Category: vaganova ballet academy



Vaganova Ballet Academy graduate (class of Professor Lyudmila Kovaleva, 2018) Maria Khoreva. Photos by Anastasia Livun.



Hallelujah! The mystery of the red bands has finally been solved! According to Misha Barkidjija, they mark the correct position for cou-de-pied.  

tsiskaridze: My latest Q&A is up at melmot…


My latest Q&A is up at

Ervin Zagidullin graduated from Vaganova Ballet Academy in July, having trained under Fethon Miozzi, and has since joined the crème de la crème of St Petersburg ballet in the Mariinsky Theatre’s corps de ballet. During his academic career, Ervin made something of a splash at several major ballet competitions. Most notably, he won third place at the 2016 Vaganova-PRIX and made it into the finals of this year’s Prix de Lausanne. Ervin’s key to success? Hard work and an unrelentingly positive attitude!

Photos by Anastasia Livun.

The Nutcracker (Vaganova Ballet Academy)

The Nutcracker (Vaganova Ballet Academy)

tsiskaridze: A history lesson for the little o…


A history lesson for the little ones – first year students are given a lecture about the history of Vaganova Ballet Academy.

tsiskaridze: Posting this for the benefit of @…


Posting this for the benefit of @meikoriley, who is in St Petersburg right now and can enjoy this exhibition.

“Ballet – The Eternal Art of Beauty” exhibition is currently on at the St Petersburg Archives Committee Exhibition Hall. The exhibition brings together unique documents collected from six different federal and local sources (archives, theatres, museums and libraries). The documents detail important historical events in the world of Russian ballet and provide an insight into the lives of ballet dancers of previous generations. Documents related to Vaganova Ballet Academy are also on display.

Location: St Petersburg Archives Committee Exhibition Hall, Ulitsa Tavricheskaya 39 (enter via Ulitsa Shpalernaya)

tsiskaridze: Nikolai Tsiskaridze with Sunhee K…


Nikolai Tsiskaridze with Sunhee Kim, Dean of the School of Dance, Korea National University of Arts, at Vaganova Ballet Academy, and Nikolai with a fan at the opening of archival ballet documents exhibition in St Petersburg.

I’m so here for his outfits. 10/10. Style icon.

Ask Responses: Vaganova


Who was Keenan Kampa’s teacher at Vaganova?

Professor Tatiana Udalenkova.

Do you know what the purpose of the reserve troupe is for the theatres?

I believe it’s the lowest rank in the company. They get to dance a little but mostly they are seen as the reserves for the corps de ballet proper.

From recent posts by Maria Khoreva we can see that she is visiting/using the rooms at the VBA. Is she working on the performance that the graduates do or is that just something former students can do?

It’s not uncommon for graduates to return to Vaganova to train, especially early in the academic year, when they getting in shape for the upcoming season at their respective theatres. If the grads have ongoing relationships with their teacher, they can gain permission to ocassionally attend class and train at the academy.

Thank you for not including Svetlana Savelieva in your list of dancers to watch. I like her very much but I am aware she has quite a few haters too, many of whom are very vocal about it. If you had posted her name on your list, there would be so much drama I think. Svetlana is absolutely lovely and like you, I hope this will be her year too!

That’s a valid concern, but that wasn’t the reason I didn’t include her. I have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bs both on here and on instagram. I come down on trolls and haters like a ton of bricks.

I actually adopted this very harsh personal policy because of Sveta. A few years ago I posted a group photo VBA students on instagram and woke up the following morning (due to the time difference a lot of the activity on my socials happens while I’m asleep) to find a string of comments calling Sveta fat. She saw the thread and was devastated by it. I later found out that she started starving herself around that time. Even though the comments on my instagram weren’t the main catalyst for her decision, they surely weren’t helpful either. It’s been like two years and I’m still angry about that situation. 

Ever since then, I now immediately block anyone who even mentions the girls bodies in a remotely negative light and I do not engage in any negotiation when people ask me to unblock them. People can be absolute assholes and not care about the very real damage they can cause.

d i s c l a i m e r

Ask Responses: Vaganova


Might be an odd question, but why do some of the students have flowers in the photographs? Are they gifted to them or are they supposed/going to gift them to someone? | Misha Bark looks like he has a promising future! Also his instagram posts are quite nice, I didn’t know he was the one dancing with Maria Khoreva, but she did seem to have a lot of partners for the performances. Thank you for giving us all of these infos and beautiful translations!

It’s an old tradition. 1st of September (3rd in this case, because the first day of school fell on Monday the 3rd) is a big deal in Russia. First year students are welcomed to school with much pomp and ceremony all over the country. They dress up in their Sunday best and bring flowers to give to their teachers. 

It’s also an old tradition for a boy form the graduating class to cary a girl from the first grade on his shoulder around the school’s courtyard, while the girl is ringing a tiny bell.


There’s also this tradition (I’m not sure if it’s still observed) of senior students leading the first-graders into the school by the hand.

What actually happened to Polina Konogray? I know she got injured but do you know when, where and how? I mean what kind of injury would affect a child like that? Usually children recover well. Has there been anything about this on the Russian ballet forums?

I think the reason why the details of Polina’s injury, subsequent health issues and lengthy rehabilitation remain under wraps (as they should be) is because she is a minor. I’m sure there are rumours on ballet forums, but I prefer to steer clear of those.

I may be wrong but the vaganova already had a wunderkind wih Lada Sartakova ? And she also won YAGP ? Then Lada’s exemple might give us an insight on how Vera will fare at the academy : child starting as the top student in her class, most likely she’ll get to dance little Masha in the Nutckarcker. In Lada’s case I think she became overshadowed by other students in her year, that by 5th class had caught up with her.

Yes, I suppose there are similarities. Of course there is the added complication of Vera being discovered by the academy’s rector on a TV show. I’m pretty sure that’s unprecedented. 

Now that the class of 2018 has graduated, what classes are their professors now teaching? i saw anastasia lukina’s story, professor kovaleva seems to be teaching a new class? but not sure which class it is

  • Kovaleva is teaching Grade 7 / Level II (girls group B)
  • Miozzi is teaching Grade 7 / Level II (boys group B) and Grade 6 / Level I (boys group A)
  • Kasenkova is teaching Grade 6 / Level I (girls group A)
  • Ilyin is teaching Grade 7 / Level II (boys group B)

I don’t know which students are in which class exactly because I think there was another reshuffle.

d i s c l a i m e r 

Alla Sizova and Rudolf Nureyev performing Le C…

Alla Sizova and Rudolf Nureyev performing Le Corsaire at their graduation performance (Leningrad Choreographic Academy, 1958)