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Lev Ivanovich Ivanov
(1834 – 1901) was a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...
dancer and choreographer and later, Second Balletmaster
of the Imperial Ballet
The Mariinsky Ballet is a classical ballet company based at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Founded in the 18th century and originally known as the Imperial Russian Ballet, the Mariinsky Ballet is one of the world's leading ballet companies...
Historically, Ivanov is credited with choreographing the entirety of premiere of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский ; often "Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky" in English. His names are also transliterated "Piotr" or "Petr"; "Ilitsch", "Il'ich" or "Illyich"; and "Tschaikowski", "Tschaikowsky", "Chajkovskij"...
's ballet The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". It was given its première at the Mariinsky Theatre in St...
in 1892 due to the ill health of Ballet Master Marius Petipa
Victor Marius Alphonse Petipa was a French ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer. Petipa is considered to be the most influential ballet master and choreographer of ballet that has ever lived....
. While some contemporary and modern accounts dispute this, Ivanov is still mentioned in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Second Edition
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is an encyclopedic dictionary of music and musicians. Along with the German-language Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, it is the largest single reference work on Western music. The dictionary has gone through several editions since the 19th century...
with choreographing at least the majority of the ballet as Pepita had reportedly not progressed very far in his work. Regardless of the amount of work he actually did, Pepita's was the only name listed for choreography on posters for the first production in St. Petersburg. Ivanov also worked with Petipa on a new restaging of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake
Swan Lake ballet, op. 20, by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, composed 1875–1876. The scenario, initially in four acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger...
ballet in 1895, choreographing the second and fourth scenes (The two lakeside scenes) himself, as well as the Danse Vénitienne
(Neopolitan/Venetian Dance) and the Pas Hongrois
(Hungarian Dance) of the third bier scene.
Other ballets choreographed by Ivanov as the Second Balletmaster to Petipa include "The Enchanted Forest", which was first staged on March 24, 1887, and "The Tulip of Haarlem" which was first performed on October 4, 1887. Ivanov is also credited by former Soviet historians with the original choreography for the Polovtsian Dances in the first production of Prince Igor
Prince Igor is an opera in four acts with a prologue. It was composed by Alexander Borodin. The composer adapted the libretto from the East Slavic epic The Lay of Igor's Host, which recounts the campaign of Russian prince Igor Svyatoslavich against the invading Polovtsian tribes in 1185...
in 1890. However, at the end of his life Ivanov was forced to petition the Imperial Theatres for financial assistance on the strength of his 50 years's service; he died in poverty.