Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Centenary of Ludmilla Chiriaeff

Centenary of Ludmilla Chiriaeff

The École supérieure de ballet du Québec celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ludmilla Chiriaeff

January 10, 2024 marked the 100th birthday of Ludmilla Chiriaeff, founder of the École supérieure de ballet du Québec and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. The École supérieure is proud to present a series of activities that will pay tribute to this emblematic figure in the history of dance in Quebec. The year 2024 will offer many opportunities to discover the fascinating career of this pioneer of professional dance in Quebec, and to salute her major impact on arts and culture.


January 10: Festive day at the École supérieure
A full day of special activities for students in professional division of the École supérieure in honour of the memory of Madame Chiriaeff. This centennial day will feature a rich array of discussions, gatherings and dance activities. Access to the news

February 11: Ballet class for former students
the École supérieure de ballet du Québec welcomed no less than sixty former students for a ballet class in tribute to the centenary of Ludmilla Chiriaeff, the founder of our institution. Fun, nostalgia and a dose of effort characterized this very special ballet class. Access to the news

February 23-24: Prix Ludmilla – 8th edition
Our students' excellence and perseverance were on display at the 8th edition of the Ludmilla Awards. In this annual competition, 66 students from the Intermédiaire, Avancé and Supérieur cycles presented a classical variation before a jury of professionals including Pierre Lapointe, Margret Kaufman, Shawn Hounsell and Katia Mead, Madame Chiriaeff's youngest child. Access to the news

April 29: Conversation on Ludmilla Chiriaef - A captivating exploration of her life and legacy
To mark International Dance Day, the École supérieure de ballet du Québec presents an intimate conversation on Ludmilla Chiriaeff, hosted by Judith Ouimet, with exceptional guests who had the privilege of working with Madame Chiriaeff: Jean Grand-Maître, choreographer and former artistic director of Alberta Ballet; Katya Mead, daughter of Madame Chiriaeff; Jacques Drapeau, former principal dancer with Les Grands Ballets; Christine Williams, ballet teacher, examiner and coach; and, of course, Anik Bissonnette, artistic director of ESBQ and former principal dancer with Les Grands Ballets. This activity is offered in collaboration with Les Grands Ballets. More information about the event

May 24-25: Corps de ballet, a show in tribute to Ludmilla Chiriaeff
The École supérieure’s annual show will offer a sensitive and poetic tribute to the great visionary, who continues to inspire current and future generations of dancers. Choreographies by Fernand Nault, Jean Grand-Maître, Anne Plamondon and Ludmilla Chiriaeff will be performed alongside excerpts from iconic works such as Swan Lake and Carmina Burana. A hundred dancers from ages 10 to 20 will perform, fulfilling Madame’s dream of giving Quebec a thriving next generation of dancers.

October 24-26: L'École supérieure shares the stage with Les Grands Ballets in Ludmilla
Some twenty students from the École supérieure de ballet du Québec will have the privilege of sharing the stage with Les Grands Ballets in the show Ludmilla, presented at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts, from October 24 to 26, 2024. This unique program will feature works by renowned artists who influenced or knew Ludmilla Chiriaeff. A creation by Jean Grand-Maître (in which our students will dance) will be accompanied by three other pieces by choreographers James Kudelka, George Balanchine and Ginette Laurin in this vibrant exploration of Madame's legacy. Know more

The École supérieure invites you to join it in celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Ludmilla Chiriaeff, a woman who shaped the history of dance in Quebec and whose legacy continues to shine. Other surprises will be announced later to round out a memorable series of celebrations of her centennial.


The story of Ludmilla Chiriaeff, the founder of the École supérieure de ballet du Québec and of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, is the story of the incredible journey of an immigrant who settled in Quebec in the 1950s with an ambitious dream: to make the art of dance accessible to all. A true pioneer of professional dance in the province, the woman everyone called “Madame” succeeded in opening new territories and shattering multiple glass ceilings, allowing dance to earn its rightful place among the arts. She was the recipient of numerous honours, and in 2022 the government of Quebec added another by designating her a significant historical figure (Personnage Historique).

Learn about her life and see iconic photographs


The mission of the École supérieure de ballet du Québec is to train dancers and creators to the highest standards maintained by professional dance institutions and, in the process, to promote the recognition, success and advancement of dance. Founded in 1966 by Ludmilla Chiriaeff at the request of Quebec’s ministry of cultural affairs, the school is Quebec’s flagship institution in professional classical dance training and education.

View the École supérieure’s press kit

Follow us :