Russian National Ballet "Kostroma"

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College of Choreography



Folk dance has always been special for the history of the choreographic art because it is the folk dance that keeps and transfers the oldest cultural traditions of the country to next generations. Unfortunately, even though nowadays folk dancing has reached a paramount level of proficiency and there is a whole industry of educational institutions to bring up professional artists working in the genre of folk choreography, it is going through a bad period. There are few professional dancing schools left of what used to be dozens in Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Krasnodar, Voronezh, Kazan, Ufa and some other Russian cities and there has been set up just one school in 20 years – it is the «Governorate Ballet School» (College), the first and the only vocational choreography institution for Kostroma Oblast and neighboring Vladimir, Kirov and Yaroslavl Oblasts.

The «Governorate Ballet School» (College) was founded in 2002 as a structural subdivision of the Russian National Ballet “Kostroma”. So the teaching process involves everything that has been accumulated by the previous generations of the masters of dancing art.

The purpose of the School is to provide professional training, aesthetical upbringing as well as ethical and patriotic education to the young people of Kostroma and Kostroma Oblast, to keep and develop the national school of folk dance and to nurture artists for the Russian National Ballet “Kostroma”. The main aim is to identify talented children of Kostroma Oblast and to bring up specialists who will be in demand on the Russian and international labor markets, to give them work, to make professional human resources stay in Kostroma by providing them with an opportunity for self-realization and career prospects in their native city.


Maria Veshkina, the daughter of Elena and Yuri Tsarenko, the founders and the managers of the Ballet, is the School Director. She is the youngest director among the colleagues, heads of other vocational education institutions of Russia. The School develops and grows together with its students, who are meant to be highly professional dancers of the Russian National Ballet “Kostroma”. Now there have been four generations of the graduates, native Kostroma-vites, who respectfully represent Russian culture at the high profile international level.

The School’s educational process is based in the programs of further pre-professional and professional education. The structure of the School consists of the Children’s Dance School, which provides training for three age groups, and the College itself. One of the main peculiarities of the College is almost individual education and training: now there are 21 students in the College and there are more than 20 expert teachers. The curriculum includes more than 27 general and specific subjects in 4 years and 10 months (that is the duration of the course). The young specialists study the programs of the advanced level of intermediate vocational education developed according to the state requirements for education. The Administration of the School often invites the best teachers to hold workshops for the students and the faculty of the College.

All the College students undertake their internship as the key artists of the Russian National Ballet “Kostroma” so they are given an opportunity to take part in Russian and international projects from a very young age. Our graduates have gotten their stage experience while being on guest tours in Great Britain, China, France and Holland.

We cannot help mentioning that our students are surrounded by beauty and care because we are doing everything we can to give them only the best: there is an amazing library that has popular editions as well as rare ones, we have created a great academic facilities and our students go to or participate in cultural events in Kostroma, Kostroma Oblast and Moscow on a regular basis.

The «Governorate Ballet School» (College) is proud as of every work and achievement because they are rather unique.

  • The debut of the «Governorate Ballet School» was the final performance of the first graduates in 2007. It was a two-act performence called “The World called the Art of Dance”: the first part was an experimental version of the ballet “Romeo and Juliette” and the second one was a class of folk stage-dance and dances of the people of the world.
  • It was already in 2010 that the second generation of the College students performed “The Masterpieces of the World’s Classic Choreography” in original, uncut and unabridged as the great authors meant them to be.
  • In 2013 the third generation of the graduates presented a class of folk stage-dancing and the original stage works of the classics of folk choreography.
  • The students took part in International Festivals of dancing colleges and schools in Kazan in 2006, 2008 and 2012, in Moscow in 2014 and in Perm in 2015.
  • The students took part in the Show-Festival of State Dance Colleges of Russia dedicated to the 235th anniversary of Moscow State Dance Academy in Moscow.
  • The students performed on the best stages of CIS: in State Academic Bolshoi Theatre, in State Kremlin Palace and in Tatar Academic State Theatre named after Musa Gialil.

In 15 years the College has achieved such a level that its experience is in high demand because it already has its own culture and style influenced by the College teachers and Yuri Tsarenko with his unique approach. Every year the College in collaboration with the Oblast Methology Center of Further Training for the Workers of Culture holds folk stage-dance, classic dance and modern dance seminars for choreographers of Kostroma Oblast. The College teachers give professional workshops on the national and international level. The first workshops were held for the guests from Canada who were the students of a ballet school in Ontario, the students of Samara State Academy of Culture and Arts, the students of Southern Ballet School of Christchurch, New Zealand, and the students of a theater and dance school in Melbourne, Australia. The College workshops were praised by the high-profile people of art in Russian and CIS countries as a great and promising achievement for the national professional school of folk choreography.


One of the priorities of the «Governorate Ballet School» is to organize and hold annual art projects such as:

  • A charity project “The World Called the Art of Dance” for disabled kids and kids from single-parent families or families in need dedicated to the International Children’s Day; the show has been held since 2007 in the Concert Hall “Gubernsky”.
  • A charity project “Children for Children” that has been held since 2010 in the small towns of Kostroma Oblast (Susanino, Nerekhta, Galich, Bui, Volgorechensk, Sharya, Krasnoye-na-Volge, Soligalich, Neya and some others).
  • An educational project “The «Governorate Ballet School» Opens its Doors…” that has been held since 2013 in collaboration with the teachers of general education schools, art schools and other schools of extra-curricular education to provide career guidance for the young people of Kostroma and Kostroma Oblast in the sphere of dancing art.
  • A season ticket for the State Philharmonics Society of Kostroma Oblast called “Open the World of Dance) that has been provided since 2015 once every two years.

Performing its educational function by actively giving concerts, the College goes beyond the limits of the standard plans and programs for intermediary vocational education thus making the process of education more transparent for the artists-to-be and their audience. The «Governorate Ballet School» presents choreography as something live so it carries an important social mission: it evokes the feeling of beauty in children of different ages and meets their need for cultural communication by making them a part of creative art.

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