Ballet

I. Earliest precursors to ballets were lavish entertainments given in the courts of Renaissance Italy. They were further developed in France

II. Women dominated the romantic ballet

III. Ballet was introduced by second Romanov ruler Tsar Alexis Makhailovich

IV. Peter the Great decided to begin to evolve the arts in his country during the end of the 17th century

V. Imperial Ballet School Founded in 1783

VI. Catherine the Great started a ballet school at an orphanage in Moscow in the late 1700s

VII. Ballet Russes created by Sergei Diaghileve. The Ballet Russes were never performed in Russia

VIII. 19th century still had foreign dancers and composer

VIIII. 20th Century was when Russian ballet surpassed French Ballet

X. In 1956, Russian ballet companies, such as Bolshoi and Kirv, performed in the West for the first time after the Russian Revolution

XI. Domenico Angiolini was the first heroic Russian ballet Semira in 1772

XII. Charles-Louis Didelot was considered the "Father of the Russian Ballet"

XIII. Christian Johansson was responsible for keeping the male dancers a major part of ballet

XIV. Ivan Valberkh was the first famous native ballet master to be trained at the St. Petersburg Academy

XV. Marius Petipa introduced strict proportions between mime and dance

XVI. Mikhail Fukine pushed the rules of costume in imperial theater. He felt that the "Open Parasol" look that all the ladies wore was getting boring and pornographic. With his Greek style ballet, Eunice, he made it look like the dancers were in bare feet by having toes painted on the dancers' shoes. (To have bare feet or lefs were against the rules of the Imperial Theatre)


KHOROVODS, SOCIAL DANCING

In ancient script "About Country of Moravia" psaltery player-story teller is talking about rafts on the lakes where young Russian people used to gather to have a good time by singing and dancing in a ring (dancing khorovods).


DANCING WITH BEARS

First official record of Russian dancing is related to year 907 when Great Russian Prince Oleg (Vechshiy Oleg) celebrated his victory over Greeks in Kiev. During the Gala Dinner 16 male dancers dressed as bears and four bears dressed as Russian dancers performed for the guests. After the dinner was over Great Prince commanded to release the bears into the wild and to execute all the dancers.


PETRO PREESYADKA

To dance "like Preesyadka" (knee-bending) or "with Preesyadka" has become very fashionable in a prosperous city of Kiev. Fat entertainers (skomorokhi) were trying hard to loose weight by learning "Preesyadka-dance" and often breaking their curved legs on the nasty medieval sidewalks.


TRICKS AND MOVES OF THE RUSSIAN FOLK DANCE

It is common in the Western World to consider the jumps and mimics of the traditional Russian dance to be the result of cold weather of the Nothern country. As if such dances as “Prisyadka”, “Arabic”, “Goat”, “Raznozhka”, “Devil”, “Pistol”, “Ring”, “Small Barrel”, “Ling”, “Beduinsky” etc. were invented by Russians only in order to get warm.


SKHOMOROKHI

The real developers of Russian dance were so-called “skomorokhi” – street entertainers semi-forbidden by the Church. Otherwise, how would the folks of the Tver and Penza villages know about the “Beduinsky” and “Cossack” dances?


COURT JESTERS AND CHOIRS

Starting from Ivan the Terrible, the Czar famous for his nasty temper and love of the art, it became common to have court jesters, singers, psaltery players, and dancers. Unlike the artists of the ensemble Barynya, court dancers constantly thought of the new tricks and performances and the rest of the time they spent rehearsing.

It was Ivan the Terrible who prohibited the use of the same dance costume for the different numbers of the show. Rebellious were executed.


COMMIES AND THE RUSSIAN FOLK DANCE

In 1937 the first professional ensemble of Russian folk dance was born under the leadership of Igor Moiseyev; it is still considered to be the best academic ensemble of folk dance in the world. Moiseyev laid the foundation of the classic dance for the improvisation and joy of the folklore.