The Kennedy Center

Yuri Grigorovich


Born in Leningrad in 1927, Yuri Grigorovich, is a dancer, artistic director, and choreographer whose ballets set a trend that for many years determined the development of ballet in Russia.. He trained at the Leningrad Choreographic School before joining the Kirov Ballet as a soloist in 1946. While at the Kirov, he created his first major ballet, The Stone Flower (1957) and became ballet master of the company in 1962. He was also a soloist at the Maryinsky Theater and for a short time headed its ballet.

In 1964 Grigorovich was appointed choreographer-in-chief of the Bolshoi Theatre and was with the prestigious Moscow company for over 30 years. With him at the head, the leadership of Russian classic ballet was established worldwide. Ballets he created there include The Nutcracker (1966), Spartacus (1968), Ivan the Terrible (1975), Angara (1976), Romeo and Juliet and The Golden Age. He also choreographed new versions of masterpieces of the past, such as The Sleeping Beauty (1963, 1973) and Swan Lake, Raymonda (1984), La Bayadere (1991) and Don Quixote, Giselle (1987) and Le Corsaire (1994). During this time, the Bolshoi Theatre made more than 90 international tours, bringing to the stage many brilliant dancers.

In addition to staging ballets, Grigorovich has served on the juries of international competitions. He is a Member of the Vienna Music Society, Honorable Chairman of the International Theatre Institute, Chairman of the International Choreography Association and Honorable Chairman of the Ukrainian Dance Academy.
Photo of Yuri Grigorovich