It seems the most natural place for a dancer to perform is within a dream. Once the stage transports you deep into the world of the ballet, the audience experiences a surreal vision. Many ballets incorporate a dream scene, but Petipa’s Raymonda comes from the dreams of any girl who has fallen in love. The entire world slows as Raymonda floats through a heavy sleep, moving as if she imagines each step with closed eyes.

 

In this video from 1980, the Kirov Ballet's Irina Kolpakova-—now a ballet mistress at American Ballet Theatre—lulls the audience into a dreamlike trance. Her movement is legato and smooth, as if she’s manipulating the air. Kolpakova is the master of control—from her slowest renversé to her sprightly piqué attitudes. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!

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