Vaganova Ballet Academy
282nd Vaganova Academy Graduation Performance – 6 June 2024

The 282nd graduating class of the Vaganova Academy demonstrated the results of their training in 3 performances on the Mariinsky's historical stage in a three-act mixed bill in early June.

An except from "Flora's Awakening" featured two girls cultivated by Academy rector Nikolai Tsisaridze. Ekaterina Morozova, who essayed Flora and, in Act 3, the Lilac Fairy, seemed the most polished and graceful of the bunch. She accented well-centered turns in arabesque with graceful port de bras and appropriate épaulement.

Flora’s Awakening

The non-intuitive sequence of tendus into à la seconde and then retiré passé did not phase Ekaterina Efimova, a graduate of pedagogue Irina Zhelonkina, whose welcoming smile added warmth to her role. Polina Parfenova, also one of Tsiskaridze's charges, performed a driven, sharp-edged Diana and later reappeared as the Silver Fairy in the final act of the evening (from "The Sleeping Beauty"). As Geba, Veselina Ilieva from Bulgaria skimmed across the floor in ballonés and carved soaring arcs with her ronds en l'air, demonstrating a legato softness alongside strong musicality in her delivery.

"Hungarian Rhapsody", a spicy folk-type Russian dance to music by Franz Liszt demonstrated the dramatic and character talents of Ekaterina Kalashnikova with Vladislav Kolesnikov, and Uliana Gritsina alongside Alexander Vunder. Both Kolesnikov (a student of Fethon Miozzi) and Vunder emitted energetic flair with sharp head and arm accents, appearing fully polished and ready for their respective careers. The tall and blonde Ivan Sotnikov led the final number in Act II, which was "Ariadne and the Fisherman", with confident, smooth jumps and a winning stage presence.

Hungarian Rhapsody

Maxim Sevagin, already a big name in Russia, is a 2017 Academy graduate who was handed the reins of the Stanislavsky ballet troupe upon the departure of Laurent Hilaire in spring 2022. Sevagin set "Dances at a Wedding" for the Academy students this year to music by Heinrich Granados. The hour-long work features intriguing choreographic combinations and a functional structure, but distracting costumes that at times hid too much of the ladies' leg work. Sevagin is nonetheless a born choreographer — I chronicled his first works while he was still a student– and easily composes multi-layered ballets for corps and soloists. Lately he has veered more to the modern end of the spectrum but "Dances" is somewhat in between, based on a heavily Spanish theme that shifts to heeled shoes in the finale. Here, Maya Palilionis, Sofia Solomina and Alisa Shanina displayed precision musicality and appropriately haughty Spanish pride. Konstantine Lavrentiev, as the Fiancé, showed us a light jump and suave manner. Blessed with impeccable lines, the slender and long Elizabetta Nalin, who hails from Italy, danced the leading role of the Bride with aloof yet sultry expression, her legs mesmerizing with their pure lines.

Act III from "The Sleeping Beauty" closed out the evening. Most outstanding were Alisa Barinova, also a Zhelonikina student, as Aurora alongside partner Pavel Mikheev, who is already with the Mariinsky (photo above), and Maya Chobota of Romania as the beautifully proportioned Sapphire Fairy.

The Sleeping Beauty

Barinova, a sophisticated young lady who already emits that rare ballerina presence, offered a sense of royalty infused with warmth in her flawless dancing. Chobota (shown in the photo at left), whose limbs are a pure indulgence to watch, seemed a level above her counterparts in terms of refinement. Despite the speed of the fairy trio's music, she seems to infuse a languid legato presence into the quick tempo. One wonders what she would be like as the Lilac Fairy or the waltz in "Chopiniana".

Yulia Kotlyarova, a petite, poised gem of a dancer, performed as Princess Florine in the Bluebird Pas de Deux alongside Nikolas Jorge, an already seasoned, compact jumper. This charming couple are both ensured brilliant futures whether they dance together again or separately. Kotlyarova displayed beautiful technique and the gentleness of nobility. Jorge's powerful ballon will easily gain him a myriad of roles.

The Academy continues to churn out promising talent, and each year provides a new crop of hope that the future of classical ballet will somehow be preserved going forward. In these uncertain times, it's reassuring to see these young dancers with their entire careers ahead of them, and it will be interesting to watch where Time takes them.

Text by Vaganova Today.
Photos by Andrey Lushpa.

Teacher-retraining programs in 2023

Vaganova Ballet Academy accepts applications for the following Teacher-retraining courses of the Spring Semester 2023:


January, 30 – February, 25, 2023. Junior classes
March, 1 – 28, 2023. Middle classes

Number of participants is not less than 3 and not more than 6 teachers in one Course.

More information in the page of courses.

