Ballet is the national pride of Russia and the “calling card” of Russian culture. Having origins in France and Italy, it was here that it found its “second homeland”. It was in Russia that the classical traditions of ballet were preserved and developed in order to present the art to the whole world again.
The first ballet school in Russia was opened in St. Petersburg in 1738. A few decades later, the school opened in Moscow. Thus began the rivalry between two ballet traditions – the St. Petersburg and Moscow, two theaters – the Mariinsky and the Bolshoi, which continues to this day. You can see this even by simply studying the posters in both cities.
The St. Petersburg school is true to classical traditions and focuses on the refinement of each movement, the superprofessionalism of performers. The most “classical” versions of the great ballet performances can still be seen on the St. Petersburg stage to this day. But to some, the St. Petersburg manner seems a little bit cold.