Read Moscow Ballet blogger Elena Ovchinnikova; dancer, historian and medical dance expert

Read Moscow Ballet blogger Elena Ovchinnikova; dancer, historian and medical dance expert

July 19, 2014  |  By Moscow Ballet

Moscow Ballet premieres in hot Miami, cool Philadelphia with Musical Wunderkind and more in 2014 Hello City of Brotherly Love and Hot Miami! Moscow Ballet is pleased to premiere the acclaimed Great Russian Nutcracker in Philadelphia December 6 and in Miami December 26. The company is honored to perform in Philadelphia, known for its long-standing appreciation of ballet and the arts. Violinist Wunderkind Hae Sue Lee, a student of the Curtis Institute of Music, will open the performance accompanying the principal ballerina in Saint Saens “Dying Swan” – a sweet treat for the eyes and ears! Moscow Ballet’s performance at the historic Jackie Gleason Theater is also a first in Miami, a hotbed city of ballet greats including protégé of Cuban Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso and Miami City Ballet, founded by American icon Edward Villella, the only American ever asked to dance an encore at the Bolshoi Theatre! Arrange with family and friends to create the Christmas experience to remember forever with Moscow Ballet in a city near you. Other new cities on the tour include: Birmingham, Casper, Ft Wayne, Gillette, Kalamazoo (with live orchestra!), Lawton, and Waco. Click to find Your City and get the best seats now!

drosselmeyer-showHear from ballet student Jennifer about “Dance with Us” and being On Stage with the Pros In addition to new cities, Moscow Ballet welcomes new Host Dance Studio partners in some cities. These dedicated Host Dance Studios help make the dream to perform in a professional ballet a reality for about 5000 young ballerinas/danseurs each year! Click to hear what Jennifer has to say about performing live with Moscow Ballet and click to find a Moscow Ballet audition near you (more are added all summer). Don’t have dance lessons planned this summer? Moscow Ballet is also an advocate for the President’s Challenge program which gives guidelines for everyone to get in shape.

MB blogger Elena asks, “Who exactly is ‘Agrippina’?” Moscow Ballet and almost all Russian dance companies study the Vaganova ballet method. Did you ever wonder how this method came to be and how is it different from other ballet methods? This renowned method has produced legendary dancers and choreographers in the world including Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Oleg Vinogradov, Yuri Grigorovich, Tatiana Predenia, Viktor Shcherbakov and Svetlana Zakharova, to name just a few. MB blogger Elena is an expert in this area and she can fill us in on “Vaganova” and “Agrippina.”agrippina_vaganova_by_klimbims-d6fbi6g

Founder Agrippina Vaganova graduated in the early 20th century from the Saint Petersburg Theater School – Ballet Academy and was accepted to dance with the Mariinsky Theatre (known as the Kirov Theatre during the Soviet era).  When she performed in the corps de ballet, she was keenly observant and studied the guest stars’ styles and manner of dance. Rehearsals with these live custodians of the Italian and French ballet schools, helped Vaganova improve her own performing skills and gradually her repertoire was enriched with solo roles and variations from the classical ballets. Performing these roles demanded masterly  pointe technique, strong jumps and good coordination skills and she eventually got the unofficial title of “The Queen of Variations.” Up to present day variations from the Grand Pas in “Don Quixote,” “La Bayadere,” and many others are called “Vaganova Variations.” Vaganova was very demanding of herself and gradually principal roles began to appear in her repertoire:  Queen of Dryads in “Don Quixote,” “Odette – Odile in “Swan Lake,” and Giselle in “Giselle.” But these principal roles came shortly before the end of her dance career and she is not remembered for them. In the early 20th century the Russian School of Ballet was not yet well established in a particular pedagogic practice. But  Agrippina wanted to understand the “science of dance” and in that way the foundation and development of the Russian Ballet School became Agrippina Vaganova’s life work.  Vaganova began teaching  in 1921, when the elimination vaganova-image of ballet as a learning method was a distinct possibility. Gymnastics, “eccentric” dance and “acrobatic” dance were offered to young students instead. Because of that Vaganova’s system was established in connection with stage practice and from 1931 to 1937 she headed the ballet company of the State Opera and Ballet Theater in St Petersburg , her dancers being the first to perform the choreographic style now called the Vaganova Method. Critics of the time noticed the deeply individual talent of each ballerina and Vaganova’s  students became living demonstrations of the Vaganova method.  The publication of her book “Basics of Classical Dance” allowed the Vaganova Method to become the property of the world. There have been seven editions of it and it has been translated into many languages.  Founded in 1738 by decree of Empress Anna I, of Russia, the Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg is now known as the Vaganova Ballet Academy and just celebrated its 275th Anniversary. Agrippina Vaganova taught at the Academy from 1921 until 1951. Since that time, the Academy has continued to develop and advance the syllabus that has created so many exceptional224b4879d9095e470d5192d034fa5026 artists.