St. Petersburg’s historic Mariinsky Ballet makes rare appearance at BAM, Jan 15—25

Repertory of full-length classics and contemporary ballets represents three centuries of Russian ballet. Musical direction by Valery Gergiev.

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Ave). Tickets start at $30.

Responsible for producing some of the dance world’s most influential artists—Pavlova, Nijinsky, Balanchine, Nureyev, Baryshnikov—the Mariinsky Ballet and Orchestra make a rare appearance at BAM January 15 through 25 with a series of full-length classics and contemporary ballets.

Representing three centuries of Russian ballet, the residency opens with two full-length works—the Tchaikovsky classic Swan Lake, choreographed by Petipa and Ivanov, revised by Sergeyev; and Prokofiev’s Cinderella from contemporary ballet choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. The company will also present Chopin: Dances for Piano—a repertory program featuring Michel Fokine’s Chopiniana, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, and Benjamin Millepied’s Without.

Swan Lake (Jan 15 at 7pm, Jan 16, 21—23 at 7:30pm)

Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Swan Lake may be the ultimate symbol of ballet as an art form. First staged at the Mariinsky Theater in 1895, this Tchaikovsky classic is a cornerstone of the company’s repertory. The 1950 staging by Konstantin Sergeyev remains faithful to Petipa and Ivanov’s original choreography but features a happy ending—a remnant of Soviet-era heroics.

Cinderella (Jan 17 at 7:30pm, Jan 18 at 3pm, Jan 20 at 7:30PM)

Music by Sergei Prokofiev

In 2002, the Mariinsky Ballet premiered a new version of Prokofiev’s Cinderella by little-known choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. He has since become one of the world’s most influential ballet-makers. Set in the lean years of the 1930s with modernist cityscape sets by Ilya Utkin and Yevgeny Monakhov, Ratmansky places a giant, skeletal clock at the center of the action—a gently swinging reminder of the race against time at the core of this classic fairytale: Cinderella’s midnight flee from the ball and the Prince’s pursuit of his bride.

Chopin: Dances for Piano (Jan 24 at 7:30pm & Jan 25 at 3pm)

Music by Frédéric Chopin

The three choreographers represented in Chopin: Dances for Piano drew their inspiration from the leading Romantic era composer known for his virtuosic compositions for piano.

Michel Fokine’s Chopiniana is credited as the first-ever plotless ballet. A corps of ballerinas in long tulle skirts come alive and encircle the young man onstage like a romantic vision, only to fade as swiftly and freeze once again in their opening tableau.

In the Night is Jerome Robbins’ depiction of the varying stages of romantic love portrayed by three different couples and set to four of Chopin’s nocturnes.

Lost love is at the core of Benjamin Millepied’s Without, where five couples explore the darker side of Chopin’s music.

Artistic and General Director Valery Gergiev will conduct the Mariinsky Orchestra on January 15, 17, 18, and 20.

For ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit


Read more: Behind the curtains of the new Mariinsky

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