Yuri Grigoriev

Yuri Grigoriev was born in Moscow, Russia, and started his formal ballet training quite late, at the age of 15. Encouraged by a teacher from the Bolshoi Ballet who discovered him in an after-school recreational program, Yuri tried out for and was accepted to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. He was one of ten boys chosen to participate in a fast-track experimental training program which consolidated nine years of training into five. After one and a half years, only four boys remained in the program and Yuri was promoted to the 6th level.

Mr. Grigoriev’s teachers were masters from the old guard of Russian ballet training, such as the highly cultured and revered Nicolai Tarasov, who invited him to join his small cadre of talented boys.Yuri Zhdanov, Yaroslav Sekh, Maris Liepa, Nicolai Fadeyechev, and Mikhail Lavrovsky were some of his most distinguished students. During Mr. Grigoriev’s penultimate year at the Bolshoi Academy, he was chosen to perform the role of the Prince/Cavalier in that Academy’s Nutcracker at the Bolshoi Theatre. In his final year, he was cast as the romantic lead in his graduation performance of Chopiniana, also at the Bolshoi Theatre. Asaf Messerer, Maya Plisetskaya’s uncle, was Mr. Grigoriev’s teacher in his last year of school. Mr. Messerer is responsible for catalyzing Mr. Grigoriev’s innate sense of musicality and instinctive understanding of its relationship to movement. It was this attribute that ultimately distinguished him from other dancers.

Upon graduation, Mr. Grigoriev was accepted as a soloist to the Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet where in a short time he was promoted to Principal Dancer. In mid-career, Mr. Grigoriev received the highest artistic award of his nation—“People’s Artist of Russia”. He danced in more than 50 countries and traveled with the Stars of the Bolshoi in 1967 and 1973. Best known for his dramatic presence and innate musical sensibility, Mr. Grigoriev’s signature roles were Siegfried in Swan Lake, Conrad in Le Corsaire, Solor in La Bayadere, Feb in Esmeralda, Paolo in Francesca da Rimini and Lionel in Jeanne D’Arc. During his 25-year career he performed more than 45 major roles.

Mr. Grigoriev is also a graduate of the prestigious GITIS (The State Institute of Theatre Arts) in Moscow where he received his diploma as a Pedagogue/Balletmaster in 1985. He taught at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for ten years and in various schools and theatres in Japan, Turkey, Korea and France.

Mr. Grigoriev came to Los Angeles in 1997, where he established a ballet school offering serious Vaganova-based training to young Southern California dancers. Since the school’s inception, Mr. Grigoriev has received the Youth America Grand Prix Best Teacher Award at the California Regionals in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, and his students have been the recipients of numerous awards and scholarships. Mr. Grigoriev resides in West Los Angeles with his wife Alexandra and their loyal Shih Tsu, Putik.

Watch Yuri Grigoriev dance:

  • The Stone Flower (1965)
  • Jeanne D'Arc (1970)
  • Onegin (1975)
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