Calendar: July

Calendar: July

Almost every day ballet gives reasons to celebrate for those who are partial to it. We’d like to tell you about talented artists, choreographers and productions born in July.

On July 3, 1990, the principal dancer of the Bolshoi Theater, Denis Rodkin, was born. In 2013, he first performed an extremely difficult part of Spartacus in the ballet of the same name by Khachaturian at the Bolshoi. This was the beginning of a series of leading roles on the country's main ballet stage in his career, including Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty, Onegin and the Nutcracker in ballets of the same names. 

On July 6, 1933, The Flames of Paris (The Triumph of the Republic) ballet staged by Vasili Vainonen to the music by Boris Asafiev premiered at the Bolshoi Theater. This dance performance about the exploits of the working people is distinguished by a large number of mass and heroic scenes. Today, this ballet can be seen at the Bolshoi in the production by Alexei Ratmansky, who used the original choreography by Vasili Vainonen. 

On July 9, 1935, the premiere of Icare, one of the most striking and innovative ballets by the dancer and choreographer Serge Lifar, took place at the Paris Opera; Lifar danced the main part himself. After the big premiere, Lifar was awarded the title of the Paris Opera Ballet étoile, which had previously been awarded only to some ballerinas. 

On July 11, 1932, Hans van Manen was born. He is a choreographer with the Dutch National Ballet, author of over 120 dance works, the recognized master of choreography, combining classical and modern in his works. 

On July 12, 1783, Catherine II issued the Decree on the Approval of the Theater Committee for the Management of Performances and Music. This date is considered to be the date of foundation of the Mariinsky Theater, although that year the Mariinsky’s “father”, the Bolshoi Kamenny Theater, was actually built. 

On July 13, 1819, the outstanding ballerina of the romantic ballet Elena Ivanovna Andreyanova was born, she became the first Russian Giselle. On the same day in 1976, another Giselle was born - it is Diana Vishneva, People's Artist of the Russian Federation, prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater and guest artist of the American Ballet Theater. 

On July 18, 1895, Olga Alexandrovna Spesivtseva was born. She was prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theater, star of Diaghilev's Russian Ballet and leading guest ballerina of the Grand Opera. The duet of the young dancer with Vaslav Nijinsky in the productions of La Sylphide and The Spirit of the Rose was a great success and determined her future stellar career. 

On July 19, 1941, Natalia Bessmertnova, the prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater, People's Artist of the USSR, was born. From 1961 to 1988, the ballerina danced all the leading parts of the Bolshoi repertoire, often becoming the first performer in the ballets by her husband Yuri Grigorovich. Later, when Bessmertnova retired, she continued to perform from time to time under the contract and worked as a teacher-repetiteur with her home theater. 

On July 20, 1964, Yuri Possokhov was born. A gifted dancer and choreographer, he shone on stage of the Bolshoi Theater from 1982 to 1992. Then the artist performed in the troupes of the Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet - in the latter he was also a choreographer. Today, Possokhov is staging for the Russian audience as well. On July 1, the Bolshoi Theater will host the premiere of The Seagull ballet[1]  based on his choreography. 

On July 22, Boris Eifman, choreographer and artistic director of the Eifman Ballet Theater, is turning 75. The choreographer has been delighting the dance world with his performances since the 1970s - he has been staging ballets for students of the Vaganova Academy, blending academic and modern styles. 

On July 27, in different years, three bright ballet stars were lit up. In 1889, on this day, Vera Karalli was born. She was the prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater, participant of the Russian Seasons and one of the first silent film stars.

In 1936, on the same day, another gifted artist came into this world - this was Maris-Rudolf Liepa, the star of the Soviet ballet, who danced dozens of leading roles at the Bolshoi Theater.

And on July 27, 1940, Pina Bausch - one of the most distinctive stars of the world dance scene - was born. The cult dancer and choreographer has transformed modern ballet and created a new genre - the dance theater, introducing the word and specific plastique to her performances. 

On July 28, 1947, the premiere of George Balanchine's ballet The Crystal Palace, staged by the choreographer for the Grand Opera troupe in just 2 weeks, took place. This plotless ballet with conventional costumes has a long run on the ballet stages of the world.