Ivanov, Lev Ivanovich


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Ivanov, Lev Ivanovich

 

Born Feb. 18 (Mar. 2), 1834, in Moscow; died Dec. 11 (24), 1901, in St. Petersburg. Russian ballet dancer and choreographer.

Upon graduating from the St. Petersburg Theatrical School in 1852, Ivanov was accepted into the Imperial Ballet, where he became premier danseur in 1869. He was the first to perform the roles of Gyges in Pugni’s Le Roi Candaule and Basil and Solor in Minkus’ Don Quixote and La Bayadere. In 1885 he became assistant balletmaster of the Mariinskii Theater, working with M.I. Petipa. In 1887, Ivanov staged the ballets The Enchanted Forest by Drigo and The Tulip of Harlem by Schell in the Romantic tradition. Exceptional musicality allowed him to create outstanding models of the symphonic treatment of the dance, both character (the Polovetsian dances in Borodin’s opera Prince Igor, 1890) and classical (dance of the snowflakes in The Nutcracker, 1892, and Acts II and IV in Swan Lake, 1895, both by Tchaikovsky). The poetic quality of the characters was embodied by Ivanov in perfect choreographic form. His work represents the highest point of the academic style in the history of Russian ballet.

REFERENCE

Krasovskaia, V. Russkii baletnyi teatr vtoroi poloviny XIX veka. Leningrad-Moscow, 1963. Pages 337–401.

V. M. KRASOVSKAIA