These images were taken in Amsterdam on the 9th of June, 1960. The Bolshoi Ballet arrives in the Netherlands for an international tour.
The Soviets believed nobody could surpass them in the arts, however dancers of the Bolshoi (Moscow) and Kirov (Saint Petersburg) companies were not always allowed to leave the USSR. Some dancers defected, while others were considered unsuitable, such as superstar Maya Plisetskaya, a Lithuanian Jew whose family faced heavy persecution in Russia.
Gelsey Kirkland, star of American Ballet Theatre, is seen here as Kitri in Don Quixote on the cover of TIME Magazine on the 1st of May, 1978. Kirkland, whose professional career began with New York City Ballet at only fifteen, moved to ABT in 1974, where she found fame dancing with Soviet ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov.
The Borovansky Ballet, an Australian company that was a pioneer for major dance companies in the country today, as featured in the Australian Women’s Weekly on the 8th of February, 1956. The images are from their production of The Nutcracker.
Foyer de Danse, a ballet by English choreographer Frederick Ashton, had its premiere on the 9th of October, 1932.
This footage (begins 24 seconds in) from the 1932 production features Ashton alongside English prima ballerina Alicia Markova (born Lilian Alice Marks):
Ashton would go on to become one of ballet’s best-known choreographers. His productions of ballets such as Cinderella and La fille mal gardée are still seen onstage at the Royal Opera House on a regular basis.
This is the edition of LIFE Magazine for the 23rd of August, 1965.
The cover features choreographer George Balanchine, who was born into a Georgian family in Saint Petersburg before moving to the United States and becoming the so-called “father of American ballet”.
With him is Suzanne Farrell, a young ballerina who was arguably the most famous of his “muses”. She had just turned twenty when this magazine came out.
They are in costume for the roles of Don Quixote and his “ideal woman” Dulcinea in Balanchine’s version of Don Quixote for New York City Ballet. This version is unrelated to the world-famous production that is regularly performed today. However, the version starring Farrell became a signature piece and showcase for both her as a ballerina, and for her famous Balanchine technique.