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Galina Sergeevna Mezentseva

ballet dancer

Galina Sergeyevna Mezentseva is a Russian ballerina, with a career as professional classic dancer from the early 1970s to the late 1990s.

Background

Mezentseva, Galina was born on November 8, 1952 in Stavropol, now Toliatti.

Education

Mezentseva completed her dancing studies in 1970 at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Career

She was the first of the crop of tall Kirov ballerinas with long and thin lines, introducing a new aesthetic look to ballet audiences. Mezentseva is recognized as a dramatic performer, and is known for her improvisation. After graduation, she got the position of principal dancer at the Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet, keeping it for almost 20 years.

In 1990 she left Russia to live in the UK. From 1990 to 1994, Mezentseva worked as a guest dancer at the Scottish Ballet (Glasgow). From 1994 to 2000, she toured the US and other countries as guest star with the Saint-Petesburg State Academic Ballet, directed by Askold Makarov. Since then Mezentseva has worked as a ballet teacher and as an occasional performer.

Ulyana Lopatkina, the Kirov's principal dancer (2007), compared Galina Ulanova, Ekaterina Maximova and Galina Mezentseva, her favorite ballerinas, in an interview given in 2005:They all had different personalities. Ulanova was sincere, she astonished ballet-goers with her utter fidelity to human feelings. Maximova had exceptional physique and moved very beautifully.

And Mezentseva – oh, she was serene, she was a queen, she had poise, beautiful lines and a profound dramatism. She could cast a spell effortlessly. The strongest impression anyone has made on me was Mezentseva with her Dying Swan.

Mezentseva performing Dying Swan Video on YouTube (retrieved January 2, 2008).

Achievements

  • Galina Mezentseva received many prestigious awards and titles: First Prize Laureate Award of the International Ballet Competition in Moscow (1977), Honored Artist of Russia (1978), National State Prize Winner (1980), Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition (Japan, 1980) and The People's Artist of Russia (1983). The intensity of Mezentseva's best live performances is believed to not translate well into the (few) available recorded presentations. Most of these recordings were taken after a severe achilles tendon rupture experienced by her in the early 1980s.