Yekaterina Ottovna Vazem (Russian: Екатери́на Отто́вна Ва́зем; 25 January 1848, Moscow – 14 December 1937, Leningrad) aka Ekaterina Vazemwas a Russian prima ballerina and instructor, whose most noted pupil was the legendary Anna Pavlova.
During the mid- to late 19th century, Russian ballet was dominated by foreign artists, though during the late 1860s through the early 1880s the theatre administration encouraged the promotion of native talent. Vazem – a terre-à-terre virtuosa – climbed the ranks of the Imperial Ballet to become one of the company's most celebrated dancers. Despite being a benefit performance for Vazem, with tickets being more expensive than for the opera, the first performance of La Bayadère played to a full house. At the end of the performance the audience applauded for more than half an hour. Reviews were uniformly complimentary although they did register complaints of Petipa's license in dealing with historical facts. They also dwelt on the unavoidable mishaps that befall most first performances. For example, in the Kingdom of the Shades scene, the appearance of a magic palace was mistimed and delayed until after Nikiya had turned to face it.
She authored a book of mémoires dictated to her son, entitled Записки балерины Санкт-Петербургского Большого театра. 1867–1884 ("Memoirs of a Ballerina of the St. Petersburg Bolshoi Theatre").
- https://www.biography.com/performer/anna-pavlova "At the Imperial Ballet School, Petipa and Pavlova's teachers, Ekaterina Vazem and Pavel Gerdt, quickly recognized her extraordinary gift."
- La Bayadère reviews
- Ekaterina Vazem. Записки балерины Санкт-Петербургского Большого театра. 1867–1884 ("Memoirs of a Ballerina of the St. Petersburg Imperial Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre"). ISBN 978-5811409938.. See also this article.