Igor Moiseyev


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(b Kiev, 21 Jan. 1906; d Moscow, 2 Nov. 2007)

Soviet dancer, choreographer, and company director. Founder of the Soviet Union's first professional folk dance troupe. He studied privately with Vera Mosolova in Moscow from 1919 and at the Bolshoi Ballet School (1921–4), where he was a pupil of Alexander Gorsky. He danced with the Bolshoi from 1924 to 1939, although early on in his career he fell foul of the authorities by helping to organize a protest among young dancers against the stifling of creativity at the Bolshoi Theatre. He choreographed several works for the Bolshoi, including The Footballer (mus. V. Oransky, 1930), Salammbô (mus. A. Arends, 1932), Three Fat Men (mus. Oransky, 1935), and Spartacus (mus. Khatchaturian, 1958). In 1936 he was appointed director of the choreographic section of the Moscow Theatre for Folk Art, out of which emerged the Soviet Union's first folk dance ensemble in 1937. The group, known abroad as the Moiseyev Dance Company, travelled widely, making its Paris debut in 1955, its London debut in 1957, and its US debut in 1958. Moiseyev choreographed many productions for the company, including Pictures from the Past, The Partisans, Tsam, and Regions of the World, always aiming to set traditional folk dances within a professional theatrical context. Between 1967 and 1971 he additionally formed the Classical Ballet Company, a touring outfit which specialized in one-act ballets and divertissements.

Subjects: Dance.

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