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Russian Personalities

People well-known in art, sport, film, fashion

Category Archive: Theatre

Durovs – famous circus dynasty

Durov - founder of the famous circus dynasty

Durov – founder of the famous circus dynasty


Durov is a famous surname in the history of Russia. The representatives of this dynasty are famous actors and circus performers. Nadezhda Durova, the heroine of the war of 1812, the legendary cavalry-girl, is among the ancestors of the glorious dynasty. She was Kutuzov’s adjutant during the Patriotic War. After the war she was actively engaged in charity and even turned her house into a small menagerie. Nadezhda took the abandoned and sick animals that she met on her way. Her descendants were fond of animals too.
For many years Vladimir Durov’s name was on the hoardings of Russia and many other countries, for he was a popular circus performer whose bold wit always drew applause and laughter. He used to call himself a clown, or jester, but in fact he was a deep thinker, an accomplished musician and sculptor, and the author of many interesting books for children. He had an immense knowledge of animal psychology and wrote a number of serious works on the subject which won wide acclaim from scientists abroad.
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Barbara Brylska – famous actress

Barbara Brylska – famous actress

Barbara Brylska – famous actress


Barbara Brylska is a Soviet and Polish film and theater actress, a singer. She became a laureate of the State Prize of the USSR in 1977. In the republics of the former USSR, she is best known for the role of Nadia Shevelyova, the main character in the film The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath by film director Eldar Ryazanov. In 2008, she was a member of the jury of the entertainment TV program Two Stars-2 on Channel 1. Since 2009, she has been a member of the jury of the TV show Narodnaya Zvezda on TRK Ukraina.
Barbara Brylska was born on June 5, 1941 in Skotniki, Poland. At the age of 15, she first played an episodic role in the film Galoshes of Fortune. Later she joined theater club, studied at the Lodz Higher School of Theater. In 1967 she graduated from the Warsaw Higher School of Theater, Film and Television.
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Vaslav Nijinsky – outstanding ballet dancer

Vaslav Nijinsky – outstanding ballet dancer

Vaslav Nijinsky – outstanding ballet dancer


It is said that on the day when the future great dancer Vaclav Nijinsky was born, whether the Emperor himself, or someone from the Grand Dukes arranged a small feast for the ballet troupe at the Mariinsky Theater. An elegant silver cup was one of the prizes for the soloists. Vaslav’s father jumped up and caught the prize thrown by monarch. “It will become my son’s talisman!”, he cried. But he was wrong. Soon his father left the family. And a woman became his talisman…
Many things in the life of the remarkable ballet dancer were strange and mysterious. For example, his famous, truly fantastic jump on the stage. It seemed that Nijinsky freely floated in the air. Nobody else could do the same. People even looked for carefully hidden springs in his shoes. However, they did not find anything!
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Konstantin Stanislavsky – great theater director

Konstantin Stanislavsky – great theater director

Konstantin Stanislavsky – great theater director

Konstantin Stanislavsky was a Russian theater director, actor and teacher, theater reformer. He was the creator of the famous system of actor training, which has a great popularity in Russia and in the world. In 1936 Stanislavsky became the first People’s Artist of the USSR. He was one of the most influential theater personalities of the twentieth century.
In 1888 he became a founding member of the Moscow Society of Art and Literature. In 1898, together with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko he founded the Moscow Art Theatre.
Konstantin Sergeevich Stanislavsky (his real surname was Alexeyev) was born on January 17, 1863 in Moscow. He was born into a large family (he had nine brothers and sisters) of a famous industrialist. Nikolai Alekseev, Mayor of Moscow, was his cousin. Konstantin’s younger sister Zinaida Sokolova was Honored Artist of the RSFSR.
In 1878-1881 he studied in the gymnasium at the Lazarev Institute. His excellent classical education included singing, ballet, and acting lessons as well as regular visits to the opera and theater.
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Mikhail Shchepkin – Russian actor

Mikhail Shchepkin – Russian actor

Mikhail Shchepkin – Russian actor

Mikhail Shchepkin was a Russian actor, one of the founders of the Russian actor’s school. He revolutionized acting styles with his realistic portrayals.
Mikhail Semenovich Shchepkin was born on November 6 (17), 1788 in Kursk province into a family of the serfs.
From 1799 to 1801 he studied at the Sudzhansky public school. During his studies, in 1800, he played his first role in Sumarokov’s comedy – Vzdorschitsa.
In 1801-1802 he played in a serf theater of Count G. S. Volkenshtein.
In 1805, he performed on the professional scene for the first time. Since that time, with the permission of Count G. S. Volkenshtein, Shchepkin played in Barsov Brothers Theater.
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Sergei Lazarev – famous singer

Sergei Lazarev

Sergei Lazarev – famous singer

Sergei Lazarev is a singer, dancer and actor. He was born on April 1, 1983 in Moscow, Russia. Sergei’s parents divorced when he was quite small and his mother brought up two sons alone. At the age of four the future singer was engaged in gymnastics. Sergei became interested in music in his childhood and performed with various children’s ensembles. The boy also acted in the theater by Boris Pokrovsky.
In 1995, Lazarev became a soloist of the children’s collective Neposedy, the same group in which Yulia Volkova and Lena Katina (t.A.T.u.) met each other. The group participated in various well-known TV shows and festivals.
In September 1996 Sergei won the first prize at the contest Bravo Bravissimo in Italy.
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Vladimir Zeldin – 100-year-old Russian actor

Vladimir Zeldin – 100-year-old Russian actor

Vladimir Zeldin – 100-year-old Russian actor

Vladimir Zeldin is a Soviet and Russian film and theater actor, People’s Artist of the USSR (1975). His name is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records – he is the oldest of the living artists of the USSR, and the oldest working actor in the world.
On February 10, 2015 he celebrated his 100th birthday. And even today you can see this great actor singing and dancing on the stage!
Vladimir was born on February 10, 1915 in Tambov province into the family of a musician and a teacher. His father, Mikhail Zeldin, was a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, trombonist and conductor, in 1918 he became a head teacher of the Music School. Vladimir’s mother was a housewife. Zeldin has a brother and three sisters. All children in the family were musically gifted and played various musical instruments. Vladimir plays trumpet, piano and violin. The boy was actively involved in sports – skiing, skating, football, volleyball, tennis.
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