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Russian women in ballet

Famous Russian ballerinas. Russian ballet.

Russian ballet.

Anna Pavlova, great Russian dancer

Anna Pavlova

But ultimately Pavlova made such a virtue of her over-arched feet that critics said they represented the yearnings of the Russian soul. She cleverly devised a shank and platform for her pointe shoes that conserved her energy and let her balance in arabesque until the audience was breathless. She took advantage of what she did have: extension, ballon, a pliable torso, feminine delicacy, tremendous expressiveness and she worked extremely hard, studying with Gerdt, Christian Johannsen, Nicholas Legat, Catarina Beretta and the great Petipa himself. In the end she triumphed. More

Galina Ulanova, great Russian dancer

Galina Ulanova

"I did not really wish to be a ballet dancer. True, my first visit to the theatre fired my imagination, but I was not swept off my feet by that strong impulse for a stage career which precipitated so many to the footlights." More

Ekaterina Maximova, great Russian dancer

Ekaterina Maximova

Maximova's artistry is complex and intense and she was adored worldwide. She can charm through the comic and light-hearted roles with her captivating smile alone. But that is an over simplification. She has an immense dramatic range, wonderful technical clarity, beautiful clean line, wonderful footwork and the ability to invest passion and drama into the smallest movements. More

Maya Plisetskaya, great Russian dancer

Maya Plisetskaya

Maya Plisetskaya's career stretched over sixty years - and counting. Her latest performance was in 1996, at the age of 71. Her account of that career can be read as a colourful - if highly personal - account of one of the most extraordinary periods in recent history: not only the view from the other side of the curtain, but the view from the other side of the iron curtain, too. More

Nina Ananiashvili, great Russian dancer

Nina Ananiashvili

Ananiashvili since has gone on to become a truly international ballet superstar. As well as retaining her status as prima ballerina of the Bolshoi, she is also currently a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. She has appeared with the Royal Danish Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the U.K.'s Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, Royal Swedish Ballet, Ballet de Monte Carlo, the National Ballets of Norway, Finland and Portugal, Birmingham Ballet, Boston Ballet, Munich Ballet, Houston Ballet and Tokyo Ballet among others. More

"Red Giselle" - Olga Spessivtseva.

Olga Spessivtseva

Olga Spessivtseva is known as one of the great ballerinas of the 20th century. Enrico Cecchetti, an Italian ballet dancer said that she and Pavlova were two halves of the same apple. Maybe, corrected Diaghilev, but was the half that had been in the sun More

Agrippina Vaganova, famous Russian ballerina, choreographer and teacher

Agrippina Vaganova

Vaganova is most remembered as a great teacher, of generations of dancers, taking the best of the old imperial style – a Romantic plasticity allied with Italian bravura – and blending it with a more athletic movement, to form what became known as the Vaganova system; a method that did not isolate one particular part of the body, but trained it into one harmonious whole. Instead of the hitherto vague corrections given to a pupil, and using an analysis of musculature, Vaganova gave precise corrections for proper placement. More

Mathilde Kschessinska, first Russian prima ballerina assoluta.

Mathilde Kschessinska

Though she is perhaps best known for her affair with the future tsar Nicholas II, Mathilde Kschessinska was actually the first Russian prima ballerina assoluta. She earned the title—the highest possible rank for a ballerina—in 1896, at the age of 24. She was a dancer of brilliant technique, dramatic gifts and great personal charm and beauty. She was the first Russian Aurora and the first Russian dancer to perform the 32 fouettés in Swan Lake More

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