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Russian Ballet: What to See, How to Book and What to Wear?

a large clock tower in front of Bolshoi Theatre

They say that Russian ballet school is the best in the world. It is called an unofficial ballet capital of the world. Among its representatives are so many notable dancers and choreographers. Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky which is known as one of the greatest composers not only in Russia but throughout the world who is the author of the world-famous ballets Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Nutcracker. The impresario Sergey Diaghilev who made the first Russian ballet dance company and made a breakthrough in the culture of ballet in Paris. Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Anna Pavlova, Sergey Polunin these are only a few names of the ballet dancers who impressed and will impress the public all over the world.
If you have a chance, for sure take some time during the trip to Russia for a ballet experience.
What ballet to see in Russia? How to book tickets to Russian ballet and what to wear to the ballet?

Russian Ballet Bolshoi


Bolshoy Theater

The main opera and ballet stage in Russia. Renovated, and opened after huge restoration in 2011, for sure it is a beautiful place to visit and performance of a lifetime to enjoy.
Official site of Bolshoy theatre, it is in English, there you can find all the information about upcoming performances, both opera and ballets. One can buy tickets for the performance starting from 3 months in advance.

How to buy tickets?

You can make it online right on the website of Bolshoy theatre, or you can purchase tickets in the box-office.

Where is that?

1. Teatralnaya Square 4/2 – box-office of New Stage
2. Teatralnaya Square, 1 – box-office of Historical Stage (main stage)

Kremlin Palace Russian Ballet

Kremlin Palace

The concert hall situated on the Kremlin‘s territory has also impressive ballet troupe and great performances. It is a great chance to see the high ballet and also to get on the Kremlin’s territory not been part of the excursion group.
Official site of Kremlin Palace will give you the idea of their repertoire. Not all the site is available in English, but using translator in google chrome browser will help.

How to buy tickets?

You can book them by phone (we do not guarantee they speak English on the phone) +7 (495)620-78-31 ? +7 (495)628-52-32. Otherwise, you can buy tickets at the box-office.

Where is that?

Vozdvizhenka street, 1, metro station “Alexandrovsky sad”

swan lake

Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theater –

Another great place to watch ballet. All classic staging they have: Swan Lake, Giselle, The Little Mermaid and others.
Official site of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theater, it is all in English and very well done!

How to buy tickets?

They have the online booking system on the website. Also, you can buy tickets at their box-office.

Where is that?

Bolshaya Dmitrovka street, Metro station “Pushkinskaya”, “Chekhovskaya”, “Tverskaya”
Phone: +7 (495) 629-28-35

Russian ballet St Petersburg


Mariinsky Theater –

the best stage in St Petersburg if you go for ballet.
Official site of Mariinsky Theater, where you can book tickets online, see the schedule and get more info about the theater

Mikhailovsky Theater –

another place with great ballet staging. They have both modern and classic performances.
Official site of Mikhailovsky Theater, book tickets online.
Russia Ballet Dancer


Novosibirsk State Theater of Opera in Ballet

In all big Russian cities, there are Theaters of Opera and Ballet. For example, Novosibirsk State Theater of Opera in Ballet, is situated right in the center of the city, great place to visit, as their performances are acknowledged by different awards, and building of theatre itself is fascinating.

Novosibirsk ballet

What to wear to the ballet?

Theater in Russia is very popular. More than 50% of Muscovites go to the theater and this is the third popular entertainment after restaurants and cinema. Due to such a popularization of art, it is not surprising that over time the boundaries of the theatrical dress code became blurred. Yes, the official dress code in the theater no longer exists but this does not mean that there are no questions associated with it. This is the problem of missing formal rules. What to wear to the ballet? A dress with an open back and diamonds – is it too much? Is it ok to come in jeans?
As a rule, spectators dressed in evening gowns and diamonds can mainly be seen at premieres and gala evenings where mainly “black-tie” is written in the invitation. The theatres do not establish any dress code, on the contrary, they are very loyal to this issue. For example, on the website of the Bolshoi Theater in the section “Dress Code” (there is still such a section there) you can find ironic: “A man in shorts will not be allowed into the auditorium, and in our opinion women should keep to a decent dress style”. Of course, there are certain taboos, but when a large part of the public are tourists, it is useless and inhumane to insist on a formal dress code.
We consider that the dresses of the spectators are part of the overall decor which sets up the necessary mood and emphasizes the exclusivity of the event. Consequently, an evening dress or costume is respect for historical traditions and art itself.
In short since old times visiting ballet was a festive occasion. Women put on their best dresses, for gentlemen black-tie was a must thing. Now traditions adopted together with different norms, but all in all, people are getting dressed nicely. The so-called casual chic style.
Russian ballet in Bolshoi theatreDress code in Russian theatreRussian ballet dresscode
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