Irina Kolpakova

(b. 1933)

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(b Leningrad, 22 May 1933)

Soviet dancer. She studied at Leningrad Ballet School with Vaganova and graduated into the Kirov Ballet in 1951. A dancer of exceptionally pure classical style she became one of the company's leading ballerinas, her particular lightness and elegance especially suited to Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Raymonda, and The Nutcracker. She also performed the 20th-century repertory, however, creating roles in, among others, Grigorovich's The Stone Flower (1957) and Legend of Love (1961), Belsky's Coast of Hope (1959), Kasatkina and Vasiliov's Creation of the World (1971), and Vinogradov's The Fairy of the Rond Mountains (1980). She retired in 1987 becoming teacher and repetiteur with the company and in 1990 was appointed ballet mistress with American Ballet Theatre. She was made People's Artist of the USSR in 1965 and Hero of Socialist Labour in 1983. Her husband Vladilen Semyonov was her frequent stage partner.

Subjects: Dance.

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