Rostislav Zakharov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zakharov, Rostislav Vladimirovich


Born Aug. 25 (Sept. 7), 1907, in Astrakhan. Soviet choreographer and stage director. People’s Artist of the USSR (1969) and of the Kazakh SSR( 1958). Doctor of the Arts (1970). Member of the CPSU since 1951.

Zakharov graduated from the Leningrad Choreographic School (1926) and the directorial section of the Leningrad Theatrical Technicum (1932). From 1934 to 1936 he was the choreographer at the Leningrad Kirov Theater of Opera and Ballet. From 1936 to 1939 he was director of the ballet troupe and from 1936 to 1956 the choreographer and operatic director at the Bol’shoi Theater in Moscow. The ballets staged by Zakharov include Asaf’ev’s The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (which laid the foundation for the Soviet choreographic “Pushkiniana” and as staged by Zakharov was seen in Leningrad, Moscow, Budapest, Tokyo, Helsinki, Belgrade, and other cities) and The Prisoner of the Caucasus, Gliere’s The Bronze Horseman and The Red Poppy, and Prokofiev’s Cinderella (State Prize of the USSR, 1946).

Zakharov’s creative work is characterized by the use of ideologically significant themes and an intensification of the role of dramaturgy and methods of imparting realistic characteristics to ballet characters. As an operatic director he staged Glinka’s Ruslan and Liudmila, Bizet’s Carmen, Rossini’s William Tell (State Prize of the USSR, 1943), and other operas. Zakharov began teaching in 1927. From 1946 to 1949 he was administrative and artistic director of the Moscow Choreographic School, and since 1946 he has been head of the subdepartment of choreography at the State Institute of Theatrical Arts (professor since 1951). His students have included G. R. Valamat-zade, E. la. Changa, I. V. Smirnov, Ang Song Hi (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), N. Kiradzhieva (Bulgaria), and I. Blazek (Czechoslovakia). Zakharov has been awarded two orders and various medals.


Iskusstvo baletmeistera. Moscow, 1954.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The year 1934 was marked by the premiere of The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, Rostislav Zakharov's ballet inspired by a poem of Pushkin.
Introduced to the West during a thaw in the Cold War in the late fifties and early sixties, Russian dance once again took the world by storm with its meticulous preservation of classics; the expressive, powerful performances of Ulanova, Plisetskaya, Fadeyechev, and Sergeyev; of Vasiliev, Kolpakova, Soloviev, and Maximova; and the choreography of Leonid Lavrovsky and Rostislav Zakharov.
He has preserved certain Soviet classics--Lavrovsky's original Romeo and Juliet and Rostislav Zakharov's The Fountain of Bakhchisaray--and, while his own meddling with the standard Petipa repertoire has been disastrous, he has, at least, restored some nineteenth-century classics, notably Le Corsaire and La Bayadere.
When Grigorovich be came chief choreographer and artistic director of Bolshoi Ballet, in 1964, the company had many choreographers, including Nina Anisimova, Leonid Jacobson, Leonid Lavrovsky, Asaf Messerer, and Rostislav Zakharov. In the process of strengthening his grip on the troupe, however, Grigorovich wiped out his competition.
With his rough-hewn elegance, Andrew Drost, formerly of Boston Ballet II and Ballet South, made a striking debut in Gopak, Rostislav Zakharov's variation (staged by Bujones) on the Ukrainian folk dance.
For those adhering closely to party ideology--that dance must contain "subject matter, a dance plot, kinship with the people, and realism," in the words of hard-liner Rostislav Zakharov (choreographer of Fountain of Bakhisarai)--Balanchine provided an easy target for disapproval.
Moscow Festival Ballet is happy to use the original 1945 choreography of "Cinderella" by Rostislav Zakharov as the base for its production.
"He is startlingly handsome, and he has the ability to dance not only academic roles but also flashier ones," says Messerer, who will next cast MacKay as the Prince in another Soviet-era revival, Rostislav Zakharov's Cinderella.
However in 1936, his contemporary from Leningrad's Kirov Ballet, Rostislav Zakharov, was appointed artistic director of the Bolshoi.
Following her graduation in 1944, she attracted attention with her performance in Rostislav Zakharov's Cinderella.