Founded in 1738 by the Empress Anna, the Vaganova Academy is one of the oldest educational institutions in the world. Originally called the Imperal Ballet School. Ballet masters from France were invited to Saint Petersburg, Russia to teach ballet to children of aristocrats and within time, Russia had its own ballet troupe and school to educate future dancers. In 1921, Agrippina Vaganova began teaching at the Imperial Ballet School, which was renamed the Leningrad Choreographic College during the soviet era. She taught there for 30 years and in 1934 published her own book ‘The Fundamentals of Classical Dance’. Ms. Vaganova pulled from the French, Italian, and Dutch methods of classical ballet to create her own method, which is now known worldwide as the Vaganova Method. Under Ms. Vaganova’s instruction the most popular ballerinas of the 20th century were born and educated such as; Galina Ulanova, Marina Semyonova, Olga Moiseeva, Natalia Dudinskaya, Irina Kolpakova, and Ninel Kurgapkina.
The Vaganova method is arguably one of the most used methods in classical ballet, in competition with the Royal Academy of Dance, the Balanchine School, and the Cecchetti Method.
Only dancers who have studied within the Vaganova School can say that they know the Vaganova Method and are able to pass on its rich history to the next generation.
iBallet is one of the only schools in America whose staff graduated the Vaganova Academy. iBallet’s teachers are fully educated in the Vaganova curriculum and are educating the children of Michigan in this complex yet beautiful style of ballet. Although nearly 100 years have passed since Ms. Vaganova wrote her book establishing the Fundamentals of Classical Dance, we work to pass on the core fundamentals of her method in a way that is understable and accessible for children of the 21st century in the United States.