Mikhailovsky Ballet paid homage to universal struggles for justice in their opening performance of The Flames of Parisat the Koch Theater, Friday, November 15th. Originally created to mark the 15th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, The Flames of Paris as a narrative succeeded because it appealed to the people (any people group experiencing the desperate, unifying force of oppression) while paralleling the arch of a traditional story ballet. The ballet’s three acts moved swiftly, another reason for the ballet’s success and poignancy. The choreography avoided frivolity, which allowed the energy of the story to remain high throughout the evening. Russian ballet history endured numerous revolutions of its own and, for the dancers performing this work a very prescient, perhaps cathartic experience (turmoil still present in light of acid attacks on Sergei Filin of the Bolshoi Ballet and on a broader scale, the more polished peer to the Pussy Riot).

Continue reading full review here, or enjoy a bonus full video courtesy Ivan Vasilyev, below: