The Moscow State Academy of Choreography (Russian: Московская государственная академия хореографии, commonly known as The Bolshoi Ballet Academy, is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of ballet in the world, located in Moscow, Russia. It is the affiliate school of the Bolshoi Ballet.
The Bolshoi Ballet receives the majority of its dancers from the academy, as do most other Moscow ballet companies. Numerous choreographers, instructors and graduates of the academy have become renowned in Russian ballet and internationally, including Olga Lepeshinskaya, Raisa Struchkova, Natalia Bessmertnova, Ekaterina Maximova, Maya Plisetskaya, Nikolai Fadeyechev, Vladimir Vasiliev, Mikhail Lavronsky, Nikolay Tsiskaridze, to be bestowed a People's Artist of the USSR, "prima ballerina assoluta" and "premier dancer", the ultimate title for a ballet performer of the Soviet Union.
Bolshoi is the oldest theatrical school in Moscow, founded as an orphanage by order of Catherine II in 1763. It wasn't until 1773 that the first dance classes were taught at the home. Other names the school is known by are: The Bolshoi Academy, The Bolshoi Ballet School, The Moscow Choreographic Institute, The Moscow Ballet School, The Bolshoi Moscow Ballet School and The Bolshoi Theatre Ballet School.
- 1773—1777 — Filippo Beccari
- 1778—1783 — Leopold Paradise
- 1783—1805 — Cosimo Morelli (choreographer)
- 1806—1808 — Jean Lamiral
- 1808—1811 — Dominique Lefèvre
- 1811—1839 — Adam Glushkovskiy
- 1839—1846 — Konstantin Bordanov (ru: Богданов, Константин Федорович)
- 1846—1850 — Feodor Manokhin (ru: Манохин, Фёдор Николаевич)
- 1851—1857 — ?
- 1858—1869 — Feodor Manokhin (ru: Манохин, Фёдор Николаевич)
- 1869—1872 — Pierre Frédéric Malavergne
- 1872—1874 — Gustave Legat
- 1874—1883 — Sergey Petrovich Sokolov (ru: Соколов, Сергей Петрович)
- 1883—1898 — Aleksey Bogdanov (ru: Богданов, Алексей Николаевич)
- 1898—1902 — Vasiliy Geltser (ru: Гельцер, Василий Федорович)
- 1902—1907 — Alexander Alexeyevich Gorsky
- 1907—1917 — Vasiliy Tikhomirov (ru: Тихомиров, Василий Дмитриевич)
- 1917—1924 — Alexander Alexeyevich Gorsky
- 1924 — 1931 — ?
- 1931—1936 — Viktor Aleksandrovich Semeonov (ru: Семёнов, Виктор Александрович)
- 1937—1941 — Pyotr Gusev
- 1942—1945 — Nikolay Ivanovich Tarasov (ru: Тарасов, Николай Иванович)
- 1945—1947 — Rostislav Zakharov
- 1948—1953 — Leonid Lavrovskiy
- 1953—1954 — Nikolay Ivanovich Tarasov
- 1954—1958 — Michail Gabovich (ru: Габович, Михаил Маркович)
- 1959—1964 — Yuriy Kondratov (ru: Кондратов, Юрий Григорьевич)
- 1960—2001 — Sofia Golovkina (ru: Головкина, Софья Николаевна)
- 1964—1967 — Leonid Lavrovskiy
- 1968—1972 — Aleksey Yermolayev
- 1973—1987 — Maksim Martirosian (ru: Мартиросян, Максим Саакович)
- 1988—1993 — Igor Uksusnikov (ru: Уксусников, Игорь Валентинович)
- 2001—2002 — Boris Akimov (ru: Акимов, Борис Борисович)
- 2002 — Marina Leonova (ru: Леонова, Марина Константиновна)
Method and education
The Bolshoi's method of teaching is founded on a thorough, comprehensive, classical training curriculum that is carefully coordinated to the students' ability. The curriculum includes ballet technique, pointe work, centre work, repertoire, pas de deux, jazz, character dance and historical dance. The academy offers a professional teaching staff with international teaching and performing experience. All classes are carefully graded both for age and technical level and each student is given the individual attention so necessary for his or her progress. At the school, children from ages nine to eighteen attend academic classes in addition to their rigorous dance training, using the Vaganova method. Many of them live at the in-house school dormitories.
The Bolshoi Ballet Academy holds annual auditions for the students seeking acceptance into the full-time programs of traineeship and vocational training. The current director is Marina Leonova.
The Bolshoi Ballet Academy offers one of the best dance training facilities in the world. Amenities including twenty large studios with a professional non-slip dance floor, changing rooms with showers and lockers, study area, and a physiotherapy room. High ceilings make it possible to offer Pas de Deux classes, and two levels of ballet barres are provided for young children and adults.
The Bolshoi is the school from which the Bolshoi Ballet gets the majority of its dancers, as well as most other Moscow ballet companies. The academy has graduated a long list of acclaimed ballerinas and danseurs, including:
The academy partners with the Russian American Foundation to hold annual summer intensives in New York City and in Middlebury, CT. It is held in facilities at Lincoln Center. During the summer intensive, a few students are chosen to participate in a gala performance in Moscow or to enroll full-time at the academy in Moscow.
- Official website (in Russian)
- The Moscow State Academy of Choreography[permanent dead link] page at UNESCO
- Summer Intensive in New York City