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St PETERSBURG, June 26, /ITAR-TASS/. A gala party devoted to the 135th anniversary since the birthday of the outstanding Soviet teacher of choreography and repetiteur, Agrippina Vaganova, will be held in the Hermitage Theater here Thursday.
It is co-organized by the State Hermitage Museum and the Academy of Choreography named after Vaganova.
Former Bolshoi ballet star Nikolai Tsiskaridze, who is currently Acting President of the Vaganova Academy, will act as the master of ceremonies at the party. Although he is not a graduate of this academy, he perfected his art under the guidance of grand masters of the stage and the ballet classroom, Marina Semyonova and Galina Ulanova, both of them Agrippina Vaganova students.
Graduates of Russia’s oldest dance school will perform in a gala concert. It will be accompanied by an exhibition showing Vaganova’s personal belongings, photos, documents, and books she wrote and published at various times.
One of these is a reprint of the 1934 textbook ‘The Basics of Classic Dance’, which is now accepted as the major teaching aid on ballet dance across the world and is broadly viewed as the ‘elementary grammar of ballet’.
It has seen six re-editions since its first publication and has been translated into dozens of foreign languages. The printing of the new edition was timed for the 80th anniversary since its first publication.
As a teacher, Agrippina Vaganova made emphasis on a profound understanding the sense of ballet techniques and especially on the positioning of the legs, arms and the body.
Apart from Marina Semyonova and Galina Ulanova, the list of her outstanding students includes the all-time Kirov ballet prima ballerinas and starring soloii Tatiana Vecheslova, Natalia Dudinskaya, Alla Shelest, Olga Moisseyeva, Alla Osipenko, Irina Kolpakova, and Ninel Kurgapkina.
The latter ballerina was the teacher of Zhanna Ayupova, quite recently a Kirov/Mariinsky prima who recently took the post of the Vaganova Academy’s chief artistic director.
The academy received Agrippina Vaganova’s name in 1957. Along with Russian students, it gives professional training to talented adolescents from many countries of the world.