Acting Principal's letter to International Students, International Trainees and their parents

Dear International Students, International Trainees and parents!

Despite very challenging situation in the world today, Vaganova Ballet Academy is above all the educational institution in the field of art. We continue to provide educational services, and all our obligations, including security, will be fulfilled in full. If any issues arise due to political restrictions, we will be there to assist in problems resolutions. We understand that the representative offices of your countries are trying to enforce you to leave Russia. We advise that you do not have to worry or panic. All decision-making will be based on monitoring the situation. We appreciate your understanding.


Acting Principal Nikolai Tsiskaridze

• • •

Дорогие иностранные студенты, стажеры и их родители!

Несмотря на очень сложную международную ситуацию, Академия прежде всего является учебным заведением в области искусства. Мы по-прежнему оказываем образовательные услуги, и все обязательства будут выполнены в полном объеме, включая безопасность. Если в связи с политическими ограничениями возникнут сложности, мы будем содействовать в решении проблем. Мы понимаем, что представительства Ваших государств пытаются оказывать на Вас давление, чтобы вы выехали из России. Рекомендуем не беспокоиться, не впадать в панику, все решения будут приниматься по ходу ситуации.

С большим уважением и надеждой на понимание,

И.о. ректора Николай Цискаридзе

Obraschenie N.Tsiskaridze Обращение Н.Цискаридзе

The First International Scientific Conference "Art in the Mirror of Philosophy"

On September 16-17, 2022, the Department of Philosophy, History and Theory of Art of the Vaganova Ballet Academy will hold The Workshop of the St. Petersburg Cusanus Society: "The Doctrine of Nicholas of Cusa concerning the Beauty and the Aesthetics of the Renaissance" as part of the First International Scientific Conference "Art in the Mirror of Philosophy".

If you are interested in participating in this project, please find the additional information on the page of the conference.

art in the mirror of philosophy

Official Summer Master classes of Vaganova Ballet Academy – 2022

Vaganova Ballet Academy is pleased to announce the start of registration for official and authorized Master classes that have been scheduled to take place during spring and summer 2022.

FINLAND (Helsinki)

• Helsinki Ballet College 
Helsinki, March 27 – April 4, 2022

Registration  and contact address to be announced in February, 2022.

Organizer: Vaganova Ballet Academy and Helsinki Choreographic College


• Vaganova Academy Summer Intensives by Russian Masters 
Saint Petersburg, June 26 – July 30, 2022

Access by online or video audition.

Organizer: Asociación Nacional de Ballet Profesional
P/Castillo, 83 Tibi 03109 - SPAIN

Asiya Lukmanova (Director)
Administration: +34 609 81 63 95 (Coordinator)

• Vaganova Ballet Academy Summer School 2022
Saint-Petersburg, August, 8 - 27, 2022 

Organizer: Japan Vaganova Ballet Association (JVBA)

CEO: Andrei Orlov


• Vaganova Ballet Academy Master Classes
Geneva, July 4 - 9, 2022

Organizer: DANCE AREA,
Rue de la Coulouvrenière 19, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland

General information: +4122 329 2992
Anastasia Piguet (Deputy director): +4122 329 2992


• Vaganova Academy Summer Intensives
La Spezia, July 5 – 13, 2022

Access by video and live audition (see details on below websites).

Organizer: La Maison De la Danse,
Via Fontevivo 21, 19125 La Spezia, ITALY

Emmanuelle Ricco: +39 349 465 63 92 (Director)
Lucia Longhi: +41 79 249 37 64 (Coordinator)


• Vaganova Academy Summer Intensives by Russian Masters 
Alicante, July 3 – 24, 2022

Access by online or video audition.

Organizer: Asociación Nacional de Ballet Profesional
P/Castillo, 83 Tibi 03109 - SPAIN

Asiya Lukmanova (Director)
Administration: +34 609 81 63 95 (Coordinator)


• Russia Ballet Summer Camp 2022 in Japan
July 22 – August 4, 2022

Organizer: Japan Vaganova Ballet Association (JVBA)

CEO: Andrei Orlov


• Vaganova Academy Summer Intensives by Russian Masters 
Burgas, July 31 – August 21, 2022

Access by online or video audition.

Organizer: Asociación Nacional de Ballet Profesional
P/Castillo, 83 Tibi 03109 - SPAIN

Asiya Lukmanova (Director)
Administration: +34 609 81 63 95 (Coordinator)

More information upon request:

Registration to the Conference 'Hommage à Petipa' is opened

Vaganova Ballet Academy announces the start of participants registration to the VI International Historical and Theoretical Conference ‘Hommage à Petipa’, dedicated to the great ballet master’s birthday The conference will be held online (Zoom) on March 11-12, 2022.

