Moscow Academic Choreographic School

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Moscow Academic Choreographic School


(known in English as the Bolshoi Ballet School), one of the oldest theatrical educational institutions whose activity is connected with the formation and development of the Russian national ballet school. It was founded in 1773 as classes in “theatrical dancing” for the wards of the Moscow Orphanage. In 1806 it became the Imperial Theater School for the Training of Opera Singers, Ballet Dancers, Actors, and Orchestra Musicians. In 1911 the school became a specialized choreographic and dance institution.

Among those trained at the school were such outstanding ballet dancers as I. K. Lobanov, T. I. Ivanova-Glushkovskaia, D. S. Lopukhina (Rishar), A. I. Voronina-Ivanova, T. S. Krapakova-Bogdanova, E. A. Sankovskaia, K. F. Bogdanov, P. P. Lebedeva, S. P. Sokolov, V. F. Gel’tser, O. N. Nikolaeva, A. I. Sobeshchanskaia, P. M. Korpakova, L. N. Geiten, L. A. Roslavleva, E. V. Gel’tser, N. F. Manokhin, N. P. Domashev, I. N. Khliustin, V. D. Tikhomirov, and M. M. Mordkin.

In 1920 the school became affiliated with the Bolshoi Theater and was renamed the State Ballet School. In 1931 its name was changed to the Ballet Technicum. In 1937 the technicum was renamed the Moscow Choreographic School. The title “academic” was conferred on the school in 1961.

In 1973 the Moscow Academic Choreographic School included a classical department (for training ballet dancers), a Russian classical department (for training dancers for dance companies), courses for instructors of classical dance, and a museum (founded in 1967).

Children who have completed elementary school are accepted into the school on a competitive basis. The eight-year educational program consists of general-education subjects at the secondary school level and cycles of intensive specialized training in dance, choreography, music, and other related disciplines. Stage experience is important in the curriculum; the pupils participate in performances of the school’s theater and of the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR, as well as in concerts and other productions.

In the 1972–73 academic year, about 600 students were enrolled at the school. The more than 100 teachers included S. N. Golovkina, M. E. Liepa, L. I. Rafailova, E. G. Farmaniants, A. A. Klimov, A. A. Pestov, V. L. Nikonov, and B. G. Rakhmanin.

During the years of Soviet power, the school has trained about 1, 500 ballet dancers, including A. I. Abramova, L. M. Bank, N. B. Podgoretskaia, V. V. Kudriavtseva, N. I. Tarasov, I. A. Moiseev, A. M. Messerer, S. M. Messerer, M. M. Gabovich, O. V. Lepeshinskaia, S. N. Golovkina, M. M. Plisetskaia, V. T. Bovt, Iu. T. Zhdanov, A. A. Lapauri, R. S. Struchkova, B. Karieva, L. P. Sakh’ianova, E. E. Vlasova, B. I. Khokhlov, M. V. Kondrat’eva, N. B. Fadeechev, M. E. Liepa, E. S. Maksimova, V. V. Vasil’ev, N. I. Bessmertnova, N. I. Sorokina, M. L. Lavrovskii, and Iu. K. Vladimirov. The school was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.