Ballet Calendar: August

Ballet Calendar: August

August is not a month of premieres, but look how many talented ballet dancers, choreographers and teachers it gave to the world!

On August 6, it is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Gorsky - a ballet dancer, an iconic choreographer who was staging at the Bolshoi Theater from 1902 to 1924. Gorsky went down in history as a reformer of the 19th century academic ballet style. His versions of Petipa's ballets, the first of which was the production of The Sleeping Beauty, were staged at the Bolshoi for many years. 

On August 8, 1880, Lyubov Egorova was born, a ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater, a repetiteur who, after emigration, taught in Finland, England and France and had a significant influence on the French ballet school. In 1923, she opened her own studio in Paris, where such ballet stars as Serge Lifar, Leonide Massine and Anton Dolin studied.

On August 9, 1896, Leonide Massine (Leonid Myasin) was born. He was a ballet dancer with the Bolshoi Theater and Diaghilev's Russian Ballet, a choreographer who created over 70 one-act ballets. Massine choreographed dances in the cult movie The Red Shoes (1948), and played the role of Grisha Lyubov in it. 

On August 11, Allegra Kent turns 83. A ballerina who was the principal of the New York City Ballet Company for over 30 years. Many of the first parts in George Balanchine's ballets were created especially for her. After retirement, Allegra Kent continues to work as a ballet teacher and writes children's books. 

On August 15, 1927, the future ballet dancer and outstanding choreographer John Cranco was born. He is rightfully considered one of the most daring neoclassical choreographers of the 20th century. He died at the age of 45, but managed to create several wonderful performances and did the seemingly impossible - translated Pushkin's poetry into the language of dance, giving the ballet Onegin to the world. 

On August 16, three ballet dancers celebrate their birthdays. In 1945, the American ballerina Suzanne Farrell was born. She was the muse and performer of the first parts in Balanchine's ballets, later she founded her own company, Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center. In 1949, the Bolshoi Theater soloist, choreographer, Honored Artist of the RSFSR - Yuri Vetrov was born. And in 1960, Alexei Fadeechev was born. A soloist of the same theater, People's Artist of Russia, he later became the chief choreographer of the Rostov Musical Theater. 

August 17, 1938, is the birthday of Valery Leventhal, a painter and talented set designer who worked as a production designer at the Bolshoi Theater since 1965, and from 1988 to 1995 - as the Chief Artist. He was in great demand as a professional, received invitations from foreign theaters, for example, he designed performances at La Scala and the Comunale Theater in Florence. 

On August 20, it is the 85th birthday of Carla Fracci, a prima ballerina of La Scala, who is famous throughout the world for her performance of the main roles in such ballets as La Sylphide and Giselle, as well as her sensational part of Hamlet. Carla created her own perfume brand Carla Fracci producing perfumes popular all over the globe. Unfortunately, the ballerina died just three months shy of her birthday. 

On August 21, 1805, August Bournonville was born. He was a Danish choreographer, ballet master of the Royal Ballet, who created more than 50 productions, 15 of which remained in the repertoire of the Danish ballet to this day. As a teacher, Bournonville created a unique ballet style called the Bournonville School. 

On August 25, Igor Tsvirko turns 32. He is a leading soloist of the Bolshoi Ballet and the two-time Golden Mask nominee: for the role of the Fugitive in Ondine and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. 

On August 27, 1968, the former principal of the Danish Royal Ballet, and now an outstanding choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky, was born. From 2004 to 2009, Alexei was the Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet Company, then became a permanent choreographer of the American Ballet Theater. 

On August 31, 1872, Mathilde Kschessinska was born, a virtuoso ballerina, Artist Emeritus of the Imperial Theatres, the first Russian dancer to perform 32 fouettés on stage.