The evolution of Russian Ballet Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world” and I believe she was right and referring to ballet slippers when she said this. The Russian Ballet has been around for ages now and it has had quite a delightful evolution within. Ballet was introduced into Russia by Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich during the 17th century. By this time Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich was the second ruler of Russia, he reigned from 1645-1676. Ballet was introduced into Russia as a way to add into the rulers wedding celebration.
The Ballet dance in Russia was originally created by foreigners, but even so it is mostly recognized as a Russian Ballet Dance. Russian ballet was mainly developed through the captivation of the foreign interests up to the point in which this form of art became a natural to its new origin. The evolution of dance kept its remarkable trail with Peter the Great who led from 1682-1725. Peter Alexeyevich was his actual name and ruled the tsardom of Russia before he rules the Russian Empire. Peter gave dance a whole new aspect when he put his interests to work. He was the one who brought Western dances into his court.
To this he also made sure to take part of and become a lead. Although he didn’t act alone. He was only able to make this possible because his prisoners from the previous Sweden wars helped him out by providing assistance when he taught his courtiers. Peter the Great was very creative and seeked to make the impossible possible which is one thing that I really admire from him. Ballet began by many influenced but it wouldn’t be anything without its first influence, a letter written to the Empress Anne in 1737 by a humble teach e from the Imperial Cadet School.
This letter acted as an important influence to the ballet dance form because in it the teacher requested to let her students learn to perform. In other words, it pushed the ballet dance form to expand and be seen and experienced by others. Ballet became more and more popular by the day and kept spreading throughout Russia. The spreading of this dance form can be drawn back to the aristocrats who instructed their entertainment even though they lived at a good distance from the capital. Their effort into making sure their entertainment was always ready to go and be enjoyed by the people was really admirable.
They made sure to have their ballet ensembles set up. These ensembles were often composed by dancers who had been taught by the Imperial School. Their classy beginnings is what It wasn’t until May 15 of 1738 that the first school of dancing opened. The ballet dance form was already being taught but there wasn’t an actual appropriate place to go learn the dance form until that date. The school opened in honor of Frenchman Jean Batiste request of having a school dedicated to the teachings of this dance form.
Unlike today, they only have two rooms to teach ballet, so it was based on first come first serve. Thankfully we don’t have to suffer those extremely long waits now to learn ballet. The Imperial Ballet School maintained its focus on making sure that the ballet dance was well appreciated and seen as a fine art. It was done so and by the Peter’s own empress, Catherine the Great. Accompanying her husband’s love for the ballet dance art form, she made movements of her own interest by stating s ballet school at an orphanage in 1774.
Filippo Beccari directed the school at this time and was in charge of any changes in the teaching. Catherine was very kind with her interest but that didn’t stop there. She kept expanding her ideas and in 1765 she brought an Italian dancer whom was also a choreographer, Domenico Angiolini to join her in St Petersburg and continue to spread the teachings of the fine art of ballet dancing. He obeyed her orders and delivered what she desired and in 1772 he became the composer of the first heroic Russian ballet. From there on the dance form of ballet just kept getting better and better.
It wasn’t until Charles-Louis Didelot that ballet really took a big jump into the world of entertainment. He was so good at what he did in the world of dance that he was even given the name of “father of the Russian ballet. ” Made himself look like the real founder of Russian ballet and to anyone that was a real honor. His work was so good that it inspired new movements and changes everywhere in the dance world. The whole act of the Russian Ballet dance was to prove that they were better than all o foreign ideas that presented themselves.
They wanted to do so by proving their efficiencies to the fullest. But they couldn’t do so without their ballerinas. Their ballerinas were and important piece in this revelation. If they wanted to escalate the later in the entertainment world they needed determined dancers by their side. Maria Danilova (1793-1810), Avdotia llyinitshna Istomina, (1799-1848), and Elena Andreianova (1819-1857) were some of the dance faces that became important in the Russian Ballet world. Some more than other of course like Elena Andreianova because she was the lover of Alexander Guedenov.
Elena was considered powerful and important because her partner Guedeno was the director of the Imperial Theater at the time and this opened her dance career into new and better opportunities like her becoming the first Russian Giselle back in 1842. Ballet kept expanding and gaining more interest as the years flew by. It kept attracting foreign dancers to come on by and explore this dance form. It attracted many great faces like the founder of Romantic ballet, Jules Perrot. It didn’t stop their though, it even attracted Ivan Valberkh.
Ivan was the first famous native ballet master to be taught at St. Petersburg Academy (1766-1819). This meant that the dance form of Russian ballet was expanding further and overseeing horizons. In 1909 Sergei and Diaghilev created the Ballets Russes and it was phenomenal. The company started with strong Russian formal tradition and attitude. In addition, in the 19th century a lot started to get even more interesting. For example in 1913, Nijinsky, a choreographer created a new ballet dance known as “The Rite of Spring”.
This dance became surprisingly exiting because its name had the audience fighting and acting in all types of irrelevant ways. The 19th century was an actual revival and expansion of the Russian ballet dance form for it’s major final hit of the Ballets Russes was in 1921 and 1922 with Petipa’s version of the sleeping beauty. Nevertheless the Russian dance form was phenomenal. It expanded like a hot meal! The teachings and techniques are what made it such a fine art. Today we are able to appreciate such fine work thanks to these wonderful people. This has been the timeline of one of the most prestigious dance art forms.