Sankovskaia, Ekaterina Aleksandrovna

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sankovskaia, Ekaterina Aleksandrovna


Born 1816; died Aug. 16 (28), 1878, in Moscow. Russian ballerina. Representative of the romantic ballet during the 1830’s and 1840’s.

Sankovskaia studied at the Moscow Theater School from 1825 to 1836 in F. Hulin-Sor’s class. M. S. Shchepkin was her drama teacher. In 1831, Sankovskaia debuted at the Bolshoi Theater, dancing the lead in Antonolini’s ballet The Young Dairymaid, or Nisetta and Luca. She soon became a leading dancer.

In 1836, Sankovskaia was the first in Russia to dance the title role in Schneitzhoeffer’s La Sylphide. Contemporaries called her the “soul of the Moscow ballet.” V. G. Belinskii, A. I. Her-zen, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, and S. T. Aksakov were among those who held her talent in high regard. Sankovskaia was popular among Russian young people; Moscow University students presented her with a gold wreath. She also danced the title roles in Adam’s Giselle and Pugni’s Catarina, the Bandit’s Daughter. She staged Adam’s Le Diable à quatre (1846) and Pugni’s Dream of the Painter (1849). Sankovskaia retired from the stage in 1854.


Krasovskaia, V. Russkii baletnyi teatr ot voznikoveniia do serediny XIX v. Leningrad-Moscow, 1958.
Bakhrushin, Iu. A. Istoriia russkogo baleta, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1973. Pages 90–95,97.


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