Aleksei Nikolaevich Ermolaev

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ermolaev, Aleksei Nikolaevich


Born Feb. 10 (23), 1910, in St. Petersburg. Soviet ballet dancer and choreographer. People’s artist of the USSR (1970) and Byelorussian SSR (1940).

Ermolaev graduated from the Leningrad Choreographic School in 1926, whereupon he became a soloist with the ballet troupe of the S. M. Kirov Theater of Opera and Ballet in Leningrad. In 1930 he began dancing at the Bol’shoi Theater in Moscow. One of the initiators of heroic male dancing in Soviet ballet, he possessed a virtuoso technique. Noted for his swift turns and expressive performances, Ermolaev boldly broke with the tradition of conventional genres and affirmed heroic, bold, and forceful dancing in ballet. His roles included Tybalt in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Evgenii and Li Shan-fu in Gliére’s The Bronze Horseman and The Red Poppy. In 1939 he debuted as a choreographer, staging the first Byelorussian ballet, Kroshner’s The Nightingale, in the Byelorussian Theater of Opera and Ballet in Minsk. He also staged Zolotarev’s Ardent Hearts (1954) among other ballets there. Ermolaev began teaching in 1961; since 1968 he has been artistic director of the Moscow Choreographic School. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1946, 1947, and 1950 and has been awarded three orders and various medals.


Aleksei Nikolaevich Ermolaev. Moscow, 1954.
Slonimskii, lu. O. Sovetskii balet. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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