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Russian training styles other than Vaganova


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What a wonderful forum this is!

I have been looking for information on Russian training methods and keep finding "Vaganova is the most famous of the Russian styles" but no names or descriptions of the others. Does anyone know any other styles or where I could find out about them?

I have just returned to ballet as an adult, after a long break and I am trying to remember the name of my former training method. It was Russian but it wasn't Vaganova. It was a word I never knew how to pronounce and didn't bother learning it! Now I wish that I had been more interested.

Thanks for any help,


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In that case, I'm not really sure...Vakhtang Chabukiani taught in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a while--could your teacher have maybe been trained by him? The only two Russian teaching methods I'm aware of are Vaganova and Legat...and Legat isn't really used in Russia anymore.

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Vera Kostrovitskaya was a protogee of Vaganova's; earlier in her career she was also a member of Balanchivadze's YOUNG BALLET.

she authored the following book on ballet lessons:

Kostrovitskaia, V. S. (Vera Sergeevna)

101 classical dance lessons from the first through the eighth year of study, with forty-eight lessons on pointe, by Vera Kostrovitskaya. Authorized translation from the Russian by John Barker. Including The current eight year study program, an exposition of the Vaganova method, by the author, and a biographical note by Natalia Roslavleva René.

New York, [John Barker School of Classical Ballet] 1979.

460 p., [2] leaves of plates. illus. 22 cm.

Originally published in Russian by Iskusstvo, Leningrad, 1972.

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There was a very important pedagog in Moscow named Nikolai Tarasov who wrote two books on teaching, the most famous being Ballet Technique for the Male Dancer, published in Russian in 1971 and in English in 1985. Tarasov was the director of the Bolshoi School and GITIS, as well as trained such well known dancers as Mikhail Lavrovsky and Marius Liepa. A. Messerer, a contemporary of Tarasov, actually does not have a method of teaching nor a particular technique attributed to himself. He was however a master teacher. He never developed a system of teaching as have N. Tarasov and Vaganova. Messerer's book is a wonderful book of classes, however there are no hows and whys included in this book. Tarasov is attributed with having trained generations of teachers and dancers throughout Russia and now the world. Pestov in Stuttgart is a famous teacher who was a student at GITIS of Tarasov.

The history of the development of what is known today as the Vaganova system of teaching included many known Russian pedagogs of the time. Vaganova was not alone in this endeavour. However, the system does bear her name. Perhaps the pedagog you are thinking of was a member of the original panel put together by the Soviet government?

Edited by vrsfanatic
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