Ok, so the closest I've ever come to a Russian ballet company is being given a box of chocolates a family friend bought at intermission while seeing the Bolshoi perform in Moscow. I think I was about 12 or 13 at the time, and I treasured the chocolates for a year or two before I realized they were going to expire and I had to eat them then or not at all. I think I still have the empty package stowed away with my old exam waist bands (remember those?). Needless to say, I valued these silly Bolshoi chocolates like I would a famous dancer's old pair of pointe shoes.
Anyway, for the first time since 1989, the Mariinsky Ballet (formerly known as the Kirov) are coming to Toronto in March 2011. Yes, I have already purchased my opening night ticket. They are performing Swan Lake, which is so exciting because it is a ballet particularly famed for the virtuosity required to dance it. It is also exciting because it is a ballet whose interpretations are particularly varied (see my review of James Kudelka's version below). I have yet to research the version of Swan Lake that the Mariinsky performs, but I imagine it's after the Lev Ivanov/Marius Petipa choreography.
For any readers in the Toronto vicinity, you can purchase tickets here. In April, my apartment will be filled with expired intermission food (just kidding... maybe....).