The russian ballet
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The Russian Ballet. Courtney Jackson Russian 1001 9 December 2002. Introduction. Russian ballet is filled with a unique history as well as an equally unique style. Some of the most well known ballets owe their fame to Russia.

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The Russian Ballet

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The russian ballet

The Russian Ballet

Courtney Jackson

Russian 1001

9 December 2002



  • Russian ballet is filled with a unique history as well as an equally unique style.

  • Some of the most well known ballets owe their fame to Russia.

  • Some examples of great ballets popularized in Russia are Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. These ballets were composed by Ilich Tchaikovosky.

  • Ballets such as these have made the art of Russian ballet one that is a timeless classic, and unlike many other European ballets, has survived throughout the centuries.

History of russian ballet

History of Russian Ballet

  • The first known dancing company established in Russia was the Vaganova Ballet Academy, named after its founder Jean Baptiste Lande in 1738.

  • Russian ballet and the realization of dancing as a form of art during this time existed only among the common people.

  • Before the reign of Peter the Great, Russia was under the influence of a strict Orthodox Church that believed dancing was satanic and sinful.

The royal influence

The Royal Influence

  • However, Peter the Great’s daughter Anna introduced the first Russian Dance at one of her father’s balls.

  • Since Anna was surrounded by nannies and other such servants she learned the dance styles of the common people.

  • She also attended Lande’s Ballet Academy, meaning that she was also skilled in serious ballet.

  • Anna formed the first true Russian dance by combining the two different forms of dance.

  • When Empress Yelizaveta ascended to the throne in 1741, she furthered her passion for dance and ordered that an Opera House be built in Moscow.

  • This meant that for the first time Russian dance was being performed by Russian ballerians on the Russian court stage.

Russian giselles

Russian Giselles

  • In the second half of the ninteeth century, ballet began to decline in Western Europe.

  • Only Russia mantained a completely professional school.

  • The premiere of Giselle in St. Petersberg occurred on December 18, 1842, with Yelena Andreyanova dancing the leading role.

  • Others Russians who have played this role are Marfa Muracyeva, Anna Pavlova,and Tamara Karsavina.

  • These dancers helped to keep the image of Giselle young and fresh and Russianizing her.

The nutcracker

The Nutcracker

  • The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the book called ``The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" written by E.T.A. Hoffman. 

  • In 1891, the legendary choreographer Marius Petipa commissioned Tchaikovsky to write the music for the Nutcracker Ballet.

  • In 1892, the first showing of the Nutcracker took place at the Mariinsky Theatre of Russia, home of the Kirov Ballet.

  • Almost everyone knows the story of “The Nutcracker”, however the original Nutcracker was not near as lively and childlike.

  • Although this piece is widely known, Tchaikovsky’s and Petipa’s greatest work was yet to come.

Swan lake

Swan Lake

  • “Swan Lake” took place on January 15, 1895 in St. Petersberg.

  • Never before had Russian ballet presented so clearly the shift between different cultural eras and artistic styles.

  • Composed by Tchaikovsky, this play has historical importance to Russia because until this time ballet had rarely embodied the artistic thinking of the times.

  • French Petipa and Russian Ivanov were the two great architects of Russian ballet. These men turned ballet into theatre.

  • In fact, this work became one of the seminal influences in the entire development of ballet as an art form.

  • The classical motif has remained unchanged, and because of this, the date of Swan Lake’s premiere in St. Petersburg is immortalized in history.

Some great names of russian ballet

Some Great Names Of Russian Ballet

  • There are many great names in Russian Ballet, here is a list of some of the most famous:

  • Yuri Nikolayevich Gringorovich

  • Anna Pavlova

  • Olga Preobrazhenskaya

  • Nicholas Sergeyev

  • Tamara Karsavina

  • Glaina Sergeyevna Ulanova and many more.

  • All of these artists greatly contributed to the techniques and style of ballet, not only in Russia, but everywhere.



  • The influence of Russia on ballet cannot be denied, and continues to live on today.

  • Through the royal family and Peter the Great’s desire to westernize Russia, dancing was once again brought back to Russia, despite the notion that dancing was sinful.

  • Because of people like Tchaikovsky, Petida, and Lande Russian ballet and dance was forever changed; not to mentionthe impact that they had on the rest of the world.

  • The beauty of Russian ballet is one that is breathtaking and remarkable and will continue to grow with the changing of the times.

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