The Moscow City Ballet was founded in 1988 by the distinguished Russian choreographer Victor Smirnov-Golovanov, with the aim to promote the original ideas of the great 19th and 20th century Russian choreographers.
The birth of the company was a direct outcome of the sweeping changes in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, where “Glastnost” and “Perestroyka” made the private enterprise legal again and Moscow City Ballet was the first privately owned ballet company in the USSR. It’s original name “The New Ballet of Moscow” was deemed too descriptive and the new name, “The Moscow City Ballet” was adopted in 1990.
The company remains true to its original ideals, showcasing some of the greatest works of the Russian and Soviet ballet heritage. Its new aim is to preserve the legacy of late Victor Smirnov-Golovanov’s original choreography, with the ballets such as The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet having been exclusively choreographed by Victor for the Moscow City Ballet.
The company’s first appearance was in 1989 in Seoul, Korea. Its success outside of Russia makes it one of Russia’s most extensively touring ballet companies. Since 1988, Moscow City Ballet has appeared in Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, Hong-Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic Korea, R.O.C. Taiwan, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and, naturally, in Russia itself.
The company’s greatest success has been in the United Kingdom where it has given more than 1000 performances since 1991, accompanied by the Moscow City Ballet Orchestra. Considering classical ballet to be an important part of the national heritage of Russia, Moscow City Ballet aims to bring it to as wide a public as possible, especially the new generation of ballet-going youngsters.
Smirnov-Golovanov’s own productions, as well as previous versions of the classical ballets, all share a clearly-defined style, ideas, and choreographic integrity, setting high-performance standards. The company is renowned for the perfection of its corps de ballet in the best traditions of the Russian school of classical ballet. The company’s unique style is ensured by the dedicated efforts, both in production and rehearsal, of its artistic director, Ludmila Nerubashenko.