"I only wish that my congratulations for this outstanding work could be passed along to the author. . . . Vera Krasovskaya is to be highly praised for this invaluable work."--John White, Jr., Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet
The first English edition of the only authorized biography of Agrippina Vaganova (1897-1951) was originally published in Russian in 1989. It tells the story of one of the most important dance teachers of the 20th century, who created a system of teaching ballet that spread throughout the former Soviet Union and beyond.
Vaganova rose through the ranks to become a ballerina in the Imperial Ballet during the last days of Tsarist Russia. After the Revolution of 1917, she became a teacher and transformed the St. Petersburg/Leningrad School of Ballet into a premier institution. She also served as the artistic director of the Kirov Theater.
Written by a direct eyewitness to many of the described incidents, someone who knew Vaganova intimately, the biography is a window into the personality and thinking of this great teacher. It vividly recounts the training and individual styles of such world-renowned ballerinas as Marina Semyonova, Natalia Dudinskaya, Galina Ulanova, and Tatiana Vecheslova, and it offers a unique insight into the world of classical ballet during the era of Tsarist Russia and the early Soviet years.
Vera Krasovskaya, a former dancer with the Kirov in the 1930s, was the preeminent historian of the St. Petersburg Ballet for nearly forty years. Her books include Soviet Ballet Theater, 1917-1967, History of Russian Ballet, and the four-volume Western European Ballet Theater. Vera M. Siegel is a freelance writer and translator for such clients as the Library of Congress and the U.S. Department of State.
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"Recounts the great pedagogue's creation of a system known throughout the world for producing technically superb dancers."
"An outstanding opportunity to learn the intricacies of how to teach the Vaganova syllabus . . ."
"Recommended to all dance collections owing to its details of the many significant contributions of a great dance teacher."
"An insider's perspective."
--The Star Ledger
"Krasovskaya's storytelling never ruins the story itself, and that is the ultimate pleasure."
--Time Out New York
"Generous in descriptions"
"Krasovskaya has a quaint way of writing."
"Beautifully translated from the Russian."
"Time spent on this book will be well spent."
--Dance International Magazine
"A substantial and needed biography of Vaganova and a study of Russian-Soviet ballet."
--History: Reviews of New Books
"Vera Siegel's elegant translation of Vera Krasovskaya's Vaganova: A Dance Journey from Petersburg to Leningrad makes a much needed contribution to Russian ballet history in English."
--The Russian Review