Lyubov Kunakova

Coach and Repetiteur

• People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1983)
• Honoured Artist of the RSFSR (1974)
• Recipient of the medal of the order “For Services to the Fatherland”, 2ndclass (2009)
• Prize-winner at the Varna International Ballet Competition (1972)
• Diploma-recipient at the International Ballet Competition (Moscow, 1969)

Born in Izhevsk.
After graduating from the Perm School of Dance in 1970 (class of G. Kuznetsov) she made her debut at the Perm Tchaikovsky Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, where until 1974 she performed roles including Swanilda, Odette-Odile, Kitri, the Lilac Fairy, Aurora, Milady and the Queen (The Three Musketeers, choreography by Nikolai Boyarchikov) and lead roles in such ballets as Paquita and The Nutcracker.

From 1974-1992 she was a leading performer of the ballet repertoire at Leningrad’s Kirov Theatre of Opera and Ballet (renamed the Mariinsky in 1992).

She appeared in the ballets Giselle (Giselle, Myrtha), The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, the Lilac Fairy, Princess Florine), La Bayadère (Nikia, Gamzatti), Swan Lake (Odette-Odile), Raymonda (Raymonda), Don Quixote (Kitri), Le Corsaire (Medora, Gulnare), Paquita, La Sylphide (the Sylph), The Fountain of Bakhchisarai (Zarema), The Legend of Love (Mekhmeneh-Bahnu) and Scotch Symphony among others. She has staged the Mariinsky Theatre’s versions of classical ballets in Minsk (Don Quixote, Chopiniana), Athens (The Sleeping Beauty), Tokyo (Paquita) and Brazil (Giselle).

She has taught classical dance at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet (1997-2002, her pupils including Anastasia Kolegova, Tatiana Tkachenko, Natalia Sharapova, Vera Garbuz and Yulia Repet); she has also taught in Japan, Brazil and South Korea. Since 1997 she has been a repetiteur at the Mariinsky Theatre and coaches roles with Viktoria Tereshkina, Elena Yevseyeva and Maria Iliushkina.

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