Culture
293 voters

The Greatest Russian Ballets

Updated October 13, 2018 1.3k votes 293 voters 12.2k views29 items

List RulesVote up the absolute best Russian ballets

Any ballet enthusiast knows that some of the greatest ballets in history originated in Russia. In fact, in the early 19th century, Russia opened up the theatres to anyone who could afford to buy a ticket, regardless of class. The wealthier attendants were provided with the best seating possible. This system allowed the majority of people to be able to attend any ballet performance, causing widespread popularity. Some of the best dancers in all of ballet are part of Russian ballet companies as well.

What are the best Russian ballets of all time? Some of the most famous ballets came from Russia, forever changing dancing techniques. The most respected ballet companies in the world have all used many Russian techniques and Russia has produced some of the most celebrated ballets and ballet performances in history.

This list features the best Russian ballets, ranked by voters and including, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliette, Cinderella, Giselle, La Bayadere, and Afternoon of a Faun.

Vote up the greatest Russian ballets below, or add a ballet from Russia that isn't already on the list.
Photo:
...more
  • Swan Lake1
    110
    23

    Swan Lake

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    More 

    #1 of 71 The All-Time Best Ballets#4 of 53 The Best Songs About Birds

  • Giselle2
    89
    17

    Giselle

    Adolphe Adam
  • The Nutcracker3
    88
    20

    The Nutcracker

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Romeo and Juliet4
    63
    17

    Romeo and Juliet

    Sergei Prokofiev
  • Coppelia5
    53
    12

    Coppelia

    Leo Delibes
  • La Bayadere6
    53
    12

    La Bayadere

    Ludwig Minkus
  • The Sleeping Beauty7
    72
    36

    The Sleeping Beauty

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • The Firebird8
    47
    20

    The Firebird

    Igor Stravinsky
  • Les Sylphides9
    30
    7

    Les Sylphides

    Michel Fokine
  • Paquita10
    26
    7

    Paquita

    Joseph Mazilier, Paul Foucher
  • Schéhérazade11
    34
    16

    Schéhérazade

    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Manon12
    26
    8

    Manon

    Jules Massenet
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream13
    23
    6

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Felix Mendelssohn
  • La Fille Mal Gardee14
    23
    7

    La Fille Mal Gardee

    Jean Dauberval
  • Cinderella15
    26
    12

    Cinderella

    Sergei Prokofiev
  • Esmerelda16
    18
    3

    Esmerelda

    Jules Perrot
  • Apollo17
    20
    7

    Apollo

    Igor Stravinsky
  • Sylvia18
    18
    7

    Sylvia

    Louis Merante
  • Le Carnaval19
    19
    10

    Le Carnaval

    Robert Schumann
  • Papillons20
    11
    7

    Papillons

    Marie Taglioni
  • Le Sacre Du Printemps21
    13
    11

    Le Sacre Du Printemps

    Igor Stravinsky
  • Afternoon of a Faun22
    10
    8

    Afternoon of a Faun

    Vaslav Nijinsky
  • Le Soleil De Nuit23
    7
    6

    Le Soleil De Nuit

    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Ondine24
    10
    10

    Ondine

    Sir Frederick Ashton
  • The Tale of the Stone Flower25
    8
    9

    The Tale of the Stone Flower

    Sergei Prokofiev
    The Tale of the Stone Flower, Op. 118 (RussianСказ о каменном цветке), is Sergei Prokofiev's eighth and last ballet, written between 1948 and 1953. It is based on the Russian Ural folk tale of the same name by Pavel Bazhov and is also the last of the trilogy of ballets Prokofiev wrote in the Russian ballet tradition. It was premiered posthumously, in 1954, conducted by Yuri Fayer.