Olga Vasilevna Lepeshinskaia

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lepeshinskaia, Ol’ga Vasil’evna


Born Sept. 15 (28), 1916, in Kiev. Soviet ballerina and teacher. People’s Artist of the USSR (1951). Member of the CPSU since 1943.

Lepeshinskaia graduated from the Moscow Choreographic School and from 1933 to 1963 danced with the Bol’shoi Theater’s ballet troupe. She made her debut as Lise in Hertel’s La Fille mal gardée. She subsequently danced various leading parts, including Suok in Oranskii’s The Three Fat Men, Aurora in Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, Masha in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and Kitri in Minkus’ Don Quixote.

Possessing dramatic gifts, an irresistible temperament, and a virtuoso technique, Lepeshinskaia expanded the expressive possibilities of the classical dance. She was adept at both comedy and dramatic roles. Her best roles were the title role in Prokofiev’s Cinderella, Jeanne in Asaf ’ev’s The Flames of Paris, Tao Khoa in Glière’s The Red Poppy, Swanilda in Delibes’ Coppelia, and the title role in Vasilenko’s Mirandolina. She has been teaching since 1963 and has traveled as a teacher and ballet mistress in various countries, including Italy, the Hungarian People’s Republic, the German Democratic Republic, and Sweden. A recipient of the State Prize of the USSR (1941, 1946, 1947, 1950), she has been awarded three orders and various medals.


Garin, F. “Ol’ga Lepeshinskaia.” In Molodye mastera iskusstva. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938.
Ol’ga Vasil’evna Lepeshinskaia. Moscow, 1953.


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