Urbel, Ida

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Urbel’, Ida Arturovna


(Ida Urbel). Born Dec. 3 (16), 1900, in Viljandi, in what is now the Estonian SSR. Soviet choreographer and teacher. People’s Artist of the Estonian SSR (1965).

From 1922 to 1929, Urbel’ studied in private studios in Tallinn. In 1932 she graduated from the school of the Paris Opera as a nonresident student. She was a choreographer of the Vanemuine Theater in Tartu from 1935 to 1957 and served as principal choreographer from 1957 to 1973. Urbel’ has staged Pugni’s La Esmeralda, Tubin’s Kratt, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, E. Kapp’s Kalevipoeg, Iarullin’s Shurale, Auster’s Tüna, and Paganini, to music by Rachmaninoff. She has also staged operas and operettas, for example, Bizet’s Carmen, Prokofiev’s The Gambler, and Lehár’s The Merry Widow. Urbel’ combined the expressive means of classical ballet with elements of Estonian folk dance and plastic dance. She directed her own studio in Viljandi from 1929 to 1935 and the ballet studio at the Vanemuine Theater from 1935 to 1957.

Urbel’ has been awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor.


Tormis, L. Eesti balletist. Tallinn, 1967.
Tormis, L. Vanemuise ballett. Tartu, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.