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The Greatest Russian Ballets

Updated October 13, 2018 1.2k votes 310 voters 12.8k 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.
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  • 1
    108
    25

    Swan Lake

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • 2
    88
    18

    The Nutcracker

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • 3
    86
    17

    Giselle

    Adolphe Adam
  • 4
    63
    15

    Romeo and Juliet

    Sergei Prokofiev
  • 5
    55
    11

    Coppelia

    Leo Delibes
  • 6
    52
    11

    La Bayadere

    Ludwig Minkus
  • 7
    71
    34

    The Sleeping Beauty

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • 8
    47
    18

    The Firebird

    Igor Stravinsky
  • 9
    33
    6

    Les Sylphides

    Michel Fokine
  • 10
    33
    15

    Schéhérazade

    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  • 11
    25
    6

    Paquita

    Joseph Mazilier, Paul Foucher
  • 12
    22
    6

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Felix Mendelssohn
  • 13
    24
    9

    Manon

    Jules Massenet
  • 14
    26
    11

    Cinderella

    Sergei Prokofiev
  • 15
    18
    6

    Sylvia

    Louis Merante
  • 16
    20
    8

    Apollo

    Igor Stravinsky
  • 17
    19
    9

    Esmerelda

    Jules Perrot
  • 18
    23
    18

    La Fille Mal Gardee

    Jean Dauberval
  • 19
    13
    10

    Le Sacre Du Printemps

    Igor Stravinsky
  • 20
    11
    7

    Afternoon of a Faun

    Vaslav Nijinsky
  • 21
    9
    6

    Le Soleil De Nuit

    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  • 22
    10
    8

    Papillons

    Marie Taglioni
  • 23
    10
    9

    Ondine

    Sir Frederick Ashton
  • 24
    8
    9

    Le Carnaval

    Robert Schumann
  • 25
    7
    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.