Jury member of Benois de la Danse
In 1951 she joined the Kirov Opera House. She was a leading soloist of this stage, and one of the most outstanding Russian ballerinas of the second half of the XX-th century.
The nature has endowed her with wonderful appearance. Irina Kolpakova had a light and high jump and an extraordinary ear for music, her dance was distinguished by incomparable lyricism. Her first achievements were her solo roles in “Chopeniana“ and “Ciderella“, Clara in “Nutcracker” and Maria in The Bakhchisarai Fountain ”. She was an inimitable Aurora in Sleeping Beauty”.
In the period of her artistic maturity she achieved the heights of academic ballet performance. She was undoubtedly the first star of Leningrad stage in the 60-th and 70-th. The leading parts in “Raimonda“, “Giselle“ and “Romeo a Juliet“ are among her best works. Irina Kolpakova danced Kitri in “Don Quixote“ and m-me Taglioni in “Pas de Quatre“. She was the first to dance the leading parts in ballets by Grigorovich (“The Stone Flower“, the The Legend of Love”), by Chabukiani (Othello”), by Laputin (Masquerade”), by Belskiy (Coast of Hope”, Icarus”) and by N. Kasatkina and V. Vasiliev (The Creation of the World”). Though, the list of her artistic achievements is much longer then that.
Several films have been made about her art. Irina Kolpakova took part in many ballet TV versions. She was awarded with the title the People▓s artist of the USSR. She has been a prize-holder at many international events including the III International festival of dance in Paris (1965).
Having finished her artistic career Irina Kolpakova started to work as a teacher and a ballet-mistress. On Leningrad stage she and Oleg Vinogradov did “Giselle” in the traditional choreographic version. Irina Kolpakova teaches in Russia and abroad. American schools often invite her.