The Ballerina Gallery
Lydia Kyasht
1885 - 1959
Mariinsky Ballet


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Lydia Kyasht (Kiaksht, Kyaksht) was born in St Petersburg in 1885. She graduated from the Imperial Ballet School (class of P. Gerdt) in 1902 and joined the Mariisnky Theatre. She become second dancer in 1906 and first dancer in 1908. She was also a soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet 1902-1903. She claimed to be the first to dance Fokine's Dying Swan in 1905. In 1908 she went to London to succeed Adeline Genée as prima ballerina at the Empire Theatre, where she stayed until 1913. She also danced with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1912 and 1919. She returned to Russia 1914-1917 to dance concert performances. After that she settled in London and founded her own ballet school. In 1939 she also founded her own company, Ballet de la jeunesse Anglaise, which toured England and Europe. From 1953-1959 she taught at the Legat School. Her memoirs Romantic Recollections were published in 1929.