The Most Famous Russian Ballet Dancer: Celebrating Iconic Talent

Choose the dancer you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 10, 2024 08:20
Step into the enchanting world of Russian ballet and join us at StrawPoll as we pirouette our way through the most prestigious and gifted ballet dancers who have graced the stage with their mesmerizing artistry. From the ethereal swan-like elegance of Anna Pavlova, to the gravity-defying leaps of Mikhail Baryshnikov, we have curated an exceptional line-up of iconic Russian ballet dancers for you to rank and vote for. Immerse yourself in the rich history of ballet and help us determine who truly deserves the title of 'The Most Famous Russian Ballet Dancer.' And if you feel that we've missed any noteworthy names, worry not, simply suggest a missing option and let their legacy shine through. So, slip on your satin pointe shoes, and glide across our virtual stage to cast your vote in this breathtaking ballet showdown.

Who Is the Most Famous Russian Ballet Dancer?

  1. 1
    Rudolf Nureyev
    Allan warren · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Rudolf Nureyev - considered one of the greatest male dancers of the 20th century, Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961 and went on to become the principal dancer at the Royal Ballet in London.
    Rudolf Nureyev in other rankings
  2. 2
    Mikhail Baryshnikov - another legendary male dancer, Baryshnikov also defected from the Soviet Union and went on to become the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet.
    Mikhail Baryshnikov in other rankings
  3. 3
    Anna Pavlova known for her iconic portrayal of "The Dying Swan," Pavlova was a principal dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg and later founded her own company.
    Anna Pavlova in other rankings
  4. 4
    Maya Plisetskaya a prima ballerina assoluta with the Bolshoi Ballet, Plisetskaya was renowned for her powerful and expressive performances.
    Maya Plisetskaya in other rankings
  5. 5
    Galina Ulanova also a prima ballerina assoluta with the Bolshoi Ballet, Ulanova was known for her emotive and lyrical performances.
    Galina Ulanova in other rankings
  6. 6
    Natalia Makarova
    U.S. federal government · Public domain
    Natalia Makarova a former principal dancer with the Kirov Ballet, Makarova defected to the West in 1970 and went on to dance with the Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
    Natalia Makarova in other rankings
  7. 7
    Vladimir Vasiliev
    Чръный человек · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Vladimir Vasiliev a former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Vasiliev was known for his athletic and virtuosic performances.
  8. 8
    Ekaterina Maximova a prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet, Maximova was known for her expressive and dramatic performances.
    Ekaterina Maximova in other rankings
  9. 9
    Svetlana Zakharova
    A.Savin · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Svetlana Zakharova a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet and later the Mariinsky Ballet, Zakharova is known for her technical prowess and versatility.
    Svetlana Zakharova in other rankings
  10. 10
    Diana Vishneva a former principal dancer with the Mariinsky Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, Vishneva is known for her dramatic and expressive performances.
    Diana Vishneva in other rankings

Missing your favorite dancer?


Ranking factors for famous dancer

  1. Performance Reputation
    A dancer's reputation in terms of skill, artistry, technique, and ability to captivate an audience should be considered. This includes their roles and performances in renowned ballet productions.
  2. Contribution to Ballet History
    The impact a dancer has had on the development and evolution of ballet, both within Russia and on the international stage, is an important factor. This may include their innovation, influence on choreography, or the introduction of new styles and techniques.
  3. Awards and Recognitions
    The number and prestige of awards, medals, honors, and titles received by the dancer can be indicative of their fame and recognition in the ballet world.
  4. Longevity and Consistency
    How long a dancer's career has spanned and their ability to consistently deliver exceptional performances over time can contribute to their fame and status.
  5. Cultural Significance
    Dancers who have played pivotal roles in Russian culture, such as being ambassadors for Russian ballet on international stages or embodying the essence of Russian ballet traditions, may be regarded as especially famous.
  6. Legacy and Influence
    The impact a dancer has had on subsequent generations of dancers, either through teaching, mentorship, or their artistic legacy, can also be considered in determining their fame.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Russian ballet dancer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or dancer is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 186 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each dancer once every 24 hours. The rank of each dancer is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous russian ballet dancer

Russian ballet has been a dominant force in the world of dance since the 19th century. Over the years, Russia has produced some of the most talented and renowned ballet dancers in history. The country has a rich tradition of ballet, with many of its dancers known for their grace, athleticism, and technical skill. Among the many greats to come out of Russia's ballet scene, there are a few standouts that have left an indelible mark on the world of dance. When it comes to the most famous Russian ballet dancer, it is hard to narrow it down to just one. However, the likes of Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Anna Pavlova are often mentioned in discussions of the greatest ballet dancers of all time. Each of these dancers brought their own unique style and talent to the art form, captivating audiences with their performances. Nureyev was known for his athleticism and technical prowess, while Baryshnikov was celebrated for his grace and fluidity. Pavlova, on the other hand, was renowned for her ethereal quality and emotive performances. While all three of these dancers are undoubtedly among the most famous Russian ballet dancers, there are many others who have also made significant contributions to the art form. From the classics to the contemporary, Russia's ballet scene continues to produce some of the most talented and innovative dancers in the world.

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