Simon Virsaladze


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(b Tbilisi, 24 Jan. 1909; d Tbilisi, 9 Feb. 1989)

Soviet ballet designer. As a child he studied both ballet and art, and although he went on to design for plays, operas, and films it was as a ballet designer that he made his name. He was chief designer for the Paliashvili Theatre for Opera and Ballet in Tbilisi (1932–6) and designed Chabukiani's The Heart of the Hills (1938) for the Kirov in Leningrad, where he eventually became chief designer (1945–62). He also designed for the Maly Theatre Ballet and the Novosibirsk Theatre. He was chief designer of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow from 1964 until his death. He collaborated with Chabukiani on many productions in Tbilisi, but he was best known internationally as Grigorovich's designer, having collaborated on all of his major ballets: The Stone Flower (1957), Legend of Love (1961), Sleeping Beauty (1965 and 1973), Nutcracker (1966), Spartacus (1968), Swan Lake (1969), Ivan the Terrible (1975), Angara (1976), Romeo and Juliet (1979), The Golden Age (1982), and Raymonda (1984). He also designed Sergeyev's Raymonda (Kirov, 1948), Swan Lake (Kirov, 1950), and The Sleeping Beauty (Kirov, 1952) and Vainonen's The Nutcracker (Kirov, 1954).

Subjects: Dance.

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