Legend: Iconic Ballerina Irina Kolpakova is 90 years young!

Here is the great Kirov ballerina Irina Kolpakova in 3 rare variations from Raymonda. Impeccable technique and at the correct tempi for a change.

Irina Kolpakova was one of Kirov Ballet‘s stars, in the same time with dancers such Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, Yuri Soloviev and Natalia Makarova, she was a big star. Mikhail Baryshnikov, who was her partner invited her to move to the United States, in the early 1990s. She was coaching stars like Paloma Herrera,  most  Isabella Boylston, Marcelo Gomes.

Irina Alexandrovna Kolpakova was born 22 May 1933  in Leningrad and studied at the Leningrad Choreographic School where she was an outstanding member of the great pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova’s last graduating class (1951).  She entered the Leningrad-Kirov Ballet at the age of eighteen and danced her first leading role, the title role in Cinderella, at the age of twenty-two. Her roles with the Leningrad-Kirov Ballet included the Waltz and Mazurka in Chopiniana (Les Sylphides), Eve in The Creation of the World (to the Andre Petrov score), the title role in Giselle, Maria in Rostislav Zakharov’s The Fountain of Bakhchisrai, Masha in The Nutcracker, Desdemona in Vakhtang Chaiboukiani’s Othello, Natalia in Petrov’s Pushkin, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty.  Her created roles included Katerina in Yuri Grigorovich’s The Stone Flower (1957), Shyrin in Grigorovich’s The Legend of Love (1961), and leading roles in Igor Belsky’s Coast of Hope (1959), Georgi Alexidze’s Ala and Lolly (1969), and Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasiliov’s Creation of the World (1971).  Kolpakova was honored with the title of Merited Artist of the R.S.F.S.R. in 1957 and People’s Artist of the R.S.F.S.R. in 1960.  She is married to Vladilen Semenov, who partnered her in many of her most famous roles. Prior to joining American Ballet Theatre as Principal Coach in 1990 during the Company’s 50th Anniversary season, Kolpakova taught and coached the Company from May 1989.


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