Danilova, Alexandra

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Alexandra Danilova Photos

Alexandra Danilova Biography

Notable: 1903 – 1997; Mariinsky Ballet, Ballets Russes, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo

Alexandra Danilova was born in Peterhof in 1903. She studied at the Imperial School in St. Petersburg with teachers like Vaganova and Preobrajenska . She graduated in 1920 and joined the Mariinsky in 1921. Promoted to soloist in 1922. She formed a small group with Balanchine and left Russia for a tour to Europe in 1924. Engaged by Diaghilev for his Ballets Russes from 1924-29. Then she danced with de Basil’s Ballets Russes (1933-38) and Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (1938-52). Guest danced with Sadler’s Wells Ballet (1949) and London Festival Ballet (1951). Toured with her own group , Great Moments of Ballet, from 1954 to 56.

She was one of the most popular dancers of her time. Technically versatile with enormous charm, elegance and wit. She danced all the major ballerina roles and created principal roles in Balanchine works like The Triumph of Neptune (1926), Le Bal (1928), Dances concertantes (1944) and La sonnambula (1946). Choreographed Coppelia for NYCB in 1974. She worked as a teacher at the School of American Ballet from 1964 to 1989. Her autobiography, Choura, was published in 1986.


  • Handel Medallion, New York 1986
  • Kennedy Center Award 1989