Alla Shelest

16-08-2009 19:22

Alla Shelest_Zarema-port1

Alla Shelest

Birth:     Feb. 28, 1919
Death:     Dec. 7, 1998
Russian dancer and teacher born in Smolensk. She studied with E. Gerdt and Vaganova at the Leningrad Ballet School and graduated in 1937 into the Kirov Ballet where she danced until 1963. Her technique was characterized by her huge jumps, lyrical fluency and a classical purity of style. Combined with the boldness of her dramatic interpretations, these qualities made her one of the company’s most popular ballerinas. ‘She is a tragic and inspired ballerina. You can always recognise her by the perfection of the sketch, by the emotion and by the self-abandon’ Ulanova wrote of her. She performed the standard principal roles and was especially famed for her portrayal of Nikiya in ‘La Bayadere’ and created the role of Aegina in ‘Spartacus’ in 1956 and Zarema in ‘Fountain of Bakchisarai’. For a time she was married to choreographer Yuri Grigorovich. She performed in several ballet films and TV shows and was artistic director of the Kuibyshev Ballet from 1970-1973 and ballet mistress of the Kirov from 1977-1979. She was made People’s Artist of the Russian Federation in 1957. Died peacefully at her home in St Petersburg.

Alla Shelest_Portret Oreshnikov

Portret by Victor Oreshnikov

Alla Shelest_Book-1


Alla Shelest_Book-2.

Alla Shelest_Book-3.

Alla Shelest_Book-4

Alla Shelest_Book-5

At the Academy I danced choreography miniature  by Leonid Jakobson “Blind”

And Tatiana Shmirova invited school theatre Alla Shelest which, in time brilliantly performed this role.


Since then became an Angel-Alla my keeper. I was involved in it further in its handful of small living room, where antique mirror and Ballet bare. Alla lived in beautiful house on the Petrograd side opposite a famous Villa Matilde Kseshinskaya. When I was theater, she prepared with me Mirta and “Russian Dance”


Once I phoned from tours and heard:  «Анечка,  If you are in the next time call me , and I already will not, you are not of sadness»  ,  then phoned and said that the conditions described. Alla died a few years. It was thin and deep, man of rare breeds ballerina.