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Vaganova Academy 275th Birthday Celebration in Moscow

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Highlights of this article:

- Makarova and Baryshnikov both sent their congratulations to the Vaganova Academy on December 5 in honor of the institution's 275th anniversary.

- On Dec. 7th, a concert at the Stanislavsky Theatre in Moscow will be held in celebration of the Academy's birthday. The last significant gala of this kind in its honor was 25 years ago. Soloists from the Bolshio, Mariinsky, Mikhailovsky and other Russian theatres will perform. Vishneva, Ruzimatov and Zelensky are listed among the performers.

-According to director Altynai Asylmuratova, several generations of graduates will dance from the younger ones just beginning their training this year, to professional levels.

- The article says education at the Academy is free (Translator's note: which is true for Russians but not for foreigners). "When commercialization begins, ballet ends," Altynai said. jAs for internships of professional dancers, both Russian and foreign, then that's done on a paid basis the article then adds.

-Guests of the evening include Yuri Grigorovich, Evgenia Obratsova, Yuri Bashmet, Evgeny Nesterenko, Vladimir Vasiliev, Ilya Glazunov.

-The theatre foyer will display an exhibition with 90 items - drawings, engravings, lithographs, photographs, including images of the first choreographers, teachers and dancers of the Academy.

-The gala concert is a not-for-profit event and all guests perform philanthropically; sponsored by Georgy Poltavchenko, governor of St Petersburg. It will be broadcast on the TV "Kultura" channel.

-Academy Rector, Vera Dorofeyeva, confirms that there is not a single ballet school in the world where the graduates of the Petersburg Acafemy have not worked. Vaganova graduates join the best companies in the world including: the Grand Opera (de Paris), Covent Garden, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and many others. (Translator's note: also Bavarian State Opera Ballet, Berlin State Opera Ballet, Vienna State Opera Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, etc)

- Dorofeyeva said that many teachers flock to the Academy seeking positions not just because it is prestigious but because it is well paid.

-Each year, the Petersburg Academy sees thousands of children but only 50 of them are accepted and no more than half of that number actually graduate.

Since 1738 more than 5000 specialists have graduated from the Academy.

-By order of the President of Russia in 1995 the Academy was added to the list of valued cultural heritage sites in Russia. $1 billion in government funding was spent on renovations for the school.

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