Famous Russian Choreographers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Russian Choreographers

 1 
Mikhail Baryshnikov
(Choreographer, Dance)

Mikhail Baryshnikov
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Birthdate: January 27, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia

Latvian-born Russian-American dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov was a prominent male classical dancer of the 1970s and 1980s. Born in Latvian SSR, he moved to America where he joined the New York City Ballet. Within years, he became one of the most widely recognized contemporary ballet dancers in the world. He is also a dramatic actor.

 2 
Rudolf Nureyev
(Choreographer & One of the Greatest Male Ballet Dancers of His Generation)

Rudolf Nureyev
3
Birthdate: March 17, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Irkutsk, Russia
Died: January 6, 1993

Born into a Tatar Muslim family, Rudolf Nureyev grew up to gain fans both for his exceptional ballet skills and for his sharp cheek bones. One of the greatest male ballet dancers ever, he gained fame performing with stars such as Margot Fonteynhe. A closeted homosexual, he died of AIDS.

 3 
Vaslav Nijinsky
(Ballet dancer)

Vaslav Nijinsky
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Birthdate: March 12, 1889
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: April 8, 1950

Vaslav Nijinsky was a ballet dancer and choreographer. He is counted among the greatest male dancers of the early 20th century. He was known for the intensity of his characterizations. He was brilliant and could dance en pointe, a rare skill few male dancers of his era possessed. He suffered from mental health issues in his later life. 

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 4 
Pasha Kovalev
(Ballroom and Latin Dancer, Best Known as Participant of 'So You Think You Can Dance')

Pasha Kovalev
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Birthdate: January 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia
Pasha Kovalev is a Russian ballroom and Latin dancer. He soared to fame with the shows So You Think You Can Dance and Strictly Come Dancing. He had earlier moved to the U.S. with his dance partner Anya Garnis. He has also appeared in the Broadway production Burn the Floor.

 5 
Sergei Diaghilev
(Art Critic)

Sergei Diaghilev
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chudovsky District, Russia
Died: August 19, 1929

Sergei Diaghilev was a Russian ballet impresario, patron, and art critic. He is credited with founding the popular ballet company Ballets Russes, which has produced some of the greatest and popular choreographers and dancers like Tamara Karsavina, Lydia Sokolova, Serge Lifar, and Alicia Markova. Sergei Diaghilev is remembered for placing the needs of his company and dancers above his own.

 6 

Kristina Rihanoff
3
Birthdate: September 22, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vladivostok, Russia

Kristina Rihanoff is a Russian professional ballroom dancer, author, choreographer, and instructor. She achieved popularity after competing in the popular British television dance contest, Strictly Come Dancing. Also known for her philanthropic efforts, Kristina Rihanoff works closely with a children's charity named The Dot Com Foundation, which helps children handle challenging situations.

 7 
George Balanchine
(The Father of American Ballet)

George Balanchine
0
Birthdate: January 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: April 30, 1983
George Balanchine was a Georgian-American ballet choreographer. One of the most prominent choreographers of the 20th century, Balanchine won several prestigious awards like the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983. Referred to as the father of American ballet, Balanchine is credited with co-founding the New York City Ballet. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1988.
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 8 
Galina Ulanova
(Ballet Dancer, Choreographer)

Galina Ulanova
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Birthdate: January 8, 1910
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: March 21, 1998
Born to dancer parents, Soviet ballerina Galina Ulanova was destined to follow in their footsteps. The dancer who had performed with both Mariinsky and Bolshoi theaters remains the only two-time Hero of Socialist Labour winner. She amazed audiences in Giselle, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet.

 9 
Michel Fokine
(Choreographer)

Michel Fokine
2
Birthdate: April 23, 1880
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: August 22, 1942

Michel Fokine was a Russian dancer and choreographer whose pieces are performed internationally to this day. Fokine is credited with choreographing the works of popular dancers like Anna Pavlova. Renowned for his groundbreaking works, such as Le Pavillon d'Armide, Michel Fokine has been portrayed in a couple of films, namely Nijinsky and A Woman for All Time.

