Boys'/Men's Director, Ballet & Character
Nikolai Kabaniaev has been in the field of classical ballet for over 45 years, sharing his passion for it and making a name for himself throughout his career. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, he is a graduate of the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy. Nikolai went on to dance with the world renowned Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet where he danced for seven years, performing various soloist and principal roles in ballets such as Giselle, Les Sylphides, Cinderella, Paquita, Nutcracker, Napoli and Fountain of Bakhchisarai.
Upon immigrating to America in 1989, Nikolai served as Associate Artistic Director, choreographer, and men's technique and partnering instructor for three years at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC. He represented the academy as a judge at the 2011 Youth America Grand Prix New York Finals and 2012 Japan Grand Prix in Tokyo.
Throughout his career, Nikolai has choreographed over 30 original ballets for numerous companies around the United States and abroad including Miami City Ballet, Maximum Dance Company, Kirov Academy of Ballet, New Orleans Ballet Theater, Faruk Rusimatov Touring Company in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nevada Festival Ballet, Maui Ballet, Ballet Fantastique, and many more. Nikolai has also staged classical repertoire such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, La Bayadere, Paquita, Nutcracker, Chopeniana, La Sylphide, Le Spectre de la Rose and La Vivandière, to name a few.
Nikolai has passed on his love and knowledge of ballet, teaching ballet classes for San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Maui Ballet, Mazatlan Ballet (Mexico), Reiko Ivache Ballet (Japan), Diablo Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, Contra Costa Ballet and Company C Contemporary Ballet in Walnut Creek, California.
Since joining City Ballet San Francisco as the Boys’/Men’s Director, Nikolai has trained many young students into professional dancers, serving not only as their teacher, but also a mentor. His alumni have gone onto dance professionally in top companies around the globe, such as Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet.