Virsky, Pavlo

Image - Pavlo Virsky with dancers

Virsky, Pavlo [Вірський, Павло; Virs'kyj], b 25 February 1905 in Odesa, d 5 July 1975 in Kyiv. Ballet dancer, ballet master, and choreographer. He completed study at the Odesa Music and Drama School (1927) and studied in the Moscow Theater Tekhnikum (1927–8). He was a soloist and ballet master in the Odesa Opera and Ballet Theater (1923–31); ballet master in the Kharkiv Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Kharkiv Theater of the Revolution, the Dnipropetrovsk Ukrainian Opera and Ballet Theater, the Kyiv Theater of Opera and Ballet (1931–7), and the Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Kyiv Military District (1939–42); and artistic director of the ballet group of the Red Army Ensemble (1942–55). He organized the State Dance Ensemble of Ukraine in 1937 and was its ballet master and artistic director from 1955. In 1962 his ensemble toured the United States of America and Canada. In 1977 the ensemble was named after him. Virsky’s biography, by Yurii Stanishevsky, was published in Kyiv in 1962.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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