Bolshoi Ballet(bōl`shoi, bôl`–), one of the principal ballet companies of Russia; part of the Bolshoi Theater, which also includes Russia's premier opera company. The Bolshoi Ballet began as a dancing school for the Moscow Orphanage in 1773. The Bolshoi Theatre, which opened permanently in 1856, in its early decades competed for preeminence with the Maryinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg (see Kirov BalletKirov Ballet,
one of the two major ballet companies of Russia, the other being the Bolshoi Ballet. In 1991 it was officially renamed the St. Petersburg Maryinsky Ballet; however, on its frequent tours abroad it is still called the Kirov Ballet.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Aleksandr Gorsky revitalized the dance company in the early 20th cent. and introduced a new dramatic realism to the classical ballets. Igor MoiseyevMoiseyev, Igor Alexsandrovich
, 1906–2007, Russian dancer and choreographer. He studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School and was later a soloist with the Bolshoi Theatre (1924–39) and ballet master there (1930–39).
..... Click the link for more information. experimented with folk-dance ballets at the Bolshoi in the 1930s. The company is internationally acclaimed for its superb ensemble skills and for the spectacular realism of its scenery and costumes. During the 1960s, Maya PlisetskayaPlisetskaya, Maya
, 1925–2015, Russian dancer. Pliesetskaya became a soloist with the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on graduating from its school in 1943. She soon gained recognition as one of the world's foremost ballerinas, combining flawless technique with a sensitivity to
..... Click the link for more information. was the company's prima ballerina. In 1964, Yuri Grigorovich became chief choreographer and later, artistic director, serving until 1995. His productions included a very successful version of Khachaturian's Spartacus. Since Grigorovich, the position of artistic director has been held by a series of individuals serving much shorter tenures. The company is internationally acclaimed and regularly tours with such classics as Giselle and Swan Lake. A major renovation and restoration of the Bolshoi Theatre was completed in 2011.
See study by Y. Grigorovich and V. Vaslov (1984).