Vainonen, Vasilii Ivanovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vainonen, Vasilii Ivanovich


Born Feb. 8 (21), 1901, in St. Petersburg; died Mar. 23, 1964, in Moscow. Soviet choreographer. Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1939).

Vainonen graduated from the Petrograd Choreographic School in 1919. From 1919 to 1938 he was a dancer and then choreographer at the S. M. Kirov Theater of Opera and Ballet in Leningrad. From 1946 to 1950 and from 1954 to 1958 he was choreographer at the Bol’shoi Theater in Moscow. His production of Asaf’ev’s ballet The Flames of Paris (1932) initiated the national and heroic trend in Soviet choreography. He also staged ballets that dealt with modern themes: Asaf’ev’s Partisan Days (1937) and Militsa (1947) and Spadavekkia’s The Shore of Happiness (1952). The production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (1934) was a major contribution to the art of classical dance. Among Vainonen’s other productions were Drigo’s Harlequinade (1945) and Vasilenko’s Mirandolina (1949). Vainonen was awarded the State Prize of the USSR twice (1947, 1949)—for his staging of The Flames of Paris (1947) and the dances in Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride (1948) at the Bol’shoi Theater. He was also awarded a medal and the Order of the Badge of Honor.


“Zametki o iazyke khoreografii.” Teatr, Moscow, 1940, no. 9, pp. 75-80.


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