Igor Belsky


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(b Leningrad, 28 Mar. 1925; d St Petersburg, 3 Jul. 1999)

Soviet dancer, choreographer, and ballet director. He studied ballet at the Leningrad (later Vaganova) Ballet School, graduating in 1943 into the Kirov and becoming one of the company's leading character dancers (he additionally studied acting at the Leningrad Institute for Theatre Arts, graduating in 1957). He created roles in Jacobson's Shurale (1950) and Spartacus (1956), Sergeyev's Path of Thunder (1958), Grigorovich's The Stone Flower (1957), and Boris Fenster's Taras Bulba (1955) while his own choreography for the Kirov included Coast of Hope (mus. A. Petrov, 1959), and Leningrad Symphony (mus. Shostakovitch 1961). Both ballets were considered exemplary in their handling of Soviet themes—patriotism, loyalty, and courage. He left the Kirov in 1962 to become chief choreographer and artistic director of the Leningrad Maly Theatre where he produced new versions of The Little Humpbacked Horse, Swan Lake, and Nutcracker, while creating Eleventh Symphony (mus. Shostakovich, 1966), and Gadfly (mus. Tchernov, 1967). Between 1973 and 1977 he was back at the Kirov as chief choreographer and artistic director, creating Icarus for the company in 1974. He was then chief choreographer of the Leningrad Music Hall (1979–92) and artistic director of the Vaganova Ballet Academy (from 1992). As a teacher he additionally taught character dance in 1946 at the Leningrad (Vaganova) School; and from 1966 taught choreography at the St Petersburg Conservatory. People's Artist RSFSR (1966).

Subjects: Dance.

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