Remembering Galina

Mar 03 2020 | Posted in Newsletter

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet recognizes the significant contributions of Miss Galina Yordanova to our company and school throughout her lifetime.

Miss Yordanova was born in the USSR where she trained for nine years at Baku before continuing her training at the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. It was there that Miss Yordanova earned diplomas in Choreography and Teacher Training from the Russian Institute of Theatre Arts - G.I.T.I.S. and staged many ballets.

In 1980, Miss Yordanova began spending her summers teaching with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Professional Division. Her comprehensive classical training provided the bedrock for the RWB School and her teaching methodology became a blueprint for others to follow.

Miss Yordanova’s contributions to the RWB continued to grow over the years. She was responsible for staging the Company’s 1987 premiere of Swan Lake, which she staged in the Russian style and is still being performed today. In 1990, her expertise as a stager shone brightly in La Bayadère, Act II, which was remarkable for combining dancers from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School with members of the Company in a powerful display of dance.

It was in 1995 that Miss Yordanova officially joined the RWB artistic faculty as a Guest Teacher. To mark the 25th Anniversary of the RWB School, she staged Don Quixote with the School’s entire student body performing alongside Company members, who were themselves school graduates, in the lead roles.

For the RWB’s landmark 60th season, Miss Yordanova gave her crowning gift to the RWB when she, along with Nina Menon, choreographed a new version of Nutcracker. This ballet, which premiered in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre on December 2, 1999, has since toured widely across North America, been recognized as one of the most important creations in the RWB’s history, and become an annual holiday tradition for many Winnipeggers.

After Nutcracker, Miss Yordanova continued her work with the RWB, assisting with many more productions and performances, including staging the 2002 debut of The Sleeping Beauty.

“Galina’s spirit was unlike anyone I have ever known,” recalls André Lewis, Artistic Director and CEO of the RWB. “She had a keen artistic eye and was a believer in every dancer’s abilities. The many ballets Galina contributed to at the RWB are some of the most widely renowned and beloved. That is her legacy.”

The RWB acknowledges and thanks Miss Galina Yordanova for her many decades of work and outsized role in the company, she will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.