Looking through the calendar we find out what important events and persons the first month of the year brought to the ballet world.
On January 1, 1927, Maurice Béjart, a French dancer and stage director, was born. He was one of the greatest choreographers of the 20th century.
On January 1, 1942, Yuri Vladimirov, People's Artist of the USSR, was born. From 1962, he was a soloist of the Bolshoi Ballet; from 1987 to the present time, a ballet master-repetiteur.
On January 2, Yuri Nikolaevich Grigorovich, a Soviet and Russian ballet dancer, choreographer, teacher, People's Artist of the USSR, turns 95. Staring from 1964, for over 30 years, he was the chief ballet master of the Bolshoi Theater. In 2008, Yuri Grigorovich returned to the Bolshoi to work as a choreographer on the staff.
On January 3, 1890, The Sleeping Beauty ballet by Marius Petipa to the music by Tchaikovsky premiered in the Mariinsky Theater. This premiere turned out to be one of the most expensive; the Emperor and his family attended the dress rehearsal.
On January 6, 1962, Andris Liepa, a ballet dancer, director, choreographer, producer and People's Artist of Russia, was born.
On January 8, 1910, the great Russian ballerina Galina Ulanova was born. She became a ballet legend during her lifetime. A prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater from 1944 to 1960, Galina Ulanova received almost all the ballet awards in the USSR and other countries. She stayed with the Bolshoi until her death in 1998, working as a ballet master-repetiteur.
On January 8, 1891, was the birthday of Bronislava Nijinska, a ballerina who danced with Diaghilev's Russian Seasons. In the 1930s, she emigrated to America and taught there.
On January 8, 1957, Nacho Duato, a famous Spanish dancer and choreographer, was born. He worked in Europe and America, headed the Spanish National Dance Company and the Berlin Ballet Company. Now, Nacho Duato is an artistic director of the Mikhailovsky Theater Ballet in St. Petersburg.
On January 9, 1989, Ivan Vasiliev, a principal dancer of the Mikhailovsky Theater ballet company, was born. He is a guest soloist at La Scala and the Bavarian Ballet.
On January 10, 1781, the Petrovsky Theater was opened in Moscow. It is called the predecessor of the Bolshoi Theater. The repertoire was based on comic operas with ballets and individual ballets. In 1805, the building of the first permanent Moscow theater burned down.
On January 18, 1825, the grand opening of the Bolshoi Theater took place in Moscow, construction of the building began in 1821. In 1853, there was another fire, but the building was only partially damaged. During the restoration, it was decorated with the now world-famous Apollo sculptural group, created by Peter Klodt. The Bolshoi Theater was reopened in 1856 and has retained its appearance to this day.
On January 11, 1940, Sergei Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet staged by Leonid Lavrovsky premiered in Leningrad. Galina Ulanova shone in the role of Juliet. This ballet is still one of the most popular.
On January 11, the first soloist of the Bolshoi Ballet Anna Tikhomirova celebrates her birthday. In 2005, she graduated from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography and was hired into the Bolshoi Ballet company.
On January 13, 1924, the famous French choreographer Roland Petit was born. He staged over fifty ballets, worked with the greatest stars: Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Maya Plisetskaya. Petit is the only Western choreographer whose ballets were given on the Soviet stage.
On January 15, 1973, the French ballet star Aurelie Dupont was born. She danced the title roles in ballets by Rudolf Nureyev, Roland Petit, John Neumeier and George Balanchine. Today, Aurelie is an artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet.
On January 16, Lyudmila Semenyaka celebrates her 70th birthday. She is a Soviet and Russian ballerina, choreographer, People's Artist of the USSR. At present, a ballet master-repetiteur of the Bolshoi Theater.
On January 16 is the birthday of Tatiana Krasina, an Eminent Arts Professional of Russia. From 1966 to 1986, she was a dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet company. Now, Tatiana Krasina is the leading ballet master-repetiteur of the Bolshoi female corps de ballet.
On January 17, 1799, Avdotia Istomina, a legendary Russian ballerina, was born. From 1816, she was the leading dancer of the St. Petersburg ballet company.
On January 18, 1984, is the birthday of the Bolshoi Theater principal Evgenia Obraztsova. In 2005, she played a ballerina in the movie Russian Dolls. In 2018, performed the main female role in the movie A Frenchman.
On January 21, 1906, Igor Moiseev, a Soviet and Russian choreographer, ballet master, teacher, People's Artist of the USSR, was born. In 1937, he founded the country's first professional folk dance ensemble and was its artistic director for 70 years. In 2006, Igor Moiseev staged a concert dedicated to his centenary himself!
On January 22, 1904, George Balanchine (Georgy Balanchivadze) was born in St. Petersburg. He was one of the most influential choreographers in the world, who laid the foundation for American ballet and created his own neoclassical style.
On January 24, 1925, one of Balanchine’s wives, Maria Tallchief, the first American prima ballerina, was born. After completing her dancing career, Maria founded the Chicago City Ballet.
On January 27, 1933, Nikolai Fadeechev, a ballet dancer and teacher, was born. He danced with Galina Ulanova and Maya Plisetskaya. British critics called him an "aristocratic communist." After leaving the stage in 1977, he became a repetiteur at the Bolshoi Theater.
On January 27, 1948, is the birthday of Mikhail Baryshnikov, a world ballet star. He has influenced American and world choreography greatly. Mikhail Baryshnikov continues his creative career to this date.
On January 29, 1972, Nicolas Le Riche, a French ballet dancer, choreographer and film actor, was born. Since 2017, he has been the head of the Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm.