Agrippina Vaganova

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Vaganova, Agrippina Iakovlevna


Born June 24 (July 6), 1879, in St. Petersburg; died Nov. 5, 1951, in Leningrad. Soviet ballerina, choreographer, and teacher. People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1934).

In 1897, Vaganova graduated from the St. Petersburg Theatrical School, where she studied with L. I. Ivanov, E. O. Vazem, and P. A. Gerdt. From 1897 to 1916 she danced at the Mariinskii Theater in St. Petersburg, becoming famous as a virtuoso of classical dance. Her best roles included Odette-Odile in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and the Tsar-maiden in Pugni’s The Little Humpbacked Horse. She began teaching in 1917 after leaving the stage. In 1921 she became a teacher at the Leningrad Choreographic School, where she became a professor in 1946. From 1931 to 1937, Vaganova was artistic director of the ballet of the S. M. Kirov Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theater, where she staged the ballets Swan Lake (1933) and Pugni’s La Esmeralda (1935). Vaganova’s work as a choreographer was marked by a search for new means of expression in the classical dance, which became an excellent model for performing—dancing as well as acting. From 1946 to 1951 she headed the subdepartment of choreography at the N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in Leningrad. She expounded her teaching methods in the book Fundamentals of the Classical Dance (1934; reprinted four times). The essence of her method consists in the demand for the comprehension and aesthetic expressiveness of dance movements and for the free use of technique based on the correct placing of the body and arms. Vaganova’s teaching methods are widespread in Soviet choreographic teaching practice and exert considerable influence on ballet abroad. Vaganova’s students included G. S. Ulanova, M. T. Semenova, O. G. Iordan, N. A. Anisimova, T. M. Vecheslova, N. N. Dudinskaia, and A. la. Shelest. She was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1946, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.


Bogdanov-Berezovskii, V. M. A. Ia. Vaganova. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
A. Ia. Vaganova. Stat’i. Vospominaniia. Materialy. Moscow-Leningrad, 1958. [Collection.]
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During the rocky period after the Revolution, when the Bolsheviks were not at all sure that this elitist art form fit into their socialist ideals, Agrippina Vaganova consolidated the Italian, French, and Russian styles into a methodical approach.
Agrippina Vaganova (1879-1951) was a pioneer of a system that set the standard for classical ballet training in Russia.
During the Soviet period, 'Imperial' was dropped from the title and the school re-named to commemorate Mme Agrippina Vaganova, an influential director there in the 1930s.
Sayles Senchak has formal training in the Complete Teaching Method of Classical Dance developed by Vera Kostrovitskaya and based on the work of Agrippina Vaganova at the Imperial Ballet in St.
It was a Russian called Agrippina Vaganova and an Italian called Enrico Cecchetti who each perfected the ballet movements used to build up strength, endurance and grace in a dancer's body.
Methods are based on those of the Russian teacher Agrippina Vaganova, and he concludes with a brief account of her career.
There she became a favorite of the pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova, and the couple performed with the Kirov Ballet.
They feel fortunate to have as an adviser ballet mistress Irina Kolpakova, who was a member of the last class graduated by Agrippina Vaganova.
Articles included "Ballet Theatre Opens"; "The Sleeping Beauty is Fifty Years Young," by Anatole Chujoy; and "Fundamentals of the Classic Dance," by Agrippina Vaganova.
New productions were choreographed in Moscow by Alexander Gorsky (1912) and in Leningrad by Agrippina Vaganova after Petipa (1931) and Peter Gusev (1955).
There, she was greatly impressed by the legendary teacher Agrippina Vaganova.
For Fonteyn: Vestris to Bournonville, Bournonville to Christian Johansson, Johansson to Pavel Gerdt, Gerdt to Agrippina Vaganova, Vaganova to Vera Volkova, Volkova to Fonteyn.