Viral Videos

At just 16 years old, the Bolshoi Ballet's Maria Alexandrova already had the makings of a great artist. In this variation from Coppélia, she portrays the carefree Swanilda with blithe, youthful ease.

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Sandstorms, opium, lions, snakes—plot devices in The Pharaoh's Daughter read like a list of clichés about Ancient Egypt. Though 19th century ballets set in the Far East (ahem, Bayadère) tend to emphasize grandeur over cultural accuracy, the dancing is dependably show-stopping. In this clip, Bolshoi Ballet principal Maria Alexandrova performs Princess Aspicia's Act II solo from Pierre Lacotte's 2000 version (after Petipa's 1862 original). With no visible effort—or springs attached, that I can see—she jumps with stunning ballon in the first sissonnes. When the music changes meter, she développés crisply and then enveloppés slowly for a playful contrast. Lacotte choreographed some devilish transitions in and out of pirouettes but, as the 30 seconds of solid applause confirm, Alexandrova retains her regal poise throughout.

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