The Keeper of Tradition

On January 14 we celebrate the birthday of Tatyana Kvasova (Sevostyanova), Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation, talented tutor, and close friend and associate of Leonid Yacobson.

As a young ballerina, Tatyana Kvasova joined the Lenkontsert Chamber Theatre immediately after graduating from the Leningrad State Choreographic Institute in 1967. And in 1969, Lenkontsert was converted into the Choreographic Miniatures Ballet Company, headed by Leonid Yacobson. An effortless and precise performance style and elegant and succinct body language soon earned the gifted ballerina a promotion to principal. This was when she formed a creative duo with Igor Kuzmin; Yacobson would often entrust these two young dancers with bringing life to his choreographic masterpieces. The unique repertoire of the Leonid Yacobson Theatre, with a wealth of body language varieties, dancing styles, images and themes to give small-scale productions profound artistic meaning, let Tatyana Kvasova's skills and creativity truly shine. The ballerina absorbed the Theatre's traditions, which have stayed with her her whole life, successfully passed on by her to new generations of dancers.

'Ballet mastery is passed on "from foot to foot". When Yacobson was staging his ballets, he had us in mind specifically. This is what makes creator-owned theatres so special: the author brings his very own inventions right into the auditorium. People often ask me if I ever regretted not working at an academic theatre. If I had, I would have needed to play the parts that my predecessors had performed ten times better. In here, though, ballets were tailored for me, for my personality, my feet, my body'.

When she retired from stage, the faithful creative companion of Leonid Yacobson established herself as a tremendously respected teacher. Being tutored by her has been a major stepping stone for many young stars of the St. Petersburg ballet stage, particularly Leonid Yacobson company members. We wish our beloved teacher and incredible ballerina a happy birthday! May she enrich the world of Russian ballet for many, many more fruitful years!