History of Vaganova Balle Academy is carefully preserved inside the “museum” (history cabinet of Russian ballet), inaugurated in 1957. Marietta Kharlampievna Frangopulo (1901–1979), ballet history teacher, museum’s founder and first keeper, has dedicated her whole life to collect ballet memorabilia. Creation of collection began in 1865, when it became normal to take pictures of graduated dancers of Imperial Dance School in St. Petersburg (current Vaganova Ballet Academy).
Museum welcomes precious ornaments: pictures of XIX – XXI century, costumes and personal items of world famous dancers as well as rare books.
Moreover portraits, paintings and sculptures of legendary figures of St. Petersburg ballet: Marius Petipa, Agrippina Vaganova, Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Marina Semenova, Galina Ulanova, Kostantin Sergeev, Natalia Dudinskaya, Rudolf Nureyev, Michail Baryshnikov and many other artists, whose lives are indissolubly bound to Vaganova Academy.
In occasion of fifteenth edition, Vaganova Ballet Academy Museum will be at Danzainfiera with a special selection of memorabilia: shoes and historical texts as result of cooperation and cultural exchange between Danzainfiera and the Russian institution.
Most of displayed objects are gifts by ex graduated dancers and their relatives.
Costumes collection is composed by stage and daily life clothes of legendary dancers. Unique piece of whole exhibition is Vaslav Nijinsky costume by “Le spectre de la Rose”, designed on drawings of Léon Bakst (1911).
In recent years, with active support and donations by Nikolaj Tsiskaridze, museum has become a real research centre for ballet academic life with regular scientific conferences, guided tours, photo and film shoots.
A special brochure dedicated to whole art collection has been released in occasion of 280th anniversary of Vaganova Academy and 60th museum’s anniversary.
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