographer who worked with the Kirov Ballet. He also performed as a dancer doing roles such as: The Moor (Petrushka), Clown (The Fairy Doll), Satyr (Les Saisons).

He began choreographing at the age of 19 and was quickly recognized. However, his early career at the Kirov almost ended when one of his pieces in the ballet The Golden Age was censored for using western dance styles. But he persisted and one of his ballets that is still performed today is Flames of Paris.  It premiered at the Kirov Theatre in Leningrad on November 7, 1932.

Vainonen is also known for his 1934 version of The Nutcracker which was revived in 1954 and is available on DVD in a 1994 version. In Baryshnikov’s production of The Nutcracker, he used Vainonen’s “Snowflake Waltz”, giving him credit for the choreography.

In 1947 he received the Stalin Prize for Flames of Paris, and from 1951-1953 he headed the ballet troupe of the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater.

Vainonen died on March 23, 1964 and is buried in Moscow at Novodevichy Cemetery.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Secret #324:
Vasili Vainonen was a Soviet choreographer whose work was partially censored.”

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Quote of the Day:
“...the hardest word to swallow is almost.”
― R. YS Perez, I Hope You Fall in Love: Poetry Collection

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