Lev Ivanov

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This article is about the choreographer. For Russian football manager, see Lev Ivanov (football manager).
Lev Ivanov
Lev Ivanov -St. Petersburg -circa 1885.JPG
Lev Ivanov, 1885
Native name Лев Ива́нович Ива́нов
Born Lev Ivanovich Ivanov
(1834-03-02)March 2, 1834
Moscow, Russia
Died December 24, 1901(1901-12-24) (aged 67)
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Nationality Russian
Occupation choreographer
Known for Ballet master of the Imperial Ballet
Dance of the little swans from Swan Lake

Lev Ivanovich Ivanov (Russian: Лев Ива́нович Ива́нов; 2 March 1834, Moscow – 24 December 1901, Saint Petersburg) was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer and later, Second Balletmaster of the Imperial Ballet. He is the choreographer of Dance of the little swans from Swan Lake.


Ivanov entered the Moscow School of Dance, but in 1844 he was transferred to Saint Petersburg and began to study there; among his teachers were Jean-Antoine Petipa, Alexandr Pimenov, Pierre Frédéric Malavergne and Emile Gredlu (Эмиль Гредлю).

Historically, Ivanov is credited with choreographing the entirety of premiere of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker in 1892 due to the ill health of ballet master Marius Petipa. While some contemporary and modern accounts dispute this, Ivanov is still mentioned in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition with choreographing at least the majority of the ballet as Petipa had reportedly not progressed very far in his work.[1] Regardless of the amount of work he actually did, Pepita's was the only name listed for choreography on posters for the first production in St. Petersburg.[1]

Ivanov also worked with Petipa on a new restaging of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet in 1895, choreographing the second and fourth acts (The two lakeside acts) himself, as well as the Danse Vénitienne (Neapolitan/Venetian Dance) and the Pas Hongrois (Hungarian Dance) of the third bier scene.[2]

At the end of his life Ivanov was forced to petition the Imperial Theatres for financial assistance on the strength of his 50 years' service; he died in poverty.[2]

Ballets of Lev Ivanov[edit]

Original works[edit]

  • La Forêt enchantée. Fantastic ballet in one act. Music by Riccardo Drigo. Imperial Ballet School, 5 April [O.S. 24 March] 1887. Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, 15 May [O.S. 3 May] 1887.
    • revival by Marius Petipa. Olga Island Theatre, Peterhof, July, 1889.
  • La Fête des bateliers. Divertissement-ballet in one act. Music by Alexander Friedman. Krasnoe Selo, 7 August [O.S. 26 July] 1890.
  • La Flûte magique. Comic ballet in one act. Music by Riccardo Drigo. Imperial Ballet School, 22 March [O.S. 10 March] 1889. Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, 23 April [O.S. 11 April] 1889.
  • Swan Lake. Fantastic ballet in three acts. Staged jointly with Marius Petipa. Music by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, revised by Riccardo Drigo. Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, 27 January [O.S. 15 January] 1895.
  • Acis et Galatée. Mythological ballet in one act. Music by Andrei Kadlets. Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, 2 February [O.S. 21 January] 1896.
    • revival by Alexander Shirayev. Imperial Ballet School, 3 May [O.S. 20 April] 1905.
  • Sylvia. Mythological ballet in three acts. Music by Léo Delibes. Staging completed by Pavel Gerdt due to Ivanov's final illness. Imperial Mariinsky Theatre, 15 December [O.S. 2 December] 1901


  • Goodwin, Noël, ed. Stanley Sadie, "Ballet (2. 19th Century)," The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition. (London: MacMilian, 2001), 29 vols. ISBN 0-333-60800-3.


  1. ^ a b Goodwin, New Grove (2001), 2:853.
  2. ^ a b Goodwin, New Grove (2001), 2:584.

External links[edit]