Larissa Lezhnina


Following her training at the famous Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Larissa Lezhnina (St. Petersburg, Russia) danced for several years as a principal with the Kirov Ballet (now the Ballet Company of the Mariinsky Theatre). She had particular success, also internationally, with her performances of Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. In search of new challenges, Larissa joined the Dutch National Ballet in 1994, where she has since been dancing as a principal. In 2006, she was awarded the Alexandra Radius Prize, and she received the Merit Award from Dansersfonds ’79 in 2010. In 2012, Larissa played an important role in the documentary De Balletmeesters, in which film maker Sonia Herman Dolz closely followed Larissa’s partner, ballet master Guillaume Graffin, and the head of the artistic staff, Rachel Beaujean.

Larissa retired in June 2014.


  • Joining Dutch National Ballet:  1994
  • Place of birth:  St Petersburg (Russia)
  • Career with the Dutch National Ballet:  principal (1994)
  • Previousley danced with:  Kirov Ballet (S. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Training:  Vaganova School (St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Awards:  2006, Alexandra Radius Prize