Mariinsky Ballet

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Mariinsky Ballet
General information
NameMariinsky Ballet
Previous names
  • Imperial Russian Ballet (1860–1920)
  • State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Leningrad State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet (1920/1924–1935)
  • Kirov Ballet (1935–1992)
Year foundedApprox. 1740; 284 years ago (1740)
Principal venueMariinsky Theatre
1 Theatre Square
St Petersburg
Artistic staff
Artistic DirectorValery Gergiev
(Mariinsky Theatre)
Deputy Director
  • Yury Fateyev
  • Tatiana Bessarabova (assistant)
Reserve Troupe DirectorAndrei Bugaev
Parent companyMariinsky Theatre
Associated schoolsVaganova Ballet Academy
  • Principal
  • First Soloist
  • Second Soloist
  • Principal Character Artist
  • Coryphee
  • Corps de Ballet
  • Reserve Troup

The Mariinsky Ballet (Russian: Балет Мариинского театра) is the resident classical ballet company of the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Founded in the 18th century and originally known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet is one of the world's leading ballet companies. Internationally in some quarters, the Mariinsky Ballet continues to be known by its former Soviet name the Kirov Ballet. The Mariinsky Ballet is the parent company of the Vaganova Ballet Academy, a leading international ballet school.


Carlotta Brianza and Pavel Gerdt of the Imperial Ballet as Princess Aurora and Prince Desire in the 1890 premiere of the Sleeping Beauty.

The Mariinsky Ballet was founded in the 1740s, following the formation of the first Russian dance school in 1738.

The Imperial Theatre School, as it was originally known, was established on 4 May 1738, at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. It would become the predecessor of today's Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. The school's founder director was the French ballet master and teacher Jean-Baptiste Landé and the purpose of creating the school was to train young dancers to form the first Russian ballet company.

As the Imperial Russian Ballet, the company premiered numerous ballets by choreographer Marius Petipa. A number of his ballets now form the basis of the traditional classical ballet repertoire, performed by ballet companies around the world, and often retaining much of Petipa's choreography. These ballets include the original productions of The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, and Raymonda; and popular revivals of older ballets, including Coppélia, Giselle, and Le Corsaire. Petipa's revival of the ballet Swan Lake is perhaps his most famous work for the company. Originally choreographed by Julius Reisinger for the Bolshoi Theatre in 1877, Swan Lake was initially a critical and commercial failure. Petipa sought to revive the ballet with the blessing of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, but the composer died before the new ballet was created. Petipa consequently worked with his brother Modest Tchaikovsky, who significantly revised the story and rewrote the libretto to the version now commonly performed. The production was choreographed by Petipa and his collaborator Lev Ivanov. Premiering at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1895, the Petipa/Ivanov/Tchaikovsky production of Swan Lake was a success.

Kirov Ballet logo used by Victor Hachhauser, promoting the Mariinsky Ballet in London

Following the Russian Revolution, the Soviet government decided that the ballet school and company were unwanted symbols of the tsarist regime and closed them both. The ballet company was the first to be re-established, becoming in 1920 known as the State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, with the school re-opening later as the Leningrad State Choreographic School, both in their previous locations.

After the assassination of prominent Soviet figure Sergey Kirov in 1934, the Ballet was renamed the Kirov Ballet in 1935,[1] a name which is still sometimes incorrectly used. After the end of Communist rule, the ballet company and opera company were renamed for the theatre, becoming in 1992 the Mariinsky Ballet and Mariinsky Opera. Both companies are now run by the theatre itself.


The Director of the Mariinsky Ballet is Yuri Fateyev.




The basis of the Mariinsky Ballet consists of the following artists:[3]


First Soloists[edit]

Second Soloists[edit]

  • Vlada Borodulina
  • Maria Bulanova
  • Alexandra Iosifidi
  • Alexandra Khiteyeva
  • Anastasia Lukina
  • Valeria Martynyuk
  • Camilla Mazzi
  • Anastasia Nuikina
  • Yana Selina
  • Tatiana Tkachenko
  • Nikita Korneyev
  • Yuri Smekalov
  • Alexei Timofeyev
  • David Zaleyev
  • Maxim Zyuzin

Character Soloists[edit]

  • Elena Bazhenova
  • Olga Belik
  • Alisa Rusina
  • Islom Baimuradov
  • Soslan Kulaev
  • Dmitry Pykhachov
  • Vasily Shcherbakov
  • Andrei Yakovlev


  • Yuliana Chereshkevich
  • Maria Chernyvskaya
  • Shamala Guseinova
  • Daria Ionova
  • Viktoria Krasnokutskaya
  • Bíborka Lendvai
  • Anastasia Nikitina
  • Zlata Yalinich
  • Yaroslav Baibordin
  • Ramanbek Beishenaliev
  • Maxim Izmestiev
  • Roman Malyshev
  • Pavel Mikheyev
  • Alexei Nedviga
  • Aaron Osawa-Horowitz
  • Grigory Popov
  • Yaroslav Pushkov
  • Andrei Solovyov

Notable dancers[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Masters, John. "Patrons gorging at Expo's culture banquet." Toronto Star, 24 May 1986. Page F.3
  2. ^ "BALLET".
  3. ^ "Soloists of the ballet company". Mariinsky Theatre. Retrieved 2017-01-02.

External links[edit]