Oleg Vinogradov

(b. 1937)

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(b Leningrad, 1 Aug. 1937)

Soviet dancer, choreographer, and ballet director. He studied at the Leningrad Ballet School, a student of Aleksandr Pushkin, graduating in 1958. He joined the Novosibirsk company (1958–65) as a character dancer, and there began his career as a choreographer, making ballets for opera productions, as well as acting as assistant ballet master to Petr Gusev. His first important ballet stagings were Prokofiev's Cinderella (1964) and Romeo and Juliet (1965), fresh and radical productions which brought him much attention throughout Russia. In 1967 the Bolshoi Ballet invited him to stage Asel (mus. V. Vlasov) and in 1968 the Kirov asked him to stage Goryanka (Mountain Girl, mus. M. Kashlaiev). From 1968 to 1972 he was a choreographer with the Kirov and from 1973 to 1977 he was artistic director and chief choreographer of the Maly Theatre Ballet in Leningrad, where he helped to restore the theatre's reputation for innovation. In 1977 he returned to the Kirov as artistic director and chief ballet master, where his first act was to fire more than half of the dancers, most of whom were of pensionable age. During the following two decades he did much else to re-invigorate the company, bringing in younger dancers, broadening the repertoire, and opening it up to foreign choreographers like Petit, Béjart, and Balanchine. He also imposed a stricter sense of style, both in the appearance of the dancers and their technique. The company toured abroad frequently, but as it began to spend less and less time in its home theatre, critics complained that its productions were becoming stale. In 1997 Vinogradov's directorship ended when Kirov Opera director Valery Gergiev took over the ballet company as well. In 1998 Vinogradov became director of the Universal Ballet in Seoul and its associate Ballet Academy in Washington, where he staged many of his former ballets and productions of the classics. He also worked freelance, including staging La Fille mal gardée for the Stanislavsky Ballet. In 2008 he left the Seoul company and became associate choreographer for the Mikhailovsky Ballet. A list of his other works includes Alexander Nevsky (mus. Prokofiev, Kirov, 1969), La Fille mal gardée (mus. Hérold, Maly Theatre Ballet, 1971), The Enchanted Prince, or Prince of the Pagodas (mus. Britten, Kirov, 1972), Yaroslavna (mus. B. Tishenko, Maly Theatre Ballet, 1974), The Fairy of the Rond Mountains (mus. Grieg, Kirov, 1980), The Government Inspector (mus. A. Tchaikovsky, 1980), Testaments of Past Times (mus. various, Kirov, 1983), The Knight in Tigerskin (mus. Machavarian, Kirov, 1985), Battleship Potemkin (mus. Tchaikovsky, Kirov, 1986), Petrushka (mus. Stravinsky, Scottish Ballet, 1989), Adagio (mus. S. Barber, Kirov, 1991).

Subjects: Dance.

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