(ah-gree-PEE-nah vah-GAH-naw-vah), (1879
), the Soviet ballerina
, was one of the greatest teachers in the history
. Born in St. Petersburg
and trained at the St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet School
under Lev Ivanov
, Yekaterina Vazem
, Pavel Gerdt
, Sergei Legat
She joined the Maryinsky (later Kirov, now the Kirov company in the Maryinsky theatre) Theater in St. Petersburg in 1897, where her brilliant footwork and leaps won her the title queen of variations; becoming a ballerina in 1915. She left the stage in 1917 to devote herself to teaching.
In 1921 she became a teacher at the Leningrad Choreographic School (the former St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet School) an began developing what would later be called the Vaganova System of teaching ballet. In 1934, she became head of the Leningrad Choreographic Technicium and published her textbook Fundamentals of the Classic Dance.