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Lubov Kunakova


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Does someone know where Lubov Kunakova is now and what she is doing? I have seen her in many videos, but I realize that, if she still dances, she must be a senior ballerina by now.

I truly admired her Kirov style, free of unnecessary "ornaments", and so majestic. Also her finesse and the fact that, in her, technique (excellent technique as she had) was at the service of artistry and not the other way round.. I have not seen much of the younger stars of the Kirov, but from what I read, I feel that their style is quite different from that of dancers like Lubov?

I would appreciate whatever information or insight you may give me.


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Lubov Kunakova is currently ballet mistress of St Petersburg Ballet Theatre a.k.a. Tachkine Ballet. The company is at present on tour in the UK. Here is their web site http://www.spbt.ru/index/ Unfortunately there are no details about her though.

I very much share Hans and Silvy's admiration of this dancer. I remember her style as very much the "pure Kirov" style of over a decade ago that perhaps only Ayupova possesses today.

Rumour has it that there was a "cull" of senior dancers towards the end of Vinogradov's tenure and Kunakova suffered as a result of his ageist policies, but perhaps someone else might know the truth about that.

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Thanks so much for the link, Mashinka

I am sad to learn that Kunakova suffered due to the ageist policies, as she was so beautiful even when older, and seemed to have much, much more to give as a dancer (I am speaking based on my video watching of the Kirov under Vinogradov's tenure). I have seen her on video as Lilac Fairy (Asylmulatova is Aurora), in Corsaire with Ruzimatov, as a soloist in Paquita,and earlier as Lilac Fairy with Kolpakova as Aurora. A truly beautiful dancer, whom I regard as a model


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"... Unfortunately there are no details about her though...."

It is not surprising that St.Petersburg Ballet's website does not give any details about Lyubov - or Lyuba, as she is usually called, - Kunakova. Her trip to England with the Tachkin's ballet was one off trip.

Her permanent job at the moment is that of a repetiteur with the Mariinsky Ballet and her two young charges there are Victoria Tereshkina (she danced Odette-Odile with the Kirov at the Lowry, Manchester, last April and in London in July) and Tatiana Tkachenko who is already dancing several leading roles.

Lyuba's former pupil at the Vaganova Academy - Elena Glurdzhidze - has now joined the English National Ballet and will dance the leading role in "Cinderella" at the London theatre "Apollo" tonight.

I can only agree with all kind words which were written about Lyuba here. Her physique was so beautiful: good proportions, long neck, exquisite wrists. She was exuberant, radiant on stage.

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I came across a tape called "World's Young Ballet", which covers a Moscow International Ballet Competition. Among the contestants was Lubov Kunakowa, while she was a student at the Perm Ballet School. She does a sort of Russian dance, which is mostly all on pointe, and which shows an outstanding command of her center and placement, despite her young age.

It is worth viewing, in my opinion.

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Ballet: Pas de Deux

Dancers: Lyubov Kunakova & Marat Daukayev

Choreographer: V. Timofeev

Music: Burgmuller

It would be just an ordinary pas de deux in a romantic sort of style, except the man's arms are almost like a robot's. I assumed this was due to the choreography; I hope Daukayev doesn't actually dance like that all the time.

The video is generally disappointing, with several pieces of choreography that I didn't like, including one to the Bachianas Brasileiras #5. I did enjoy seeing Natalya Bolshakova in it, however. I wish there were more videos of her. I think she’s in one of the Moscow ballet competition videos.

The premise of the video was interesting: older-generation Kirov dancers coaching the young dancers. However, they didn't really show much of that. Kolpakova is the host, and starts by talking about the Kirov. Unfortunately, the French voiceover doesn't translate all of what she says, and the English subtitles don't even translate all of that. I think the English subtitles were based on the French voiceover, because the French mistakes in translation are duplicated.

One good thing about this video is that it has the best of several performances by Terekhova in the "Diana and Acteon" pas de deux that are available on video. Here’s a link to Kirov Soloists: Invitation to the Dance at amazon.com if you want to see what else is on the video. I’m glad I bought it for the chance to see a couple of dancers who aren’t well represented on video and for the very brief bits in the studio. But if you're just starting a Kirov video collection, I’d recommend buying other videos first.

(Sorry for getting off topic! And since I'm off topic, I might as well mention that this video is worth having for Kolpakova's performance in "Le Papillon." In her variations she does some of the most beautiful fast footwork I've ever seen.)

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