Ballet Calendar: October

Ballet Calendar: October

In October, brilliant dancers and innovative productions were born, and, most importantly, the history of ballet itself started - the first ballet performance was presented to the public. 

On October 2, 1860, the first theatrical season at the Mariinsky Theater opened with the premiere of the opera A Life for the Tsar. The theater was designed by Alberto Cavos and named Mariinsky in honor of the wife of Alexander II, Empress Maria Alexandrovna. 

On October 3, 1928, Erik Bruhn was born. The world famous dancer and choreographer, brought up on the Bournonville technique, Bruhn was a soloist with the Royal Danish Ballet and a guest artist with the New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Paris Opera Ballet and Royal Ballet of London. He was a director of the Royal Swedish Ballet from 1967 to 1973 and the National Ballet of Canada from 1983 to 1986. In 1969, he starred in the ballet movie Giselle together with the Italian prima ballerina Carla Fracci

On October 8, two stars of the Bolshoi Ballet were born. In 1973, Anna Antonicheva was born. A prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater from 1993 to 2017, People's Artist of Russia, she performed the title parts in dozens of ballets, including Swan Lake, Giselle, La Sylphide, Spartacus and Notre Dame de Paris. Anna is a regular participant in the international gala concerts "Stars of the XXI Century", in which world ballet stars perform.

In 1988, a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Theater, Honored Artist of Russia and teacher Vladislav Lantratov was born. Vladislav has been with the Bolshoi Ballet since 2006, and during this time he has become one of its best dancers. In 2014, he was named "Dancer of the Year" by the Italian magazine DANZA & DANZA; and in 2018, he was awarded the Benois De La Danse prize for his part of Nureyev in the ballet of the same name by Yuri Possokhov. 

On October 10, 1964, Manuel Legris was born. An etoile of the Paris Opera and winner of the title of the “Best Dancer in the World” in 2000, Legris has participated in the creation of the best productions of the Grand Opera and danced with the Royal Ballet in London, New York City Ballet, Cuban National Ballet, Monte Carlo Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet and Hamburg Ballet, where John Neumeier staged Spring and Fall and A Cinderella Story especially for him. 

On October 12, 2014, the Zurich Opera House hosted the world premiere of the ballet Anna Karenina, staged by the choreographer Christian Spuck to the combined music by Rachmaninov, Lutoslawski, Tsintsadze and Bardanashvili. When creating the ballet, the choreographer was inspired by American film adaptations of Tolstoy's novel. 

On October 13, 1915, Sofia Golovkina, a dancer of the Bolshoi Theater and an outstanding ballet teacher, was born. For more than forty years, Sofia Nikolaevna headed the Moscow Choreographic School, having brought up several generations of ballet stars during this time.

On October 15, 1581, the Queen of France, Catherine de Medici, presented to her guests at the Louvre Palace in Paris, the first ballet performance ever, it was called Ballet Comique de la Reine. The ballet was choreographed by Balthasar de Beaujoyeulx, an Italian choreographer who was part of the Queen's retinue. 

On October 16, 1978, a prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater and Honored Artist of Russia, Nina Kaptsova was born. Kaptsova established herself as a gifted lyric and dramatic dancer. She was made famous by her first roles in the ballets Giselle, Spartacus, La Sylphide, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet.

On October 19 this year, the World Ballet Day is celebrated. Since 2014, on this day, ballet companies of the world's theaters have been showing live what is happening backstage and in the rehearsal rooms, so the audience has a chance to see the everyday life of the dancers. The tradition began in 2012 in Covent Garden thanks to the Royal Ballet of Great Britain: they were the first to organize such a broadcast, which lasted 9 hours in a row!  

On October 19, the ballerina Yulia Stepanova turns 32. Yulia joined the Bolshoi Ballet in 2015, being a well-known dancer with other theaters and winner of the Taglioni Prize in the "Best Young Ballerina" nomination.  A year later, Stepanova received the title of a prima ballerina. In 2016, she won over the audience of the Bolshoi London tour by performing the part of Odette-Odile in the Swan Lake ballet. 

On October 23, 1973, one of the most gifted Russian ballerinas of the 21st century, the prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater, Ulyana Lopatkina, was born. Her performance of the role of Odette-Odile and the choreographic miniature The Dying Swan are believed to be exemplary all over the world. 

On October 28, 1964, the one-act ballet The Ninth Symphony by the choreographer Maurice Béjart, set to the musical work of the same name by Ludwig Van Beethoven, premiered in Brussels. This performance is full of mass dance scenes expressing the idea of human brotherhood, joy and unity. 

On October 29 this year, the World Ballet Day is celebrated. Since 2014, on this day, ballet companies of the world's theaters have been showing live what is happening backstage and in the rehearsal rooms, so the audience has a chance to see the everyday life of the dancers. The tradition began in 2012 in Covent Garden thanks to the Royal Ballet of Great Britain: they were the first to organize such a broadcast, which lasted 9 hours in a row!