Legend of Love
    Olga Moiseyeva

    Swan Lake
    Olga Moiseyeva

    Don Quixote
    Olga Moiseyeva

    Swan Lake
    Olga Moiseyeva


Olga Moiseyeva

Olga Moiseyeva was born in Leningrad on Christmas Day 1928. She studied at the Vaganova Academy in her hometown and is a pupil of Agrippina Vaganova. She was a very promising student and in the graduation concert in 1947 she was entrusted with the main role in the Shades Act of La Bayadere, in addition to a short miniature by Jacobson, Dream.

She started her artistic life in the Kirov Ballet dancing lyrical parts in Chopiniana, performed many variations from the classics like Don Quixote, Raymonda', and The Little Humpbacked Horse. Her most important early assignment was as Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, which remained in her repertoire for most of her career and which she was later to dance regularly with Yuri Soloviev.

Although she possessed a clean technique for the lyrical roles she was more suited to the grand classical roles. She was considered the leading interpreter of Swan Lake and Raymonda of her generation at the Kirov with full technical and dramatic authority for these roles. She performed Swan Lake with the Kirov on many of the earlier tours to the West. Her interpretation of Nikiya in the full length La Bayadère was compared by the Russian critic Natalia Roslavleva to that of Anna Pavlova. Like Pavlova Moiseyeva was a dramatic ballerina, but unlike Pavlova she did not have a great success with the role of Giselle and danced it only once.

Comedy features also rarely in Moiseyeva creative biography, although she danced Kitri regularly and also one of the ugly sisters in Sergeyev's Cinderella.

The highly charged roles created during the Soviet era found an excellent exponent in Moiseyeva. These ballets really benefitted from her expansive technique allied to an innate sense of theatre. The dram-ballet heroines of Zarema in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai and the title role in Laurentia exploited her style fully. As Aegina in Jakobson's Spartacus she offered an entirely different view of the role to that of the creator Alla Shelest. Moiseyeva's Aegina focused more on the courtesan aspects than on the cold feminine power which was the key to Shelest's vision of the role.

Although Moiseyeva danced a many more actual performances than some other ballerinas at the Kirov she rarely danced in the premieres. In 1960 she danced Bianca in Chabukiani's Othello. But the following year she created the role of Mekhmene-Banu in Yuri Grigorovich's The Legend of Love. This was an enormous artistic triumph for the ballerina and the role suited her admirably with its epic emotions and the grand scale. Moiseyeva was not really a dancer given to small scale performances and the roles of the post-classical period certainly gave her more scope to shine.

Since retiring from the stage in 1973 she has been a leading repetiteur at the Kirov and has guided the complete careers of Galina Mezentseva and Altynai Asylmuratova, and taught Yulia Makhalina and Svetlana Zakharova in their formative years as young ballerina soloists with the company.

Some of her dancing has appeared on the commercially released video 'Glory of the Kirov'.

Geoff Whitlock

Her repertoire includes:

  • Nikiya in La Bayadère (Petipa, staged by Ponomarev, Chabukiani)
  • title role in Giselle (Coralli/Perrot, Petipa)
  • Kitri, Kitri's friend, Street Dancer in Don Quixote (Petipa, Gorsky)
  • Princess Florine, Fleur de Farine, Sapphire Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty (Petipa, staged by K. Sergeyev)
  • Odette-Odile in Swan Lake (Petipa-Ivanov, staged by K. Sergeyev)
  • title role and Raymonda's friend in Raymonda (Petipa, staged by K. Sergeyev)
  • 7th Waltz and Mazurka in Chopiniana (Fokine)
  • Mekhmene Banu in The Legend of Love (Grigorovich)
  • Zarema in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai(Zakharov)
  • title role in Laurencia (Chabukiani)
  • Bianca in Othello (Chabukiani)
  • title role in Gayaneh (Anisimova)
  • Siumbike in Shuraleh (Jakobson)
  • Aegina in Spartacus (Jakobson)
  • sister in Cinderella (K. Sergeyev)
  • Earth in The Distant Planet (K. Sergeyev)
  • Sari in The Path of Thunder (K. Sergeyev)
  • Getrude in Hamlet (K. Sergeyev)
  • Elzavira in The Bedbug (Jakobson)

  • The Dying Swan (Fokine)
  • bacchante in Walpurgis Night (Lavrovsky)
  • Mother (Jakobson)

Copyright © 2003
Text of  Olga Moiseyeva Copyright © 2003 Geoff Whitlock. All rights reserved.

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