Anna Korotysheva

Ballet Master, Choreographer

Our friend and ballet liaison, Anna Korotysheva, is a second generation ballet dancer who, following in the footsteps of her mom, studied at the world-renowned Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg, graduating at the top of her class in 1987 and went on to experience a successful career as a member of the ballet company of the prestigious Mariinsky Theatre.

Today, she is a Ballet Mistress and Choreographer, passing on her treasured knowledge and experience to her students for whom she choreographs classical, modern and original productions - often times she even sews their costumes and headpieces!

Anna Korotysheva, Ballet Master
Anna’s Instructor Inna Zubkovskaya

An Extraordinary Education.

Anna’s primary teachers at the Vaganova Academy were Ludmila Komissarova, a direct pupil of Agrippina Vaganova, and Inna Zubkovskaya, an esteemed principal ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre (Kirov Ballet).

An exceptional, dark-eyed beauty nicknamed the ‘Black Pearl’ whose ancestry included Jewish roots, born Inna Borisovna Izraelyeva, Inna Zubkovskaya was a celebrated ballet dancer at home with the Kirov (now Mariinsky), as well as abroad where she was the first to perform the most famous ballet role of Odette-Odile in Swan Lake at the Metropolitan Opera House in Manhattan in 1961.

The Bolshoi trained ballet dancer, joined the Mariinsky immediately after graduation, where she remained as a dancer, and later an instructor and coach.

"Her flawless technique, allied to a sensitive reticence, fitted the Maryiinsky's elegant purity and they invited her to join," relayed dance critic N. Meisner of The Independent.

The Times writer Albert Goldberg said: “The Kirov does not stress stars… but if a dancer like Inna Zubkovskaya belonged to any other company, her name would be emblazoned on the marquee… She is a flawless dancer,” he wrote in 1961 after her LA appearance with the Kirov… ”In every respect she is one of the great ones.”

Anna's graduation, backstage at Mariinsky Theatre. Anna (center) with her teacher Inna Zubkovskaya (right).

Anna (left) with the legendary Natalia Dudinskaya
Inna Zubkovskaya
Inna Zubkovskaya

Anna also worked with the legendary Natalia Dudinskaya during dress rehearsals and preparation for performances; Dudinskaya was one of the most notable students and legacy carriers of Agrippina Vaganova.

Interestingly enough, during her mom’s career, Anna got to know Dudinskaya outside of the academy as well, at such times when the two visited Dudinskaya at her own place in St. Petersburg. This connection was a “part of normal life” as Anna puts it.

Anna doing a 'Jeté' (jump)

Mariinsky Ballet Theatre.

Following her graduation, Anna received the highest honor for a graduate of the Vaganova Academy, an invitation to join the Mariinsky Ballet Company (then Kirov Ballet). She performed at the Mariinsky Theatre and traveled with the company around the globe, appearing before audiences in Australia, Belgium, China, Cyprus, England, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Japan and the US.

Anna’s solo repertoire with the Mariinsky Theatre includes: “The Bell Dance” in The Fountain of Bakhchisarai ; “Nancy” in Sylphide; “Farandolla” (Coda–Farandole) in Cinderella-Sleeping Beauty; “Page” in Romeo & Juliet. She has also performed in the Kirov Opera’s Don Pasquale, as the “Kolombina” and the “Gypsy Dancer” in La Traviata.

A Celebrated Career.

Appreciated for her technical virtuosity and sizeable repertoire, Anna has been a popular guest artist with a number of esteemed ballet companies.

She has made guest appearances with Valentina Ganibalova’s Ballet Theatre, performing in the Ballet Exlibris, a concert dedicated to the musician Amadeus Mozart; Carnaval; divertissements from the ballet Humpbacked Horse, The Ocean & Two Pearls; Coppelia: pas de quatre; the “Russian Dance” and “Neapolitan Dance” in Swan Lake; “The White Cat” and “Fairy” in Sleeping Beauty.

Anna’s performance repertoire also includes miniatures from renowned choreographer Leonid Jacobson, and a duet in Fyodor Lopukhov’s Ballet Taras Bulba. Anna has performed in shows dedicated to the memory of legendary Russian Choreographer Mikhail Fokine, dancing “Spectre de La Rose” Perm, Russia (1992). As an artist of the Kirov Ballet, Anna has worked with the world’s most respected choreographers including Konstantin Sergeyev, Yuri Grigorovich, Oleg Vinogradov, Igor Belsky, Oleg Ignatief, Natalia Volkova, Alexei Ratmansky, Boris Eifman, Sergei Fedyanin, Antal Fodor and Andre Prokovsky.

Anna in costume for 'La Bayadere'
Anna on tour with Mariinsky (a.k.a. Kirov) in Mexico

Diplomas in Ballet Direction, Choreography & Stage Direction.

Besides a notable performance career, Anna Korotysheva has concurrently continued her academic education and holds degrees from the N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Ballet Direction and Choreography, and receiving the conferred qualification of Ballet Master & Choreographer. She has earned a Master of Arts in the Specialty of Choreography and Stage Direction.

Anna’s exceptional education includes mastery in the subjects of Script Dramaturgy, Artistic Design, Fundamentals of Clavir & Score, Psychology & Pedagogy, History of Public Ideas in the Context of Culture, History of Music, Theatre, Ballet, Literature and Fine Arts.

Beyond the Stage.

Backstage, Anna has worked as an Assistant and Ballet Master in preparations for productions of young, upcoming choreographers who have staged new works at the Conservatory Theatre. As Choreographer, she has staged The Kingdom of The Shades & “Grand Pas” from the Ballet La Bayadere by Minkus after Petipa; Spectre de La Rose by Vebern/Fokine at the Krasnodar State Musical Theatre; and Russian Dance for the Young Leningradians, St.Petersburg Children’s Ensemble.

Since 2003, Anna has served as the artistic consultant for San Francisco’s Presidio Dance Theatre, located in America’s national park, the Presidio of San Francisco. There, she has assisted with dance history application, classical ballet choreography, musical scores, costume and set design, costume procurement, and adaptation of choreographic works which are age-appropriate for students and student productions.

Anna lives in Finland, where she passes on her precious legacy to the dancers of today, teaching and molding young generations of students, and choreographing and staging ballet productions.

Anna with her students inside theatre of Finnish National Opera House (2013)
Anna's students practice before show at Finnish National Opera House (2015)

source material: Inna Zubkovskaya