The Moscow State Academy of Choreography
(Russian: Московская государственная академия хореографии) commonly known as The Bolshoi Ballet Academy, founded as an orphanage by order of Catherine II in 1763, is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of ballet in the world . It is located in Moscow, Russia and the affiliate school of the Bolshoi Ballet.
The Bolshoi Ballet receives the majority of its dancers from the Academy, as do most other Moscow ballet companies. Numerous choreographers, instructors and graduates of the academy have become renowned in Russian ballet and internationally, including Olga Lepeshinskaya, Raisa Struchkova, Natalia Bessmertnova, Ekaterina Maximova, Maya Plisetskaya, Nikolai Fadeyechev, Vladimir Vasiliev, Mikhail Lavronsky, Nikolay Tsiskaridze, to be bestowed a People's Artist of the USSR, "prima ballerina assoluta" and "premier dancer", the ultimate title for a ballet performer of the Soviet Union.
The Bolshoi's method of teaching is founded on a thorough, comprehensive, classical training curriculum that is carefully coordinated to the students' ability. The curriculum includes Ballet Technique, Pointe Work, Centre Work, Repertoire, Pas de Deux, Jazz, Character Dance and Historical Dance. The Academy offers a professional teaching staff with international teaching and performing experience.All classes are carefully graded both for age and technical level and each student is given the individual attention so necessary for his or her progress. At the school, children from ages nine to eighteen attend academic classes in addition to their rigorous dance training, using the Vaganova method. Many of them live at the in-house school dormitories.
The Bolshoi Ballet Academy holds annual auditions for the students seeking acceptance into the full-time programs of traineeship and vocational training. The director of the academy is currently, Marina Leonova.
The Bolshoi Ballet Academy offers one of the best dance training facilities in the world. Amenities including twenty large studios with a professional non-slip dance floor, changing rooms with showers and lockers, study area, and a physiotherapy room. High ceilings make it possible to offer Pas de Deux classes, and two levels of ballet barres are provided for young children and adults.