The Marie or Maryinski Theatre in St Petersburg was known as the Kirov Theatre in Leningrad during the Soviet period from 1935 to 1991, then again the Maryinski in St Petersburg; its name is magical for any ballet enthusiast. The current theatre was built in 1860 by Albert Cavos: Italian-style auditorium in blue and gold.
It was the birthplace of Russian ballet under the leadership of French, Italian and Swedish choreographers and ballet masters, notably Marius Petipa who reigned in absolute supremacy for the whole of the second half of the 19th century. The most prestigious ballet dancers made their first appearances on this stage, after having been trained at the imperial school: Pavlova, Nijinsky, Karsavina, Spessivtzeva, and more besides. All the great classical ballets in the repertoire were created here: "La Bayadère", "Don Quixote", "Swan Lake", "Sleeping Beauty", and "The Nutcraker" to name but a few of the better known ones. Throughout the 20th century, Oulanova, Doudinskaya, Chaboukiani, and Sergueev continued the tradition of their predecessors. In the second half of the 20th century, other dancers of international acclaim started their careers there: Nureyev, Barychnikov, Makarova, Soloviev, etc.
NUREYEV AND THE KIROV
Nureyev gave his first debut there in 1958 with Natalia Doudinskaya in "Laurencia". Over three seasons he danced the complete classical repertoire there before coming to Paris for the Kirov Ballet's first tour in the West. He went back 28 years later to dance "La Sylphide" in 1989.