Arabesque, first held in 1988, while being a Russian Open Competition of ballet dancers welcomes foreign participants. From its foundation more than 900 young dancers from Russian and foreign state and private theatres and schools have taken part in it.
The Artistic Director and the Chief of the Jury of the Competition is Vladimir Vasiliev, national artist of the USSR, laureate of the Paris Academy of Dance award «The best ballet dancer of the world», winner of the most prestigious awards of Russia, France, Italy, USA, Brazil and Japan.
From 1996 till 2008 the Jury was headed by the national artist of the USSR, amazing Ekaterina Maximova, who did all her best to make the Competition one of the most significant cultural events not only in Russia but also in the world.
Over the years, Jury members included etoiles of the world ballet such as Vyatcheslav Gordeev, Raisa Struchkova, Evgeny Valukin, Galina Shlyapina (Moscow), Gabriella Komleva, Nikolai Boyarchikov (St.-Petersburg), Ludmila Sakharova, Vladimir Tolstukhin, Alexey Miroshnichenko (Perm), Kirill Shmorgoner (Samara), Leonora Kuvatova (Ufa), Alexander Muntagirov (Hanty-Mansiysk), Milorad Miskovitch, Cyril Atanasoff (France), Jacques D’Amboise, Marat Daukaev, George Zoritch (USA), Yukari Saito, Kenji Usui, Morihiro Iwata (Japan), Vera Kirova, Sylvia Tomova (Bulgaria), Irina Baronova (Great Britain), Dietmar Seyffert (Germany), Jamiyandagva Baljinnyam (Mongolia), Vadim Pisarev(Ukraine), Radu Poklitary (Belarus), Jae Keun Park (Republic of Korea), Nina Novak (Venezuela), Aivar Leimanis (Latvia), Galina Ragozina-Panova (Israel), Vilen Galstyan (Armenia), Zarko Prebil (Italy), Pedro Carneiro (Portugal), Georgy Aleksidze, Nina Ananiashvili (Georgia) and others.
Traditionally during the Competition works The Press Jury established by outstanding Russian theatre and ballet critic, candidate of Artistic sciences Natalia Chernova. It includes famous Russian and foreign ballet critics, historians and journalists.
Since 1994 Arabesque has been held under the patronage of U.N.E.S.C.O.
The main aim of the Competition is to attract new young dancers and to provide good opportunities for their successful career, to preserve classical heritage and to promote contemporary choreography, being a creative workshop for young choreographers and contemporary dancers. Arabesque is not only an important cultural event in Russia but a real pleasure for ballet amateurs and professionals all over the world.