Founding Directors

Virginia Ballet Company’s greatest asset lies in the direction established over half a century ago by its founding Artistic Directors, Tania Rousseau and Oleg Tupine. Such direction was built upon their own training by prima ballerinas of the pre-revolutionary Maryinsky (now Kirov) Theater and their performance experience with the Ballet Russe and other European companies, combined with their own methods of instruction.

Tatiana Rousseau and Oleg Tupine both received their early training from the school of Princess Egorova Troubetskoy.

Tatiana Rousseau was a pupil of Madame Olga Preobrajenska in Paris. She was associated with Le Ballet de Jeunesse of Paris, Le Theatre des Champs Elysees and the Agrenieff Ballet Company. Ms. Rousseau began teaching ballet and established Virginia Ballet School in 1950. Her exceptional talents in teaching and choreography have greatly enhanced the quality and stature of the Company’s stage performances. Tatiana Rousseau taught and inspired thousands of students before her passing in July 2005.

Oleg Tupine was associated with the Original Ballet Russe (formerly Diaghilev Ballet) and became one of its principal dancers, partnering such leading ballerinas as Tamara Toumanova, Alica Markova, Nora Kaye, and Maria Tallchief. He joined the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1949 as premier danseur and danced with Alexandra Danilova and Mia Slavenska. In the United States, he spent four years as Ballet Master of the National Ballet Company, Washington, D.C., before resigning to devote his time to the Virginia Ballet Company and School. Oleg Tupine taught and inspired thousands of students before his passing in June 2003.