Ivan Valberkh


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(b Moscow, 14 Jul. 1766; d St Petersburg, 26 Jul. 1819)

Russian dancer, choreographer, teacher, and ballet master. He trained at the St Petersburg Ballet School with Angiolini and Canziani, and graduated in 1786, becoming premier danseur at the Bolshoi Theatre in St Petersburg the same year and later ballet inspector of the company, from 1794. He made his choreographic debut in 1795 with A Happy Repentance, and went on to choreograph more than 36 ballets and divertissements, many of them with moral and patriotic themes (especially during the Napoleonic wars). He worked with Charles Didelot at the Bolshoi Theatre in St Petersburg (from 1801) and succeeded Didelot as ballet master when the Frenchman left in 1811. He taught at the Bolshoi Theatre in St Petersburg (from 1794) and at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (1808). A list of his ballets includes The New Werther (mus. Serge Titov, 1799), Blanca, or, A Marriage of Revenge (mus. Titov, 1803), The Count Castelli, or A Murderous Brother (mus. various, 1804), Orpheus and Eurydice (mus. Gluck, 1808), Romeo and Juliet (tragic ballet with choruses, 1809), The New Heroine, or The Cossack Woman (1811), The People's Volunteer Corps, or Love for the Motherland (mus. Catarino Cavos, 1812), Russians in Germany, or What Comes of Love for the Motherland (mus. Cavos, 1813), Cossack in London (1813), Festival in the Allied Armies' Camp at Montmartre (1813), The American Heroine, or Perfidy Punished (1814), and Russian Victory, or The Russians in Paris (1814). He was Russia's first native-born ballet master and choreographer.

Subjects: Dance.

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