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How to get in Bolshoi or Kirov

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My dd is 14 and with a big passion for ballet. She is currently training with SF ballet, but being from Europe we would much prefer her to be trained in a Russian school. Does anybody know if it is possible to attend the Bolshoi or Kirov - say for a year or so? If so, what would be the acceptance procedure?

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I think that the Kirov in DC is not actually connected to the Kirov in Russia. They have teachers that teach in that style, but they no longer have an association with the company/school in Russia.


If your dd is in SF, you may want to contact City Ballet. They had two dancers go to the Bolhoi.


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This article may be helpful:

Americans at Bolshoi


Try the Russian American Foundation in NYC.


And yes, the Kirov Acad in DC is a separate entity.

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My DD was accepted to the Kirov DC SI last summer (2010), she was 15 at the time. She did not attend, however they did send us a letter inviting her to attend year-round, based on her SI audition. We had not applied for year-round so we were flattered by the offer. DD did not attend the year-round either, however it leads me to believe that if they like a dancer, they aren't afraid to ask for him/her after an audition.

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Agreeing with above posts, KAB is not affiliated with The Maryinsky Theatre. Are you refering to the Bolshoi Academy Intensive in NYC or the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow. I do not think there is a full time Bolshoi Academy in the US.

One of my students attended the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow last year and was invited through attendance at the Bolshoi Academy SI sponsored by Russian American Federation. I can't remember off the top of my head if she had to specify her interest in Moscow or not on her audition application.

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Do a search on Vaganova Academy - it's not called Kirov. I have a link but it's outdated - they redid their website to include more information including a good bit in English but I don't have time to search for it right now. (I'll post it later when I can search more.) They take some international students but not many. Most are Japanese. They do not have "open" auditions - typically you manage to get an audition through someone connected to the school and the auditions are in St. Petersburg. They did take a British girl around 14, but most international students are 17 and above. Bolshoi is a bit more accessible because of the Russian American Federation. No such link/coordinator exists for Vaganova.


There are other schools in Europe that teach a Russian-based curriculum. Not pure Vaganova, but then again, Bolshoi doesn't teach Vaganova either!

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A student of ours sent a dvd a few years ago to Vaganova Academy totally on his own. I helped him with the research on an audition dvd, but that was it outside of a recommendation letter. He was accepted and attended for two years after his graduation from HARID. It is a wonderful experience for students who are quite mature, ready to work harder than they have ever worked before, interested to learn a new language and live in a culture filled with art. Upon his graduation from Vaganova, the young man took a job with Nashville Ballet, but decided he wanted to return to Europe and is now happily working in a company in Split, Croatia.




Here is the English language link. They are still working on the website, but there is enough information to get you started with your search. Attending Vaganova Academy can be a wonderful experience. It was life changing for me. Wishing you the best with your journey.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you very much for the feedback. To clarify -- I was actually referring to the Vaganova school in St Peterburg (not in DC) and the Bolshoi school in Moscow.


Being in a family of dancers, I understand how time is very precious. Nowadays ( unfortunately ) at the young age of 15 you really need to have a good technique to continue dancing.


In the recent 2 years or so, I have seen the Bolshoi opening their doors to foreigner students, but I have not seen the Vaganova school doing the same. Is it just remoteness or perhaps the ultra-high selection criteria?

Edited by sissi
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