Alexander Gorsky (1870-1924)

Alexander Gorsky was a contemporary of Michael Fokine and graduated from the Imperial Ballet Academy in 1889. He joined the Maryinsky Theatre, and became a soloist in 1895. He, like Preobrajenska was also born in St. Petersburg, in 1871, He entered the Imperial Ballet Academy at the age of nine.

Gorsky makes the history books for more than his dancing. As a teacher he was responsible for maintaining the Stepanoff system of dance notation. He moved to Moscow where his grand production of "Don Quixote" not only brought him to attention, but also helped bring the Moscow dance scene up to the level of the Maryinsky. Gorsky proved to be an influential reformer, breaking the patterns set by Petipa. In the Soviet Union he was ranked with Fokine as a pioneer in imparting realism and drama to the ballet. He choreographed ballets in the West, before his death in Moscow, in October, 1924.

(First published June 1994)

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