Who Is the Most Famous Ballet Dancer in Russia?


The Russian Ballet is one of the oldest, most respected, and most influential forms of dance in the world. It has become a symbol of Russia’s long cultural history and its contributions to the art form.

Throughout the years, there have been several dancers who have helped to shape the face of Russian Ballet and make it what it is today. Here are some of the most famous ballet dancers from Russia.

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Perhaps one of the most famous ballet dancers from Russia, Mikhail Baryshnikov is renowned for his incredible technique, artistry, and passion for dance. He began his career in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) before defecting to the United States in 1974.

After joining New York City Ballet, he became a principal dancer and was acclaimed for his impressive versatility across various genres of dance. He was also honored with many awards during his career.

Natalia Makarova

Another legendary ballet dancer from Russia is Natalia Makarova. She began her career at the Kirov Ballet before defecting to England in 1970.

She then joined American Ballet Theatre where she became a principal dancer and created iconic roles such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake’s Odette-Odile. Her unique style earned her many accolades, including being named an “Honorary Citizen” by St. Petersburg’s city council.

Irina Kolpakova

Irina Kolpakova is another name that comes to mind when talking about famous Russian ballet dancers. As a child she trained at the Moscow Choreographic School before joining Kirov Ballet as a principal dancer in 1965.

She was renowned for her powerful technique as well as her beautiful presence on stage. In 1982 she retired from performing but continued to teach at Kirov Ballet until 1997.


With so many talented ballet dancers from Russia, it’s difficult to say who is the most famous one of all time. However, Mikhail Baryshnikov stands out due to his immense popularity both in Russia and abroad, as well as his tremendous influence on modern ballet today.