Pavel Virskii

Virskii, Pavel Pavlovich


Born Feb. 12 (25), 1905, in Odessa. Soviet choreographer. People’s Artist of the USSR (1960). Member of the CPSU since 1946.

Virskii studied at the Odessa Music and Drama School (1923-27) and the Moscow Theatrical Technicum (1927-28). He became a ballet dancer in 1928 and later artistic director of the Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and Kiev theaters of opera and ballet. From 1943 to 1955 he was the choreographer of the A. V. Aleksandrov Soviet Army Song and Dance Ensemble. He organized the Folk Dance Ensemble of the Ukrainian SSR in 1937 and has been its artistic director since 1955. Basing his work on folk dance traditions, Virskii created such choreographic compositions as In the Cornfield and The Zaporozhye Cossacks. He received the State Prize of the USSR in 1950 and 1970 and the Shevchenko State Prize of the Ukrainian SSR in 1965. Virskii has been awarded two orders and various medals.