Vladimir Ponomarev


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(b St Petersburg, 22 Jul. 1892; d Budapest, 21 Mar. 1951)

Russian dancer, choreographer, and teacher. He studied at the Imperial Theatre School in St Petersburg and graduated into the Mariinsky Theatre in 1910, becoming principal in 1912. Apart from seasons with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (1911–12) he remained at the Mariinsky (later GATOB and the Kirov) until 1951. He created the role of Prince Adam in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (1934) and Montague in Lavrovsky's Romeo and Juliet (1940) but also worked as choreographer and director. Along with Lopukhov and Leontiev, he co-choreographed The Red Poppy (1929) and in 1941 he staged productions of La Bayadère (with Chabukiani), Don Quixote, and Giselle, Through these stagings and through his own teaching he was a major force in ensuring the survival of the 19th-century repertoire. He first began teaching in 1913 at the ballet school in St Petersburg, and over the decades his students included Gusev, K. Sergeyev, Chabukiani, Lavrovsky, and Zakharov. From 1944 to 1951 he was chief repetiteur at the Kirov, coaching dancers such as Ulanova, Grigorovich, and Jacobson. He was also assistant artistic director of the Kirov Ballet (1935–8), and acting artistic director (1941–4). He was artistic director of the Maly Theatre Ballet, Leningrad (1938–9). He also frequently taught abroad, especially in Budapest, where he died.

Subjects: Dance.

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