Friday, March 21 is the fifth anniversary of the death of the great Russian ballerina Galina Ulanova /1910-1998/.
The future ballet dancer, People's Artist of the USSR and Hero of Socialist Labor was born to aristocratic parents. Graduating from the Leningrad Choreographic School, where she had been tutored by her mother and by Agrippina Vaganova, in 1928, she immediately joined the ballet troupe of the Leningrad Theater of Opera and Ballet, or the Kirov Theater as it would be named later. Between 1944 and 1960, she was a soloist with the ballet troupe of the Bolshoi Theater.
Ulanova's characters emanated fragility, defencelessness and femininity /Giselle in a ballet by Adam/ while having an unbending strength and heroic spirit /Maria in "The Fountain of Bakhchisarai" or Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet"/.
She was known as the best performer of the star parts in Pyotr Tchaikovsky's "The Swan Lake" /Odette and Odile/, "The Sleeping Beauty" /Aurora/, and "The Nutcracker" /Mary/.
The actress had a rare knack for harmonizing all expressive means and elements of choreography. The stiff manners of the art of ballet did not prevent her from expressing the whole spectrum of human emotions. Ulanova's dancing technique helped develop the principles and traditions of the Russian choreographic school. Among the parts she played were Raymonda /"Raymonda"/, Cinderella /"Cinderella"/, Parasha /"The Bronze Horseman"/, the solo parts in the waltz, nocturne and mazurka from "Chopiniana," and the Dying Swan from a piece by Saint-Saens.
An expresser of complex dramatic collisions, Ulanova won international recognition. She was a holder of the Lenin Prize /1957/, the State Prize of the USSR /1941, 1946, 1947, 1950/, two Orders of Lenin, and other orders and medals.