St Petersburg 13

St Petersburg Episode 13 World Capital of Ballet

The schools, companies and dancers who have made St Petersburg’s ballet world famous

Surely ballet is one of the first things you think of when it comes to St Petersburg. Hear a brief history, beginning with the ‘twelve little girls’ invited in 1738 by the Empress Anna to join the city’s first ballet school, held in the Winter Palace attic. Find out more about 19th and early 20th centuries, when many of the great Russian ballets were first seen and dancers like Vaslav Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova graced the stage. Hear too what happened to ballet in the Soviet era and how Rudolf Nureyev brought such exciting new ballet techniques from St Petersburg to the west, then find out what it’s like to see a ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre today.