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About Vaganova

Between the years 1916, and 1948, Agrippina Vaganova developed a classical ballet curriculum known as the Vaganova technique. While a unique Russian-style was developing at this time, she realized that no method existed for teaching and communicating these ideas. Vaganova looked to combine the best aspects of various styles and incorporate them into a coherent system of classical movement. Specifically the training system was designed to involve the whole body so that no single part was left out. This, she believed, allowed for the greatest range of movement and expression from her dancers. Her emphasis of harmony and coordination of all parts of the body, with a particular attention given to the upper body and core, was believed to give an appearance of effortless dancing. Vaganova prioritized teacher instruction particularly what was taught, for how long and how much. She, too, would spend hours planning her own lessons everyday and made sure to explain the purpose and reason behind each exercise to her students. Vaganova's method of ballet instruction soon became the basis for all Russian ballet training. After her death in 1951, the Imperial Ballet School continued to preserve her teaching methods and was renamed the Vaganova Ballet Academy to recognize the school's greatest and most influential teacher.