Agrippina Vaganova & The Vaganova Method
The World Renown Vaganova Method
Prior to her death in 1951, Russian ballet pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova, made seminal worldwide contributions to the theory and practice of contemporary ballet training. By blending the best elements of the old imperial Russian style, and the French and Italian methods with more athletic movement, she developed what is now known as the Vaganova Method or System. Her eight-year training program also incorporated the sciences of anatomy and kinesiology which did not isolate the body into separate parts, but viewed it as an integrated system. Students received precise corrections based upon anatomical knowledge. Her masterwork, Basic Principles of Classical Ballet, was published in 1934 and has been acknowledged internationally as the bet summation of classical training. Her disciples have shared her investigations into the science of ballet to find training methods that affect and advance the art form to this day.
Graduate of the Imperial Ballet School in Leningrad, Agrappina Vaganova acquired the knowledge and various styles of her great teachers “and she reworked them into one whole, adding to them her experience and that of young Soviet Ballet, until this formed what is now known as the Vaganova System. – Anatole Chujoy from The Dance Encyclopedia, Simon & Schuster, 1967.
Hallmarks of the Vaganova Method is renowned for its expressive fluidity of the arms in coordination with the upper body. Movement originates “from the body” rather than the appendages. Precision and breadth of movement, particularly in allegro work, are visible characteristics of the Vaganova trained dancer.
Many of her pupils such as Galina Ulanova, Natalia Dudinskaya and Irina Kolpakova became important figures in Soviet ballet. Basic Principles of Classical Ballet is an important text for ballet teachers to this day. The creative evolution of her ideas continue to this day and are widely used by training institutions and professional ballet companies throughout the world.
At the core of her method is Vaganova’s conviction that all theory must be enriched by the experience of teaching and new developments in artistic practice. The creative evolution of her ideas continue to this day and are widely used by training institutions and professional ballet companies throughout the world.
“Look at life all around; everything is growing, everything is moving forward. Therefore I recommend…keeping in touch with life and with art”. – Agrippina Vaganova
July 6, 1879 – November 5, 1951