The Bolshoi Ballet Academy was established in 1773 to train the highest caliber Russian talent, but recently have we opened our doors to international students in recognition of the outstanding talent that exists throughout the world. We are interested in forming an alliance with your school to facilitate auditions and student exchanges, in order to share the several centuries of our ballet knowledge with you and your students.
We now offer a summer program that runs from July to August at our facilities in Moscow. Each day the students take three dance classes in an array of techniques, including Russian Ballet technique, Pointe class, Partnering, Character dance, Historical dance, Classical repertory and stretching. Our current, year-round faculty teaches all of the classes for our summer exchange students.
In addition, a Russian language course is available twice a week for students to become familiar with the language and to immerse themselves in Russian culture. We take students on day trips to iconic Russian sites such as the Kremlin, Red Square, Bolshoi Theater and others. We have found that in addition to the great dance education they will receive, these extracurricular activities greatly enhance the students’ experience.
Our summer program runs for four weeks and students may come for any duration: from one week to the entire four weeks. The best results are achieved when a student first takes our summer master class program, and then enrolls in the full-year program if accepted. We also accept DVD submissions as an audition for students wishing to come for the academic year but unable to travel to our audition locations.
The goal of our summer program is two fold: to provide international students the opportunity to experience the training and rich history of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, and second, to identify students that have the potential to be accepted as full time students of the Academy.
We provide a comfortable dormitory for the students to stay in and three meals per day are included, all at our facility at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy building in the center of Moscow.
History of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy
The history of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy dates back to 1773 when fine arts including dance were added to the curriculum of the Moscow Foundling Home founded in 1763 per the Order of Empress Catherine II of Russia.
Filippo Beccari, an Italian instructor, was first invited to teach the art of dancing to 26 little girls and 28 boys. Four-hour-long lessons were held four times a week. The talented Russian orphans quickly mastered the subtleties of the foreign art of dance and six years later Leopold Paradis, another famous foreigner, produced his first group of graduates. His students joined the Petrovsky Theatre Company (today’s Bolshoi).
The folk aka character dance has always been held in high regard by the Moscow school the studies have been exhaustive, and character dancers have always been in demand at the Bolshoi. There was also a rapid development in classical ballet. It was the Russian interpretation of La Sylphide that many eyewitnesses gave preference to, seeing it as the one representing the soul of Russian ballet.
In the end of 1880s, after passing of a new Statute by which the Moscow Imperial Ballet School was renamed The Moscow School of Ballet, Jose Mendez began to train his students including Ekaterina Geltser, the future prima ballerina, in the novelties of the virtuoso Italian school. He nurtured strong toe and pirouette techniques, as well as balance and stage presence sense while carefully maintaining the overall musicality of the performance for which the Moscow school had always been renowned.
In the 1930s the famous figures from the Petersburg ballet world joined the faculty of the School: Elizaveta Gerdt, Aleksandr Chekrygin, Viktor Semyonov and Mariya Kozhukhova moved to Moscow where their efforts helped nurture a galaxy of great ballerinas and superb male premier dancers. Later Marina Semyonova worked at the School.
In 1933 Olga Lepeshinskaya, the brilliant virtuoso, graduated from the School. During World War II the School produced two star graduates: Maya Plisetskaya (1943) and Raisa Struchkova (1944). And in late 50s Ц early 60s the Moscow Ballet School graduates, Ekaterina Maximova (1958) and Natalia Bessmertnova (1961), began their careers.
In 1960 – 2001 Sophia Golovkina led and managed the Moscow Ballet School. Since 2002 the Bolshoi Ballet Academy has been ably led by the former leading Bolshoi performer Marina Leonova (Rector, Peoples Artist of Russia, Professor).
There are world famous ballet performers among the graduates of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy: V. Malakhov, A.Uvarov, N.Tsiskaridze, S.Lunkina, N.Osipova, etc.