 10 
Maya Plisetskaya
(Former ballet dancer, choreographer)

Maya Plisetskaya
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Birthdate: November 20, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: May 2, 2015

Maya Plisetskaya was a legendary Soviet and Russian ballerina. Growing up in a war-torn region, she had a difficult childhood. She sought solace in ballet and pursued a career as a dancer. She was remarkably fluid in her movements and soon became internationally renowned. She later became a ballet director and choreographer. She was married to composer Rodion Shchedrin. 

 11 
Lydia Lopokova
(Ballet dancer)

Lydia Lopokova
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Birthdate: October 21, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russian
Died: June 8, 1981

Apart from being a renowned Russian ballerina, Lydia Lopokova was also the wife of well-known economist John Maynard Keynes and was thus known as Lady Keynes. She toured across Europe and America and appeared in plays such as The Lady of the Slipper and Age of Reason.

 12 
Natalia Makarova
(Ballet dancer, Choreographer)

Natalia Makarova
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Birthdate: November 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

 13 
Nikolai Morozov
(Ice dancer)

Nikolai Morozov
2
Birthdate: December 17, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Nikolai Morozov is a Russian retired ice dancer, choreographer, and figure skating coach. Morozov represented Belarus at the 1998 Winter Olympics and World Championships. He is credited with coaching Japanese figure skater Shizuka Arakawa at the 2006 Olympics where she won the gold medal. Nikolai Morozov also coached Miki Ando to a couple of world titles.

 14 
Léonide Massine
(Former choreographer, ballet dancer who created the world's first symphonic ballet, Les Présages)

Léonide Massine
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Birthdate: August 9, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: March 15, 1979

Léonide Massine was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer who created Les Présages, the first symphonic ballet in the world. Between 1915 and 1921, Massine worked at Sergei Diaghilev's popular company Ballets Russes where he served as the principal choreographer. In 2002, Léonide Massine was inducted into the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame.

 15 
Ulyana Lopatkina
(Choreographer, Ballet dancer)

Ulyana Lopatkina
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Birthdate: October 23, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kerch

 16 
Tamara Karsavina
(Prima Ballerina)

Tamara Karsavina
2
Birthdate: March 9, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: May 26, 1978

Tamara Karsavina was a Russian ballet dancer who served as a principal artist at Sergei Diaghilev's popular company The Ballets Russes. Karsavina also taught ballet and is credited with co-founding modern British ballet. After settling in Britain, Tamara Karsavina popularized the dance form in Britain and helped establish The Royal Academy of Dance as well as The Royal Ballet.

 17 
Alina Somova
(Ballet dancer)

Alina Somova
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Birthdate: October 22, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Russian ballerina Alina Somova was initially pushed into sports by her mother but later moved to ballet. Now the principal dancer at the Mariinsky Ballet, she has also won many awards, such as a Golden Mask for her performance as the Tsar-Maiden in the ballet The Little Humpbacked Horse.

 18 
Igor Moiseyev
(Choreographer)

Igor Moiseyev
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Birthdate: January 21, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: November 2, 2007

Igor Moiseyev was a Russian choreographer best remembered as the 20th-century's greatest choreographer of character dance. He helped popularize character dance, a style similar to folk dance with more theatrics and professionalism. Over the course of his illustrious career, Igor Moiseyev received several prestigious awards, such as the Lenin Prize, USSR State Prize, and Russian Federation State Prize.

 19 
Ivan Vasiliev
(Ballet dancer, Choreographer)

Ivan Vasiliev
0
Birthdate: January 9, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vladivostok, Russia

Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Ivan Vasiliev is best known for his performances in ballets such as Don Quixote and The Nutcracker. Named an Honoured Artist of Russia, he has also won several awards, such as the Soul of Dance Prize and the International Dance Association Prize.

 20 
Alexei Ratmansky
(Choreographer)

Alexei Ratmansky
2
Birthdate: August 27, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Alexei Ratmansky was not just a phenomenal ballet dancer but also rescued the Bolshoi Ballet from a financial disaster as its artistic director. One of his best-known works as a choreographer was for Dreams of Japan. He was the first artist-in-residence at the American Ballet Theatre.

 21 

Yury Grigorovich
2
Birthdate: January 2, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia

Yury Grigorovich is a Soviet and Russian choreographer and dancer. One of the most popular and successful ballet dancers of his generation, Grigorovich dominated the Russian ballet scene for over three decades. Grigorovich has also headed the juries of several international competitions in classical ballet. He has also received several awards, such as the Lenin Prize and Ludvig Nobel Prize.

