Top of page

Photo, Print, Drawing At the Dance Lesson.

About this Item


  • At the Dance Lesson.


  • This photograph of students at the Moscow Academic Choreography School at the Bolshoi Theater (now known as Moscow State Academy of Choreography) was taken by photographer Leonid Zhdanov (1927-2010) during a dance class in 1972. The history of the Moscow school of dance goes back to the late 18th century. Empress Catherine the Great founded the school, which was named the Teaching House. The first teachers of dance came from Italy and France. Ballet was just starting to enter Russian culture, although it was already popular in Europe. The school accepted poor children and orphans--people of noble birth were not supposed to perform on stage. Besides dancing, children were taught mime skills, music, history, literature, arithmetic, writing, and religion. Upon completing school, newly formed artists entered the imperial theaters and private companies. Russians not only quickly mastered the European science of dance; they also introduced their own national characteristics into the art of ballet. By the middle of the 19th century, Russia had its own national school of dance. Dancers who were trained in Moscow differed from those trained at the dance school in Saint Petersburg, the capital of the country. Proximity to the imperial court with its rules of etiquette influenced the performances of the dancers. The Saint Petersburg Ballet valued the beauty and purity of the dance form and restrained nobility of manners. In Moscow, the artistic and emotional qualities of dance were foremost. These differences between the two leading Russian schools are still evident. Zhdanov, a Bolshoi dancer and then a professor of choreography for 50 years, was also a professional ballet photographer for most of his career. His pictures are spontaneous and capture on film the movements, moods, and emotions of the unposed dancers. The Reborn Art Foundation in Moscow holds this image and the rest of the Zhdanov archive.


  • Zhdanov, Leonid, 1927-2010 Photographer.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1972.


  • -  Russian Federation--Moscow--Moscow
  • -  1972
  • -  Ballerinas
  • -  Ballet
  • -  Children
  • -  Dance
  • -  Dance--Study and teaching
  • -  Dancers
  • -  Girls
  • -  Moscow State Academy of Choreography
  • -  Students
  • -  Teachers


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 1 black and white photograph ; 35 millimeter negative.
  • -  Original resource at: The "Reborn Art" Charitable Foundation.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021669129

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Zhdanov, Leonid, Photographer. At the Dance Lesson. Russian Federation Moscow, 1972. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] Photograph.

APA citation style:

Zhdanov, L. (1972) At the Dance Lesson. Russian Federation Moscow, 1972. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Zhdanov, Leonid, Photographer. At the Dance Lesson. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.