The conference can be attended by researchers, theorists and practitioners of choreographic art, teachers, postgraduate students, specialists in related scientific and creative fields.

Additional information is available on the conference page.

Petipa 2020 eng


Vaganova Academy have compiled the list of VITP graduates

Every year about thirty International trainees from different countries of the world receive their professional training at the Vaganova Academy. After successfully passing the audition, they are accepted for an international internship program and can study for one to four years (sometimes even longer).

The international training program incorporates classical dance, Pas de Deux, special disciplines (Character, History dance, Acting Skills), individual classes in ballet classical heritage with dancers and teachers of the Mariinsky Theater, as well as learning Russian language.

International trainees study in the same groups with Russian students, participate in Gala concerts and performances of the Academy, including Graduation concerts.

The Vaganova International training program (VITP) is fee-based.

The time spent in the rehearsal halls of the Academy yields its results - after completing their internship at the Academy, the young dancers join various International and Russian ballet companies. We have put together a far from complete list of VITP graduates of the Academy with an indication of their current employment.

Vaganova Ballet Academy Summer School 2021

In summer, when students of Vaganova Ballet Academy were taking their break from classes, the oldest choreographic educational institution of Russia was still very busy. Our teachers and coaches participated in admission procedures for secondary professional education programs, as well as gave master classes for International students.

During August 2021, the Academy hosted the Vaganova Ballet Academy Summer School, organized in cooperation with our partner in Japan - Japan Vaganova Ballet Association (JVBA). Thirty students who master the art of ballet in Japan came to St. Petersburg, Russia. In addition to classical and character dance program, our guests were rehearsing for final performance, that took place on the stage of the Academy Theater. The Course participants also enjoyed   extensive cultural program.

Some of our guests are now considering the International Vaganova Trainee Program in the nearest future.

The Hermitage Theater hosted Gala concert by International trainees of Vaganova Ballet Academy

On May 11, 2021 The Hermitage Theater hosted Gala concert by International trainees of Vaganova Ballet Academy. 33 students from 14 countries participated in the Gala.

The concert was produced and rehearsed by Prima ballerina of Mariinsky Theater, People's Artist of Russia, pedagogue of the Academy Yulia Makhalina; Premier of Mariinsky Theater, People's Artist of Russia, Associate professor of the Academy Farukh Ruzimatov; Sophia Gumerova, Honored Artist of Russia, pedagogue of the Academy; Premier of Mariinsky Theater, Associate professor of the Academy Denis Matvienko.

The guests of the event were Consuls General accredited in St. Petersburg, representatives of partner organizations of the Academy, the State Hermitage staff members.

The concert program included 28 choreographic pieces, classical duets, choreographic miniatures and variations from ballets to the music of Russian and International composers.

International trainees participating in the concert:

  1.  Almaraz Baizan Jaime (Spain)
  2.  Bruno Daniele (Italy)
  3.  Elsner Caesar (Germany)
  4. Genet Sacha (France)
  5. Genovesi Igor (Italy)
  6.  Goins Remie (USA)
  7.  Goto Ayami (Japan)
  8.  Grimm Jaden (USA)
  9.  Henry Jasmine (Australia)
  10. Im Suh Lynn (Republic of Korea)
  11. Iwata Mana (Japan)
  12. Kato Kosei (Japan)
  13. Koura Nico (Japan)
  14. Lucido Carla (Italy)
  15. Maisto Marco (Italy)
  16. Manghise Kian (USA)
  17. Marmus Auguste (Sweden)
  18. Matsuura Mikoto (Japan)
  19. Minakami Go (Japan)
  20. Nakano Takuma (Japan)
  21. Niman Tomoyasu (Japan)
  22. Onomata Urara (Japan)
  23. Reid Grace (United Kingdom)
  24. Riolo Andrea (Malta)
  25. Rissanen Miika (Finland)
  26. Rissanen Pinja (Finland)
  27. Rudolf Rebecca (Romania)
  28. Scaccabarozzi Magda (Italy)
  29. Scole Vittorio (Italy)
  30. Tai Sophia (Japan)
  31. Tudose Mara-Antonia (Romania)
  32. Uchida Misato (Japan)
  33. Uemura Arisa (Japan)
To the attention of VBA international students and their parents

Dear Parents and Legal Representatives!

Due to the difficult epidemiological situation, the management of the Vaganova Ballet Academy recommends that the Trainees stay in a Dormitory for the winter holidays from December 28, 2020 to January 10, 2021.

They will be provided with 5 meals a day, Classical Dance lessons, cultural and educational program (walking, watching movies), and they will be supervised by day and night tutors.

Access to the city is restricted.

We cannot guarantee entry to Russia if the Trainees leave for a vacation in their countries of residence.

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