 22 
Irina Zenovka
(Rhythmic gymnast choreographer)

Irina Zenovka
1
Birthdate: September 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Irina Zenovka is a Russian choreographer who works with the Russian rhythmic gymnastics team. In addition to choreographing the Russian national team, Irina Zenovka is also credited with choreographing routines for several successful rhythmic gymnasts like Evgeniya Kanaeva, Daria Dmitrieva, Margarita Mamun, and Dina Averina among others.

 23 

Konstantin Sergeyev
1
Birthdate: March 5, 1910
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: April 1, 1992

Konstantin Sergeyev was a Russian danseur, choreographer, and artistic director. He worked as a choreographer at the popular Mariinsky Theatre and went on to become the company's head choreographer. He contributed immensely to the success of the company which earned him several awards, including four Stalin Prizes. In 1957, he was named a People's Artist of the USSR.

 24 
Makhmud Esambayev
(Makhmud was regarded as one of the most famous dancers of the Soviet Union)

Makhmud Esambayev
0
Birthdate: July 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Starye-Atagi, Russia
Died: January 7, 2000

 25 

Alexander Alexeyevich Gorsky
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Birthdate: August 6, 1871
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: October 20, 1924

Alexander Alexeyevich Gorsky was a Russian ballet choreographer. A contemporary of Marius Petipa, Gorsky is best remembered for restaging the former's classical ballets like The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Swan Lake. Alexander Alexeyevich Gorsky is also remembered for valuing acting skills over dance technique which made him one of the most controversial ballet choreographers of his generation.

 26 

Christian Johansson
1
Birthdate: May 20, 1817
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: December 12, 1903

Christian Johansson was a ballet teacher and choreographer. He is best remembered for working at the Imperial Russian Ballet where he served as a ballet master. Johansson is widely regarded as one of the most prominent teachers in the history of Russian ballet. Christian Johansson is credited with influencing a generation of ballet dancers.

 27 
Leonid Lavrovsky
(Choreographer)

Leonid Lavrovsky
1
Birthdate: June 18, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: November 26, 1967

Leonid Lavrovsky was a Russian ballet choreographer best remembered for choreographing Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. In 1944, he was chosen as the Bolshoi Theater's head ballet master, thanks to the success and popularity of Romeo and Juliet. At the Bolshoi, Leonid Lavrovsky restaged Romeo and Juliet in 1946 for which he received the prestigious Stalin Prize.

 28 
Rostislav Zakharov
(Choreographer)

Rostislav Zakharov
1
Birthdate: September 7, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Astrakhan, Russia
Died: January 15, 1984

Rostislav Zakharov was a Russian ballet dancer, choreographer, and opera director. He is best remembered for choreographing Cinderella (1945) and The Fountain of Bakhchisaray (1934). He also worked as a professor and taught at the Russian Academy of the Arts in Moscow. In 1969, Rostislav Zakharov was honored with the People's Artist of the USSR.

 29 

Vasily Tikhomirov
1
Birthdate: March 29, 1876
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: June 20, 1956

A renowned Bolshoi Ballet dancer, Vasily Tikhomirov is best remembered for his performance in The Red Poppy with his wife Yekaterina Geltzer. His powerful and masculine moves added to the typical Bolshoi Ballet style of dance. He developed the Bolshoi school markedly after the 1917 Revolution.

 30 

Nicholas Sergeyev
1
Birthdate: September 27, 1876
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: May 23, 1951

Nicholas Sergeyev was a Russian ballet choreographer, dancer, and teacher. He served as a theatre director of the Imperial Russian Ballet at the Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. From 1919 onwards, he produced ballets for several leading western companies. Nicholas Sergeyev is credited with preserving the records of the Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa choreographies of classical ballets.

 31 
Polina Glen
(Dancer, Choreographer)

Polina Glen
0
Birthdate: March 25, 1994
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia

A resident of Los Angeles, USA since 2017, Russian dancer cum choreographer, Polina Glen, is also a qualified electrical power installer, travel guide and translator. Beginning her career as a model in her home country, she eventually ran her own dance school in St. Petersburg before moving to USA. Active on social media, she has a huge following on Instagram