The Russian Dance And Ballet

1655 WordsMay 10, 20177 Pages
The history of Russian dance and ballet is extraordinarily complex. The Russians have always enjoyed dance; they were dancing for entertainment and ritual before they were even introduced to Christianity. However, the start of their most culturally significant form of dance, ballet, did not start until 1675 in a small town near Moscow (The Great History 11). Since its humble beginnings, ballet’s evolution in Russia has exploded. Most notably, its growth can be seen through two world famous theaters: the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow and the Mariinsky Theater of Opera and Ballet in St. Petersburg. By looking at the origins of Russian ballet, its development in the theaters of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and its continued growth through Soviet…show more content…
It was not until the year 1734 that the first professional training of ballet in Russia began (The Great History 11). Professional training by the French dance master, Jean-Baptiste Landé, began in St. Petersburg with the Leningrad Ballet School. By 1742, Landé’s students were being invited to perform at court celebrations. Unfortunately, at this time, ballet was still seen as a part of opera; often it was used as an interlude between acts. Finally, in the 1760s, it branched off as its own independent genre. Then in 1773, Moscow arrived on the scene by forming a dance class at the Moscow Orphanage. From there on out, history of Russian ballet is best explained through two of Russia’s most world renowned theater companies, the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky (The Great History 15). The first theatre company in Russia was the Imperial Russian Ballet in 1738. This theater, located in St. Petersburg, was the predecessor of the renowned Mariinsky Theater of today. In the late 19th century, the company moved to the Mariinsky Theater, became the resident ballet company, and acquired the Mariinsky name (Encyclopædia Britannica). The name was chosen to honor Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of the tsar of the time, Alexander II (The Mariinsky Theatre). However, during Soviet Russia, the name was changed to the Kirov State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet or Kirov Ballet for short. Most likely to erase the tsarist influence on
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